The Trump administration passed new travel restrictions on Monday that will lower the number of travelers entering the United States from Britain. This move is an effort made by the administration to prevent the spread of the new strain of Coronavirus that health authorities believe is more contagious than the previous one.
The federal government’s new travel guidelines are imposed by the Trump administration to prevent the spread of the new Coronavirus strain that was first identified in the U.K. With the enacted policies, travelers from Britain entering the country are now required to test negative for Coronavirus within 72 hours from their planned departure.
U.S. to Require Negative Covid-19 Test for All Travelers From U.K. The new rule, which takes effect on Monday, will apply to Americans as well as foreign nationals. via @NYTimes https://t.co/eUyUgmhcm0
— Rachael Akidi (@rakidi) December 25, 2020
On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made a statement saying, “viruses constantly change through mutation, and preliminary analysis in the U.K. suggests that this new variant may be up to 70% more transmissible than previously circulating variants.”
All airlines will now be required to verify that passengers have tested negative for the virus within 72 hours when entering any part of the United States. Before the enactment of recent travel guidelines, there are already some airlines that are imposing the same policies, especially those traveling from London to New York.
According to AP reports, travelers who refuse to give proof of negative COVID-19 test within the last 72 hours must be denied boarding. The CDC said, “This new order is consistent with the measures that have been taken so far to increase our ability to detect and contain COVID-19 proactively and aggressively.”
— Te Sheng Lin 🇺🇸 (@teshen8lin) December 23, 2020
Vaccine scientists believe that the existing coronavirus vaccines will still be effective against the new strain of the Coronavirus.
Last week, Dr. Moncef Slaoui, a top doctor for the Operation Warp Speed, told CNN, “I don’t think there has been a single variant that would be resistant to the virus — to the vaccine,” He continued, “we can’t exclude it, but it’s not there now. And this particular variant in the U.K., I think, is very unlikely to have escaped the vaccine immunity.”
However, the vaccine distribution is still in its infancy. With the arrival of the new COVID-19 strain, which is said to be more contagious, it could give the virus to infect more people before the vaccines become more available. At the moment, the United States stated that it would have enough coronavirus vaccines for over 200 million Americans by the end of July 2021.
At least 40 countries have banned arrivals from the UK over concerns of a highly infectious new strain of coronavirus.
The COVID-19 mutation may be up to 70% more transmissible & the UK govt has warned that it is “getting out of control.”
The UK recorded 326 deaths on Sunday. pic.twitter.com/NcpCLzIHvH
— AJ+ (@ajplus) December 21, 2020
The new strain of the Coronavirus has already been identified in some countries. Including among them are Canada, France, and Spain. On Friday, Japanese health authorities identified the new strain in people arriving in the country via airplane. According to reports, the Japanese authorities found the strain in a man who recently visited the U.K.
Meanwhile, to prevent the spread of the new strain of the virus, Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York announced a policy that will have every traveler from the United Kingdom to have a personal visit from the sheriff’s deputy to remind them to follow the quarantine orders. In case they refuse to follow the quarantine protocols, the New York City mayor said, “they will be penalized. We cannot take chances with anyone who travels, particularly folks traveling in from the U.K.”
A penalty of $1,000 will be imposed on anyone who will be caught breaking the quarantine order. An additional $1,000 fine will be imposed for each extra day a person spends violating the quarantine order.