CHICAGO (Reuters) – United Airlines and Delta Air Lines require all passengers on flights from the United Kingdom to the United States to show a negative COVID-19 test done within 72 hours of departure.
The decision follows the emergence of a new contagious new version of the coronavirus in Britain, which has led many countries to close borders to travelers from there.
Delta’s policy, extended by Monday’s decision to require screenings of British flights to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, takes effect on December 24, while United’s request begins on December 28.
Passengers will be required to show evidence of a negative COVID-19 molecular test or antigen test, and on the same day, rapid pre-flight tests will be available for passengers with tickets at the Heathrow Test Center.
Earlier this week, members of the White House coronavirus working group recommended that the U.S. government impose COVID-19 projections on passengers from Britain. But the Trump administration has decided not to take action, people told Reuters.
Management has repeatedly refused to issue mandates for many of COVID-19’s federal air transport security policies, leaving any requirements to airlines.
On Monday, three airlines flying from London to JFK – Delta, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic – agreed at the request of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to check passengers from Britain.
The delta also flies between London and Atlanta.
United currently has four daily flights from London Heathrow to Chicago, Newark, NJ, Washington Dulles and San Francisco. Earlier this month, she announced that she would be doing only two daily flights to Chicago and Newark in January.
U.S. airlines have already drastically reduced flights to the United Kingdom, as well as the rest of Europe.
American Airlines, with one daily flight between London and Dallas, has not yet released any testing requirements.
Tracy Rucinski Report; Edited by Chizu Nomiyama and Dan Grebler