British Airways to Force Passengers to Test negative for COVID Before Travelling to New York.
BRITISH flag carrier BA has said it will require passengers travelling from the UK to New York City to test negative for COVID-19 before they fly to the US after being asked by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to take action in a bid to try to reduce further virus infections.
The airline agreed to the request on Monday, Dec. 21, after 40 countries around the world banned travel from the UK over a new strain of COVID-19 that has been detected there. After studying the new mutation it has been agreed globally that the new strain is 70 per cent more infectious than what has been seen previously.
Cuomo had asked the federal government to ban all travel from the UK but having had his request fall on deaf ears, he went to the airlines instead. He said he believes “intuitively” that the more easily spread variant of the virus has already arrived in New York — mirroring the initial spread of COVID-19 in New York City from Europe in the early spring — but there’s no evidence of the new strain in the U.S. as yet.
The federal government has the ability to place formal restrictions on international and interstate travel, so Cuomo’s request to the airlines lacks the force of law. The governor’s senior advisor, Richard Azzopardi, wrote “Big ol’ pile of facts below” on Twitter on Sunday when he amplified a post that said New York “can’t set immigration or international travel policy that’s the federal government.”
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