Gov. Andrew Cuomo is asking airlines transporting passengers from the United Kingdom to New York to require a negative Covid-19 test before boarding.
Cuomo announced the request during a virtual briefing on Monday in response to reports of a new mutated variant of the coronavirus that appears to be spreading rapidly and has prompted new lockdowns in Britain.
Background: At least 120 countries already require pre-flight testing. Cuomo said three airlines — British Airways, Delta and Virgin Atlantic — fly from the U.K. to New York. Cuomo said he is scarred by the rapid spread of the coronavirus from abroad this spring and does not trust the federal government to take necessary action. "I believe intuitively that it's already here," he said of the new variant. It's already "flying around the world," he said. "This is another disaster waiting to happen."
What’s next: The governor said British Airways already has agreed to his request and will start requiring the pre-flight testing Tuesday. As far as the other two airlines: “If they do not agree voluntarily, then New York will pursue other options,” he said.
From New Jersey: Asked about the issue during his regular briefing in Trenton, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said state officials are “in discussions with the Port Authority [of New York and New Jersey] as it relates to airports … but the message from me is don't travel — to the UK or otherwise."