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US Says Passengers Arriving From UK Must Test Negative For COVID-19

The U.S. government will require all airline passengers arriving from the United Kingdom a negative Covid test certificate within 72 hours of departure starting Monday. The decision follows the emergence of a highly infectious new coronavirus variant in Britain that has prompted many countries to shut their borders to travelers from there.

From 28 December travellers will need to provide written documentation of their lab-test result to airlines. The variant has caused other countries shut their borders to UK flights. But its rapid spread has also led to stricter rules in the UK, including a ban on overseas trips for many Britons.

And US airlines have drastically scaled back flying to the UK and Europe, after the entry of most foreign nationals was suspended at the start of the pandemic. However, Health officials say there is no evidence the new variant was more deadly, or would react differently to vaccines, but it was proving to be up to 70% more transmissible.

 US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)' s decision to require testing came after New York City introduced quarantine rules for international travellers in response to the variant.

The CDC said late on Thursday passengers must test negative via either a PCR or Antigen test. The CDC said "viruses constantly change through mutation, and preliminary analysis in the UK suggests that this new variant may be up to 70% more transmissible than previously circulating variants."

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