British Airways and Delta Airlines agree to test passengers heading for New York state

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  • Three airlines are now requiring negative COVID-19 tests for passengers heading to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport from the United Kingdom. 
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo asked British Airways, Delta Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic to implement the measures following news of a new and potentially more transmissible variant of the novel coronavirus. 
  • The new strain could be as much a 70% more transmissible, Matt Hancock, the UK’s health minister said. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

British Airways, Delta Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic said they would start requiring travelers heading to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to test negative for COVID-19 prior to boarding. 

The decision comes after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo asked several airlines to require travelers heading to the airport from the United Kingdom to be tested following news on a new strain of the novel coronavirus. 

A Delta spokesperson told Business Insider: “Customers will be required to take a LAMP or PCR test up to 72 hours prior to departure adding another layer of safety when they travel.”

Video: British Airways, Delta agree to test passengers flying from U.K. to New York for Covid (NBC News)

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The spokesperson said Delta will be working closely with Cuomo’s office in the following days “on the implementation of our plans as they specifically relate to our flights from London Heathrow to New York-JFK.”

British Airways did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment at the time of publication. 

Cuomo’s request comes as officials in the UK discovered a new and potentially more transmissible strain of the coronavirus. 

The new strain could be as much a 70% more transmissible, Matt Hancock, the UK’s health minister said. 

The country has put millions of people under lockdown to help curb the spread. Additionally, countries including France and Germany have stopped travel from the UK.

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