U.S. to Require All UK Travellers to Provide Negative Coronavirus Test Within 72 Hours of Departure

Travellers, one dressed in a Father Christmas outfit and all wearing face coverings, queue with their luggage in the departures hall at Terminal 2 of Heathrow Airport in west London on December 21, 2020, as a string of countries around the world banned travellers arriving from the UK, due to …
NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP via Getty Images

All travellers from the United Kingdom will be required to provide a negative coronavirus test before boarding flights to the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Thursday.

The restrictions on UK travellers will come into place on Monday, forcing Brits to test negative for the coronavirus within 72 hours of the time of flight departure.

“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.

The move was prompted by the announcement from the British government that two new strains of the coronavirus have been detected within the country.

The CDC said that the new variant of the coronavirus may have mutated “by chance alone”, or it is possible that its emergence is “because it is better fit to spread in humans.”

The British government has claimed that one of the variants may be up to 70 per cent more transmissible than the previous iteration of the Chinese virus.

“This rapid change from being a rare strain to becoming a common strain has concerned scientists in the UK, who are urgently evaluating the characteristics of the variant strain and of the illness that it causes,” the CDC said.

Travel from the UK to the United States has already been greatly diminished this year. While the United States stopped short of banning all travel from the UK, around 50 countries have enacted travel bans on the country following the discovery of the supposedly new coronavirus variants.

On Wednesday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he would be sending police officers to every “home or the hotel” of travelers from the UK to ensure that they are abiding by quarantine orders. Those found in violation of the quarantine face $1,000 fines for each day of non-compliance.

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