US to require negative COVID-19 tests for all UK passengers
Iran Press TV
Friday, 25 December 2020 7:38 PM
The United States will require all airline passengers arriving from Britain to test negative for coronavirus within 72 hours of departure starting from Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced.
Amid concerns about a new variant of coronavirus that is very contagious, the CDC said in a statement on Thursday night that all airline passengers arriving from the UK must test negative in order to fly to the United States.
The move comes as a growing number of countries banned travelers from Britain amid the rapid spread of the new COVID-19 variant in the country. Canada and dozens of other counties have announced new restrictions on British travelers.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last week the coronavirus variant could be 70 percent more transmissible and was rapid spreading rapidly in London and surrounding areas.
The US announcement came despite the Trump administration earlier told American airlines it was not planning to require any testing for arriving British passengers.
According to the CDC, an order in this regard would be signed on Friday and is effective Monday.
A spokesperson of Britain's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said on Friday that they are "in close contact with the US authorities and are working urgently to minimize disruption as far as possible."
"British travelers should follow the US authorities' guidance, and speak to their airlines for the latest travel options in the first instance."
"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 in a statement.
"This new order is consistent with the measures that have been taken so far to increase our ability to detect and contain COVID-19 proactively and aggressively."
On Tuesday, top US infectious disease doctor warned Americans to assume that the new strain of the COVID-19 virus detected in the United Kingdom was already in the US.
Veteran government scientists and immunologist Anthony Stephen Fauci told US media it was certainly possible that the new strain was already present in the United States.
The World Health Organization (WHO) urged the public to remain vigilant during the upcoming holiday season as cases related to the UK's new COVID-19 strain had already appeared in other countries.
It is estimated that the new variant spreads 50 percent to 70 percent faster than the original form of the virus.
Earlier strains of coronavirus found it harder to infect children in comparison to adults which were more susceptible to disease.
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