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January 6 2021

US to Require Negative COVID Test from UK Travellers

The US government is currently requiring              all airline passengers arriving from the United Kingdom to test negative for Covid-19, following concerns of a new coronavirus variant that may be more transmissible.

In light of this new strain, all airline passengers over the age of 2 from the United Kingdom must produce a negative COVID-19 test, conducted no later than 72 hours before their departure, before entering the country. This new regulation came into effect on Monday, December 28th, and will be enforced through airline carriers.

Travelers whose flights originate outside the UK, and who have a layover in the UK of no more than 24 hours, will be exempt from this requirement.

The decision comes as a U-turn after the Trump administration recently told US airlines it was not planning to require any testing for arriving UK passengers. The emergence of the new coronavirus variant in Britain has prompted more than 40 countries to shut their borders to travellers from the UK.

According to a statement issued by the CDC, passengers must test negative via either a PCR or antigen test, adding that this new variant may be up to 70% more transmissible than previously circulating variants.

Under the new policy, passengers departing from the UK for the United States must provide written documentation of their laboratory test result (in hard copy or electronic form) to the airline. If passengers choose not to take a test, the airline must deny boarding, regardless of whether the passenger is a US citizen or not. Many UK airports have also implemented testing facilities for passengers.

Due to the pandemic's ever-evolving nature, travellers are advised to stay updated with the latest government travel advisories before flying.