Story at a glance

  • “It is time to stop the half measures,” de Blasio said, urging the federal government to impose a ban right away.
  • “If we don’t have a total ban, then we are literally inviting this horrible variant in the door even more, and that makes no sense.”
  • De Blasio’s call for a ban comes one day after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced the state had identified its first case of the more contagious variant in a 60-year-old man in upstate New York.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) is calling for a full travel ban on people coming into the U.S. from the United Kingdom as a new, more contagious variant of the coronavirus continues to spread in the country. 

“We all should be worried about this. Thank God, not because it’s more deadly, but because it does spread, unfortunately, even faster. We need the federal government to step up here and ban all travel from the United Kingdom to the United States of America,” de Blasio said during a Tuesday news conference. 


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“It is time to stop the half measures,” de Blasio said, urging the federal government to impose a ban right away. “If we don’t have a total ban, then we are literally inviting this horrible variant in the door even more, and that makes no sense.” 

De Blasio’s call for a ban comes one day after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced the state had identified its first case of the more contagious variant in a 60-year-old man in upstate New York who worked at a jewelry store. The man had no history of recent travel, suggesting the strain is spreading locally. 

Investigators are working to find any more cases. New York is the fourth state, behind California, Florida and Colorado, to identify the strain. 

Health officials say the new strain appears to be more transmissible but does not seem to lead to more severe illness or increase the risk of death, and current vaccines should still work against it. 

The strain, however, could lead to more hospitalizations as a result of the increase in cases. 

While the U.S. has not imposed a complete travel ban on the U.K., passengers from the country arriving in the U.S. are required to show proof they tested negative for COVID-19 no more than 72 hours before their departure. Several other countries put travel bans on the U.K. not long after it reported the more transmissible variant. 

The new strain discovered in the U.K. early last month has fueled a surge of infections and hospitalizations in the country, prompting authorities to reimpose a strict lockdown this week. The lockdown is expected to remain in place at least through the middle of February. 


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Published on Jan 05, 2021