Airline passengers traveling from the United Kingdom to the U.S. now must prove they’re free of COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced late Thursday that all American destinations now require passengers from Britain to test negative before their flight, “no more than 72 hours before departure.”
The airlines themselves must confirm results before passengers board, and they must deny boarding to anyone who chooses not to take a test.
The CDC said the order was to be signed by President Donald Trump on Friday and go into effect Monday, adding that because of travel restrictions in place since March, air travel to the U.S. from the U.K. has been cut by 90%.
The U.S. is just the latest in a line of countries with new travel restrictions because of a new variant of the coronavirus spreading in Britain.
“The public health authorities in the United Kingdom recently announced the discovery of a new variant of SARS-CoV-2,” the CDC said in a statement. “Preliminary analysis in the U.K. suggests that this new variant may be up to 70% more transmissible than previously circulating variants.”
Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic and British Airways, following a request from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, said early this week that travelers would have to test negative for the coronavirus before boarding flights bound for New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
“This additional testing requirement will fortify our protection of the American public to improve their health and safety and ensure responsible international travel,” the CDC said.
On Wednesday, the British government announced that another variant had been detected in two people who had recently traveled from South Africa.