Home >News >World >New Covid strain: US makes negative coronavirus test must for all UK airline passengers

The United States government will require all airline passengers arriving from the United Kingdom to test negative for coronavirus within 72 hours of departure starting Monday amid concerns about a new Covid-19 strain that may be more transmissible.

In a statement late on Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that all airline passengers arriving from the UK must test negative in order to fly to the US.

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The decision, which makes the US the latest country to impose travel restrictions on the UK, was a turnaround after the Trump administration told US airlines that it was not planning to require any testing for arriving passengers from Britain.

"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 statement read.

The order will be signed by US President Donald Trump on Christmas day and becomes effective on 28 December.

Airlines must also confirm the negative test result for all passengers boarding and must deny entry to those who don’t take a test.

The move could also affect tens of thousands of passengers per month but stops short of an outright halt, as dozens of other nations, including Canada, have done.

Earlier on Thursday, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines said they were requiring all passengers on flights from the United Kingdom to the United States to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure.

Travel fell sharply, but thousands of travellers have continued to fly to America from the UK each month.

As per reports, the new virus strain could already be working their way, undetected, through American communities, where Covid-19 testing and the sequencing to track variants is less far-reaching than in many other countries.

Meanwhile, a further 39,036 confirmed Covid-19 cases were recorded in the UK on Thursday - the second-highest daily total to date - according to government figures.

With agency inputs

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