COVID Testing Requirements in US for UK Passengers Come into Force
All airline passengers arriving in the US from the UK must provide a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure from today.
In response to a new variant of the virus which can be up to 70% more transmissible, the US has implemented the rules. This new variant has also led to stricter lockdown restrictions in the UK over Christmas.
From December 28, any travellers making the trip will need to provide written documentation of their test result to airlines.
Entry to the US was already strictly limited but airlines have been trialling flights between New York and London as they look to prove the effectiveness of rapid pre-departure COVID testing. The US is not on the UK’s travel corridor list, which means arrivals to the UK are subject to quarantine restrictions and the government’s test to release scheme.
Other countries, including many European neighbours, have shut their borders to UK flights because of the variant.
The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) said passengers must test negative via either a PCR or antigen test. It noted that passenger numbers from the UK to the US were 90% down this year.
In a statement issued on December 24, the CDC said: “This additional testing requirement will fortify our protection of the American public to improve their health and safety and ensure responsible international travel.”