In the wake of a new, highly contagious strain of the COVID-19 virus hitting the United Kingdom, the three major airlines will require mandatory testing before flying into New York.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Delta Airlines voluntarily agreed to require a COVID-19 test before allowing passengers to board planes traveling from the United Kingdom to New York, joining the list of 120 countries with a similar requirement on flights from the U.K. The Governor is also continuing to call on the federal government to impose enhanced travel restrictions, as 120 other countries have done, to avoid the same grave mistakes of the spring where the virus entered New York from Europe with no warning.

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"When you do not require flights from the U.K to be tested, you are allowing thousands of U.K. passengers to arrive here every day and based on New York's experience in the spring, I believe this new, highly contagious strain of COVID-19 is already here," Governor Cuomo said. "This is another disaster waiting to happen and all efforts must be placed into averting another crisis. Now, it's on the federal government to do its job, correct the wrongs of the past and take swift action to impose enhanced travel restrictions just as 120 other countries have done."

28,709 people have died in New York State from COVID since the virus reached the U.S.

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