"The PCR remains the gold standard. Therefore if there are any questions open, or if the clinical appearance of the person who had a negative test, if the person has symptoms like a fever, then you would for sure do confirmatory testing."
Alitalia launched its "Covid Tested Flights" program from Rome to Milan last week, and will expand it from Wednesday. Only passengers with negative Covid-19 results can board.
"So far no positive passengers have been found," said an Alitalia spokesman, adding that many chose to take the airline's antigen tests the night before the flight.
Travelers can access airport-testing facilities via a preferred lane with their tickets.
The airline plans to analyze findings around the middle of October but already expects antigen-tested flights will be expanded to domestic and later international routes.
"First, we have to see how this experiment goes," the spokesman said.
The pre-flight antigen tests follow a scheme in Italy where such tests were used defensively.
SD Biosensor said its tests had been deployed at Italian airports for incoming tourists, to avoid a renewed Covid-19 wave imported from infection hotspots.
'Better than quarantine'