WPCNR ALBANY ROUNDS. From WHEC-TV ROCHESTER. December 20, 2020:
WHEC-TV Rochester coverage of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s telephone news conference day reports Governor Cuomo wants to travelers on aircraft traveling to the New York area from Great Britain should be covid tested.
Currently the station reports travelers from the UK are not required to take a Covid test before boarding a plane to the US.
Jennifer Lewke of WHEC-TV quoted Governor Cuomo as saying “right now this variant is getting on a plane and coming to JFK.”
“How many times in life do you have to make the same mistake before you learn?” The federal government is being grossly negligent just like the spring. All it takes is one person.
“We have done absolutely nothing.To me, this is reprehensible.”
The variant is spreading rapidly through England and parts of the UK, is supposedly 70% more transmissible.
Dr. Deborah Birx Coronavirus Response Coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force said on News 12 on the 10:30 PM newscast said “I do not believe it (the new strain) is more deadly, or affects the vaccine. ”
At least six European nations — the Netherlands, France, Austria, Belgium, Italy and Germany — have already shut down or are about to stop all U.K. flights.
As many as 120 countries — but not the U.S. — require a negative COVID test for travelers before they leave the U.K.
Foreign nationals are currently banned from flying into the U.S. if they’ve been in any of several European and other countries in the past 14 days. But American citizens are free to fly back and forth. There are currently six daily flights from the U.K. to New York, Cuomo noted.
Britain this week instituted stiff new coronavirus restrictions for England, with particularly stringent limits in the South-East, East and in London, where households are prohibited from mixing even over Christmas.
The government announced the frightening rates of transmission of the new strain as cases burgeoned in southern and eastern regions of England. The strain was first detected in September, but its rates of transmission were reported last week.
Cuomo said a new virus variant discovered in the U.K. has led to at least 120 countries either banning travelers or requiring they get tested before boarding a plane to NY. Right now the New York Port Authority does not have the jurisdiction to do the tests.
Governor Cuomo used the call to remind reporters on the call that the virus came to the U.S. and the New York area carried by travelers on flights from China and the Pacific in January and on flights from Europe which infected New York City rapidly in the spring.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed plans to shut down some businesses and require people to cancel their Christmas gatherings
The super virus transmission volatility was first reported by The Independent two weeks ago.