London is in the middle of another lockdown after reports of a new strain of the coronavirus that appears to be more contagious than its predecessor. Prime Minister Boris Johnson told reporters that data is showing the new mutation could be up to "70 percent" more transmissible.
"There is still much that we don’t know...We already know more than enough to be sure that we must act now,” he warned when announcing the new lockdown. He added that he sees "no alternative" to a third shutdown.
Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland are among the European nations that have already blocked travel from the UK amidst the news. And New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo thinks we should follow suit. At the very least, he suggested airline travelers produce more documentation.
Starting tomorrow @British_Airways will require passengers on UK flights to NY to show a negative COVID test before departure.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) December 21, 2020
We are in conversations with Delta and Virgin Atlantic to do the same.
We can't let history repeat itself with this new virus variant.
“Right now, this variant from the UK is getting on a plane and flying to JFK.,” Cuomo told reporters Sunday. “Doing nothing is negligent.”
But Cuomo, in addition to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, think the best course of action is to stop UK travel altogether.
"I think the U.S. should halt travel until they know what they are talking about," Cuomo added.
Gov. Cuomo (D-NY) urges federal government to halt flights from the UK due to new COVID variant:— The Recount (@therecount) December 21, 2020
“Why don’t we act intelligently for a change?” pic.twitter.com/NXnjLnoHBc
Interestingly, Dr. Anthony Fauci disagrees. As of now, he says we should keep the country open to European travelers.
"Follow it carefully, but don't overreact to it," Fauci instructed on CNN on Monday.