UK travelers required to take COVID-19 test before arrival into NY to help contain possible new strain
A possible new strain of the coronavirus has state officials scrambling to ensure it doesn't make its way to New York.
Starting this week, anyone traveling from the United Kingdom to New York will be required to get tested for COVID-19 first.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo also took it one step further and called on the federal government to temporarily halt all flights from the U.K. For now, passengers will just be required to get tested
In an agreement with New York, Virgin Atlantic along with British Airways and Delta Airlines will test passengers flying in from the United Kingdom for COVID-19 before they enter the state.
This all comes after reports came out about a new variant of COVID-19 spreading in the U.K., which officials are saying is 70% more transmissible than the previous version of the virus.
Pfizer and Moderna officials say they are testing to see if their vaccines will work against the new COVID-19 strain.
Moderna says it believes its vaccine would protect against the mutation, but is doing additional tests to confirm. Pfizer says it is still generating data.
Both companies say their vaccines worked against variations when COVID-19 has mutated before.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said in a conference Tuesday morning that anyone traveling to New York from the U.K. who tests negative should still be required to quarantine at a designated hotel and not be allowed to quarantine on the honor system alone.
"We don't believe they're dishonest, but it's clear that COVID-19 is not an honorable virus, so therefore we need to have real rules to ensure that the spread of this virus does not saturate our cities," Adams says.
While Adams says a quarantine should immediately go into effect, he's ultimately calling for a travel ban on the federal level. He says the length of the ban should be up to health officials.