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HomeCoronavirusGovernor Cuomo Responds to CDC’s Mandate: UK Travelers to US Must Test Negative

Governor Cuomo Responds to CDC’s Mandate: UK Travelers to US Must Test Negative

Governor Cuomo Responds to the CDC’s Requirement of Negative COVID-19 Tests for Those Traveling from UK to the US

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo responded to the newest mandate from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) requiring proof of a negative COVID-19 test result for anyone wishing to travel from the United Kingdom to the United States.

Passengers would be required to undergo a Coronavirus test within three days of their departure from Britain. Anyone wishing not to conform would be allowed to board a departing flight.

The announcement was made on December 24 and cites President Trump as the initiating source behind this move. The wording of the announcement can be found farther down on this page.

Not long ago, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the discovery of a new COVID-19 strain that was supposedly 70% more transmissible.

The Governor has been expressing his concern and disapproval over the Federal Government’s reluctance to do anything about safeguarding the country from visitors traveling from the U.K. At his request, the three airlines responsible for transporting passengers from Britain to New York agreed to require negative tests of travelers. These airlines are: Delta Airlines, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

Governor Cuomo issued his own statement yesterday, on Christmas Day:

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

“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.”

CDC’s Announcement:

Today, President Trump is taking another step to protect the health of the American people by requiring air passengers arriving from the United Kingdom (U.K.) to test negative, via PCR or Antigen test, no more than 72 hours before departure from the U.K. to the United States.

The public health authorities in the United Kingdom recently announced the discovery of a new variant of SARS-CoV-2.  Viruses constantly change through mutation, and preliminary analysis in the U.K. suggests that this new variant may be up to 70% more transmissible than previously circulating variants.

On March 14, President Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation to suspend the entry of foreign nationals who visited the United Kingdom in the past 14 days. This has reduced air travel to the U.S. from the U.K. by about 90%. This additional testing requirement will fortify our protection of the American public to improve their health and safety and ensure responsible international travel. The order is consistent with existing CDC testing guidance plus the HHS, U.S. Department of Transportation, and Department of Homeland Security joint guidance in the “Runway to Recovery” document.

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.

Passengers are required to get a viral test (i.e., a test for current infection) within the 3 days before their flight from the U.K. to the U.S. departs, and provide written documentation of their laboratory test result (in hard copy or electronic) to the airline. Airlines must confirm the negative test result for all passengers before they board. If a passenger chooses not to take a test, the airline must deny boarding to the passenger.

This order will be signed by CDC Director Robert Redfield, M.D., tomorrow, December 25, and become effective on December 28, 2020.


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