New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has said the decision by the Federal government to reverse its policy on testing airline travelers from the UK is a Christmas that has been answered.
On Thursday, President Trump's administration made it a requirement for air passengers arriving from the United Kingdom (U.K.) to test negative, via PCR or Antigen test, no more than 72 hours before departure from the U.K. to the United States.
"When British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the UK had discovered a new variant of the COVID virus that could be 70 percent more transmissible, it became clear just how dangerous it was that the U.S. government did not require travelers to obtain a negative test result before flying across the Atlantic," Governor Cuomo said. "New York did everything it could within the limited authority it has over international flights, and within days we were able to convince British Airways, Delta and Virgin Atlantic to voluntarily test passengers before they left the UK. I thank the airlines for their quick efforts."
"But testing travelers flying to just one out of 50 states was clearly not enough. I called for the federal government to reverse its policy and am glad to see that it has now done so. Testing people for COVID-19 before they get on planes is common sense. We cannot repeat the mistakes of the past, and we must continue to do everything we can to keep New Yorkers and Americans safe," concluded Governor Cuomo.
And in giving an update on the state's progress on day 300 of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Cuomo announced Friday that there are 6,950 Patient Hospitalizations statewide, up by 22 from Thursday.
He said of those patients, 1,148 were in the ICU; 621 Intubated and this represented a statewide positivity rate of 5.49 percent.
Governor Cuomo said New York State recorded 122 COVID-19 deaths on Thursday.
"New York made it through Thanksgiving better than most places, so as we celebrate Christmas today it's critical we retain that momentum and remember that celebrating smart stops shutdowns," Governor Cuomo said.
"While the vaccine is now here, we are still months away from widespread vaccination and finally reaching that light at the end of the tunnel.
"We are in a footrace between distributing the vaccine and slowing the spread. While the state is doing everything it can to get people vaccinated, it's on the rest of us to stay tough and keep practicing safe behaviors in the meantime. This has undoubtedly been a trying year, but if we work together and stay United as one New York Family, we will win this war once and for all."