British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Delta will require negative Covid-19 tests from passengers when flying from the UK to New York.
The airlines have all agreed to the request made by New York governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday (21 December) in efforts to stop the spread of a new variant of coronavirus believed to be up to 70% more transmissible.
BA said the procedure will begin on Tuesday (22 December), while Virgin and its partner Delta said the new requirements would start from Thursday (24 December).
A BA spokesperson told TTG: "We have agreed pre-departure testing for passengers on flights from the UK to New York from tomorrow [Tuesday] in line with the request. We continue to work closely with local health authorities around the world."
“All Delta customers travelling from the UK to New York will require a PCR test 72 hours prior to departure adding another layer of safety when they travel,” a Delta spokesperson told CNBC in statement.
“Delta will work closely with the governor’s office in the coming days to implement his request.”
A Virgin spokesperson told TTG the airline was set to introduce pre-departure Covid-19 testing for all customers travelling from London to the US from Thursday.
Travellers must present evidence of a negative Lamp or PCR test taken up to 72 hours prior to departure, including on-site at the airport.
Cuomo said he had “acted proactively for New York” by asking the carriers to implement the new policy despite the US government not imposing such measures nationally.
“I have the airlines flying into New York from the UK who have all agreed that they will test people before they get on the flight in the UK en route to New York,” Cuomo told CNN. “If I see smoke, I’m going to douse water on that spot.”