US will now require negative COVID test for travelers departing from UK

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The United States will require passengers from the United Kingdom to present proof of a negative test for the coronavirus, amid growing concerns over a more contagious COVID-19 strain which spread after its first appearance in England.

Travelers arriving from the UK must undergo a negative polymerase chain reaction or antigen test no more than 72 hours before leaving, according to adeclarationfrom the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC said the order would be signed by President Donald Trump on Friday and go into effect on December 28.

Areas of Hong Kong in Canada have temporarily suspended travel from the UK as the new variant of the coronavirus alarmed scientists and governments around the world. Initial analyzes suggest that it may be up to 70% more transmissible than other strains in circulation.

Passengers from the UK must provide written documentation of their test to their airline, according to the CDC statement. Carriers must confirm the negative result for all boarding passengers and deny entry to those who do not pass a test. The CDC said earlier this week that the new variant described in the UK may already be circulating in the US undetected.

Governments around the world also act as a rapidly spreading variant spreads South Africa, the UK banning flights from this country. Hong Kong has banned all recent travelers from South Africa and extended a mandatory quarantine for most other visitors in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19 cases in the city.

South Africa, meanwhile, pushed back the UK, dismissing claims that a new variant of COVID is contributing to a second wave of infections in the UK.

A new virus variant which has been detected in the UK has a mutation occurring at a common site with the South African strain, known as 501.V2, but they are “two completely independent lineages,” Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in a statement Thursday evening.

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