US to require negative COVID-19 test for air passengers traveling from UK

The United States will require air passengers traveling from the United Kingdom to provide a negative coronavirus test within 72 hours of departure, The Centers for Disease Control announced late Thursday.

The move comes as a growing number of countries banned British travelers amid the rapid spread of a new variant of coronavirus in London and elsewhere. 

Earlier this week, Canada and dozens of other counties announced new restrictions on U.K. travelers after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the coronavirus variant could be 70% more transmissible and is driving an alarmingly rapid spread of infections in London and surrounding areas.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said earlier this week that while preliminary analysis in the U.K. suggests the new variant is “significantly more transmissible,” there is no indication that infections are more severe. Experts have warned, however, that even if the variant is not more lethal, it will likely lead to an increase in infections, hospitalizations and virus-related deaths.

The order, which President Donald Trump is expected to sign Friday, will take effect Dec. 28, according to the CDC.

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COVID-19 pandemic: More EU nations, Canada ban travel from UK, fearing rapidly spreading coronavirus variant

“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.”

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