Virgin Atlantic has announced it will introduce pre-departure Covid-19 testing for all customers travelling from London to the United States from Thursday (24 December).
The airline said all 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.
The development follows a request by New York governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday (21 December) to Virgin, Delta and British Airways to test passengers pre-departure from London in a bid to stop the spread of a new variant of Covid-19 in the UK.
“Throughout the crisis, Virgin Atlantic has been championing a robust pre-departure passenger testing regime in order to reopen the skies at scale and safely replace border restrictions,” A Virgin spokesperson told TTG.
“In August we were the first UK airline to implement on-site rapid testing for our crew and, with our partner Collinson, we already offer pre-departure rapid testing for customers on several routes including Hong Kong and Barbados.
“This is the latest addition to a range of rigorous, multi-layered health and safety measures to ensure that all customers fly safe and well. We will work closely with our transatlantic partner Delta on an aligned customer offering.
"More information will be provided to customers due to depart from London Heathrow to the US in the coming days, including New York flights. We are in close contact with governor Cuomo’s office to communicate these plans.”