By Thomas Catenacci –
The U.S. will require airline travelers coming from the U.K. to test negative for coronavirus before their flight, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced.
President Donald Trump will sign an order Friday making a negative test mandatory for U.K. travelers coming to the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a press release Thursday evening. the U.K. informed the World Health Organization that the mutant strain of coronavirus could spread more quickly than previous strains.
“Today, President Trump is taking another step to protect the health of the American people by requiring air passengers arriving from the United Kingdom (U.K.) to test negative,” the CDC said in a statement.
The CDC added that a person coming from the U.K. would need to present the negative test result no more than 72 hours prior to departure. The order will become effective on Dec. 28.
More than 40 countries, from Russia and India to Germany and France, have implemented rules restricting travel since Dec. 19. But, the strain is likely not contained in the U.K., according to top U.S. infectious disease experts.
“When you see something that is pretty prevalent in a place like the U.K. — there are also mutations that we’re seeing in South Africa — and given the travel throughout the world, I would not be surprised if it is already here,” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday. “When we start to look for it, we’re going to find it.”
“Certainly, it is not yet the prevalent one, the way it seems to have assumed that prevalent nature in the UK. But we’re going to be looking for it right now, and I’m sure, sooner or later, we’re going to run into it and find it,” Fauci continued.
The vaccines made by pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna will be effective against the new strain, which is “very similar” to previous strains at the genetic level, University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation affiliate assistant professor Vin Gupta told CNBC Monday.
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