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White House mulls requiring UK travelers to provide negative coronavirus test: report

White House mulls requiring UK travelers to provide negative coronavirus test: report

The White House is mulling requiring travelers coming from the U.K. to provide a negative coronavirus test ahead of their arrival in the U.S. amid the emergence of a new strain of the virus overseas, CNN reported Monday.

Two administration officials told CNN that the White House was considering mandating that passengers from the U.K. test negative for COVID-19 within 48 or 72 hours of their arrival in the U.S. 

Officials reportedly detailed a potential plan to institute the restriction during a Monday coronavirus task force meeting. They are expected to present the possible plan to President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden prepares to confront Putin Biden aims to bolster troubled Turkey ties in first Erdoğan meeting Senate investigation of insurrection falls short MORE by Tuesday.

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The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

The new strain of the coronavirus is estimated to be 70 percent more contagious than the original, prompting U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson to reverse the country’s plans to relax restrictions during the Christmas holiday. 

Since Johnson’s announcement, more than 40 countries have banned U.K. flights from arriving in their nation. 

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Several U.S. health officials, including top infectious diseases expert Anthony FauciAnthony FauciThe tale of the last bipartisan unicorns Delta variant's UK dominance sparks concerns in US Overnight Health Care: FDA says millions of J&J doses from troubled plant must be thrown out | WHO warns Africa falling far behind in vaccinations | Top CDC official says US not ready for next pandemic MORE, have recommended against suspending travel from the U.K. yet. Vivek MurthyVivek MurthyA full pandemic recovery demands mental health support Biden to appear on MSNBC before town hall on vaccines Surgeon general: US 'still not doing enough' to address growing mental health crisis MORE, President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden prepares to confront Putin Ukrainian president thanks G-7 nations for statement of support Biden aims to bolster troubled Turkey ties in first Erdoğan meeting MORE’s nominee for surgeon general, said Sunday that the strain does not appear to be any deadlier. 

Adm. Brett Giroir, the White House testing czar, told CNN that restrictions were discussed but not yet recommended in a conversation with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert RedfieldRobert RedfieldEx-CDC director Redfield says he received death threats from fellow scientists over COVID-19 theory Fauci may have unwittingly made himself a key witness for Trump in 'China Flu' hate-speech case CDC back under scrutiny after new mask guidance MORE.

New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoCNN insults #MeToo movement, provides happy ending for Jeffrey Toobin New York lawmakers pass bill allowing gender-neutral 'X' on state ID Republican NY state senator: Single-payer health care bill won't get a vote this week MORE (D) said he requested that three airlines require all passengers to be tested before arriving at area airports. He told CNN on Monday evening that the three airlines — Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and Delta Air Lines — have all agreed to the testing precautions.