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UK travellers need virus test to enter US

The United States will require airline passengers from Britain to get a negative COVID-19 test before their flight, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced.

The US is the latest country to announce new travel restrictions because of a new variant of the coronavirus that is spreading in Britain and elsewhere.

Airline passengers from the UK will need to get negative COVID-19 tests within three days of their trip and provide the results to the airline, the CDC said in a statement.

The agency said the order will be signed on Friday and go into effect on Monday.

If a passenger chooses not to take a test, the airline must deny boarding to the passenger,” the CDC said in its statement.

The agency said because of travel restrictions in place since March, air travel to the US from the UK is already down by 90 per cent.

Last weekend, Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the new variant of the coronavirus seemed to spread more easily than earlier ones and was moving rapidly through England.

Dozens of countries have since barred flights from the UK.

But Johnson stressed “there’s no evidence to suggest it is more lethal or causes more severe illness”, or that vaccines will be less effective against it.

Britain has been under considerable pressure since the word of the new variant of the virus was made public.

Some 40 countries imposed travel bans on Britain, leaving the island nation increasingly isolated, after Johnson warned that the new variant of the virus might be 70 per cent more contagious.

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