Washington / Chicago:
The U.S. government has no plans to conduct COVID-19 screenings for passengers arriving from the UK after a highly infectious new variant of coronavirus emerged there.
White House coronavirus task force members endorsed pre-flight negative testing after meeting Monday, but the Trump administration has decided not to take action for the time being, people said.
Much of the world closed its borders on the UK after a mutant variant of the novel coronavirus was discovered, despite the European Union’s Tuesday advising members to reset closings to allow some travel.
Canada is stepping up measures to screen travelers from the UK, including those arriving from other countries, the public safety minister said Tuesday.
The three airlines that operate flights from London to John F. Kennedy International Airport – British Airways, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic – voluntarily agreed to a request from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to only allow passengers who tested negative.
The Trump administration has repeatedly refused to mandate many federal COVID-19 safety guidelines for air travel, only making strong recommendations on issues such as the wearing of masks. President-elect Joe Biden has vowed to hand out masks for interstate air, bus and train travel when he took office on January 20.
The White House tried in August to require airlines to collect contact information from international passengers in the US, Reuters reported.
The White House turned down a proposal in July to require face-coverings at U.S. airports, train stations, and transit stations, as well as on planes, trains and transit services, and turned down proposals to require temperature controls on passengers.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that it is possible that the new COVID-19 variant is already in the US.
“You really have to assume it’s here already,” said Fauci.
Michael Osterholm, an advisor to Biden COVID-19, said Tuesday that all options need to be considered to curb the spread of the new UK variant. He asked the Trump administration to work out a plan.
“We really need to develop a national response,” he told CNN. “Everything has to be on the table.”
(This story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)