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Homeland Security

New York State

Statement from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Federal Government Reversing Its Policy on Testing Airline Travelers from the UK

December 25, 2020

"When British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the UK had discovered a new variant of the COVID virus that could be 70 percent more transmissible, it became clear just how dangerous it was that the U.S. government did not require travelers to obtain a negative test result before flying across the Atlantic.

"New York did everything it could within the limited authority it has over international flights, and within days we were able to convince British Airways, Delta and Virgin Atlantic to voluntarily test passengers before they left the UK. I thank the airlines for their quick efforts.

"But testing travelers flying to just one out of 50 states was clearly not enough. I called for the federal government to reverse its policy and am glad to see that it has now done so. Testing people for COVID-19 before they get on planes is common sense. We cannot repeat the mistakes of the past, and we must continue to do everything we can to keep New Yorkers and Americans safe.

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