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British Airways, Delta to Limit Travel to New York Over Virus Concern


FILE - British Airways planes are seen parked at Heathrow Airport in London, Sept. 9, 2019.

British Airways and Delta Airlines announced Monday they will only allow travelers who test negative for the coronavirus to fly to New York City. The move was in response to calls from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio to ban air travel from Britain over a new coronavirus strain.

Cuomo made the announcement and also called for Virgin Atlantic Airways to “voluntarily agree” to do the same.

"If they do not agree voluntarily, then New York State will pursue other options," Cuomo said.

Both airlines confirmed they will increase screening.

The calls to limit travel from Britain come after researchers said they discovered a mutation of the virus that is more contagious. This led British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to issue strict lockdowns.

Canada, India, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland are among countries that have taken measures to limit or ban travel to and from Britain.

U.S. airlines had already scaled back flights to and from Britain, as well as the rest of Europe.

Members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force were set to meet Monday afternoon to debate a temporary ban on passenger flights from Britain.