British Airways agrees to require coronavirus tests for JFK-bound travelers at Gov. Cuomo's request

US surgeon general: COVID-19 vaccines ‘not so far’ shown to be less effective on new British virus strain

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams encourages Americans to continue practicing health safety measures amid vaccine rollout, new coronavirus strain in Britain.

British Airways has agreed to require COVID-19 testing to U.K. passengers flying into New York's JFK airport following Gov. Cuomo's request. 

"We have agreed on pre-departure testing for passengers on flights from the U.K. to New York from tomorrow in line with the request. We continue to work closely with local health authorities around the world," a spokesperson for British Airways told Fox News in an email Monday.

The Democratic New York governor asked the airline to require passengers traveling into JFK to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test to stop the spread of the highly contagious strain of COVID-19 out of London, which is in lockdown. Cuomo said Monday officials are in talks with Delta and Virgin Atlantic to do the same. Delta and Virgin Atlantic did not immediately return a Fox News request for comment. 

British Airways will now  (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

The New York State governor is taking precautions after the new strain of COVID-19 forced British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ramp up lockdown restrictions ahead of Christmas. The move comes as more than a dozen countries closed their borders to travelers from the U.K. to thwart the spread of the highly contagious strain of coronavirus. 

"We can't let history repeat itself with this new virus variant," Gov. Cuomo tweeted. 

The new COVID strain, detected in September, is said to spread 70% faster than earlier strains of the virus. Officials say it's the cause of upticks in COVID cases in London.


"The strain is so serious that the U.K. has closed down again," Cuomo said in a press conference Monday. "We are on notice about it. Why don’t we act intelligently for a change? Why don’t we mandate testing before people get on the flight, or hold the flights from the UK now? Many other countries have done this."

Despite rising cases and CDC urging against holiday travel, more Americans are on the move. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screened over 2 million passengers at airports across the U.S. over the weekend and found a consecutive record high for the first time since March. The TSA screened 1,066,747 travelers on Friday, 1,073,563 travelers on Saturday and 1,064,619 on Sunday, according to the latest checkpoint travel numbers,

Jeanette Settembre Fox News