Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic and British Airways said Monday that travelers will have to test negative for the coronavirus before boarding flights bound for New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. The measures are in response to a request from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as officials grapple with a highly contagious new strain of Covid-19 that’s spreading in the U.K.
British Airways said the procedures will begin Tuesday.
Virgin Atlantic and its partner Delta said the new requirements will begin Thursday.
“All Delta customers traveling from the U.K. to New York will be required to take a PCR test 72 hours prior to departure adding another layer of safety when they travel,” a Delta spokesman said in a statement. “Delta will work closely with the Governor’s office in the coming days to implement his request.”
The airline said passengers scheduled to depart the U.K. in the coming days should check Delta’s website for updates.
More than two dozen countries have cut off flights or restricted access from individuals traveling from Britain because of the new strain of the virus.
U.S. and foreign carriers have already cut much of their international service because of Covid-19 and travel restrictions. Since March, for example, the U.S. has barred most foreigners who have been in the European Union or Britain from entering the country.
This week there are 122 flights scheduled between the U.K. and the U.S., down from 752 last year, according to flight data provider OAG.
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