British Airways agrees to require unfavorable coronavirus checks earlier than flights to New York, Cuomo says

British Airways Boeing 747-400, nicknamed the Queen of the Skies airliner, on final landing gear landing at New York’s JFK John F. Kennedy International Airport, USA on January 23, 2020.

Nicolas Economou | NurPhoto | Getty Images

British Airways will require travelers to test negative for coronavirus before boarding flights to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday as officials grappled with a highly contagious new strain of Covid -19 grapple that is expanding the UK

British Airways confirmed Cuomo’s comments and a spokesman said the trial would begin Tuesday.

Cuomo said at a press conference that he had also asked Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic to adhere to the same requirements.

“We know what the governor said and will work with his office to understand the exact details New York State is looking for regarding flights out of the UK,” said a Delta spokesman. Virgin Atlantic did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

More than two dozen countries have blocked flights or access to people from the UK due to the new strain of the virus.

U.S. and overseas airlines have already suspended much of their international service due to Covid-19 and travel restrictions. For example, since March the US has banned most foreigners in the European Union or the UK from entering.

There are 122 flights between the UK and the US this week, up from 752 last year, according to flight data provider OAG.

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