New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called for a similar travel ban in the U.S. However, only the federal government could implement such a sweeping restriction, and so far President Donald Trump's administration has held off.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ordered the rule change late Thursday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that all travelers coming from the United Kingdom must present a negative coronavirus test no more than 72 hours before taking a flight to the U.S.
In lieu of an outright ban, Cuomo earlier this week persuaded Virgin, British Airways and Delta to also require their British passengers to present negative coronavirus tests before traveling to NY.
The agency said because of travel restrictions in place since March, air travel to the USA from the U.K.is already down by 90%.
From Monday Dec 28, Britons must have received a PCR or antigen test in the three days before their flight to the United States and must provide written documentation of the test result, the CDC said.
But he stressed there is "no evidence to suggest it is more lethal or causes more severe illness", or that vaccines will be less effective against it.
American Airlines, with one daily flight between London and Dallas, has yet to announce any test requirements.
Over 50 countries have banned flights to or from the United Kingdom, including the Netherlands, India and Canada, while lorry drivers have spent days stranded in Kent because the French government will not allow them to cross the Channel without a negative test.
Under the new policy, passengers departing from the UK for the United States must provide written documentation of their laboratory test result (in hard copy or electronic) to the airline, the CDC said.
The UK has been under considerable pressure since the word of the new variant was made public. Some 40 countries have imposed travel bans on Britain, leaving the island nation increasingly isolated.
French authorities said delivery drivers could enter by ferry or tunnel provided they showed proof of a negative test for the virus. Click the link to confirm your subscription and begin receiving our newsletters.