This decision comes after a new, highly contagious mutation of the COVID-19 virus was found in the United Kingdom.
British Airways, Delta and Virgin Atlantic have agreed to require testing of its passengers heading to New York. Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York petitioned British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, and Delta Air Lines to agree to require testing before boarding voluntarily.
“There are 3 airlines that come from the UK and fly in to our airports. Our airports are run by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The 3 airlines are British Airways, Delta and Virgin Atlantic. They daily are bringing several thousand passengers per day. I am asking those airlines to add New York State to the list of the 120 countries that require tests before the flights leave the UK for New York. 120 countries do it, my request is simple: Please add New York to the list of 120 countries. Well, you’re not a country. I know that but as Governor of New York State, I have asked them to do that. We do have a public health emergency in existence in New York State.”, said Andrew Cuomo, Governor, New York in a press conference.
British Airways is the 1st one to agree.
“We have for some time advocated pre-departure testing as a way for people to fly safely without the need for quarantine. We are confident this approach would open routes, stimulate economies and get people travelling with confidence. We welcome the introduction of pre-departure testing to New York, which we know will allow our customers to travel safely home to the US.”, a spokesperson from British Airways told Simple Flying.
“Please be aware that you need to provide evidence of a negative Covid-19 test certificate before you’re able to travel to New York. The test certificate must be issued no later than 72 hours before your departure time and will need to be shown at check-in when you arrive for your flight at London Heathrow Terminal 5.”, confirms British Airways on its website.
Antigen tests are available at Heathrow, along with PCR and LAMP rapid (90-minute results) tests offered by the carrier’s testing partner, Collinson.
Virgin Atlantic will require pre-departure COVID-19 testing for all customers flying from the UK to the United States from Today I.e. 24th December,2020 (Thursday).
For customers to travel, they will need to prove a negative PCR or LAMP test taken up to 72 hours prior to departure.
Delta will also require testing on all flights to the United States from the United Kingdom.
“Customers will be required to take a LAMP or PCR test up to 72 hours prior to departure adding another layer of safety when they travel.”, said a Delta spokesperson to Business Insider.
New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced new quarantine rules for international arrivals.
All international travellers will receive a letter by certified mail to the address they gave on arrival, ordering them to quarantine for 14 days, while those arriving from the UK will be personally served their order by the New York City Sheriff department, to ensure they abide, reports Business Traveller.