White House considers Covid testing requirement for travelers from UK

Travelers wearing a face mask stand at check-in desks at Heathrow Airport in west London on December 21, 2020. By Jeremy Diamond, CNN

(CNN) -- The White House is considering requiring travelers from the United Kingdom to present proof of a negative coronavirus test before arriving in the United States, two administration officials tell CNN.

The discussions come amid the discovery of a new variant of coronavirus discovered in the UK and as a slew of countries have suspended travel. US public health officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, have said they do not believe the situation currently warrants suspending travel from the UK.

Officials discussed the possible requirement during a coronavirus task force meeting on Monday and officials are expected to present this option to President Donald Trump by Tuesday, the officials said.

Three airlines have already agreed to enforce a similar arrangement with New York for flights arriving in that state.

The requirement under discussion at the White House would require passengers traveling from the UK to the US to present proof of a negative coronavirus test administered within 48 or 72 hours of arrival in the US.

Devin O'Malley, a spokesman for Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the coronavirus task force, declined to comment on task force discussions.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday held an emergency meeting with ministers after fears about the new coronavirus variant prompted a chaotic border shutdown and saw British travelers shut out from dozens of countries in Europe and around the world.

Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and Delta Air Lines have agreed to test all passengers for Covid-19 before entering New York state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Monday evening.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Share this article: