COVID-19 is out of control and not just in the USA. On Saturday, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, implemented a four-week lockdown, which is supposed to end on December 2 but there’s already talk of it being extended. What does that mean for travelers? It’s not good as they’re banning all leisure travel.

This is a devastating blow to New York and England tourism and to United Airlines because just a few days ago, United announced the world’s first free transatlantic COVID-19 testing pilot program for customers. “From November 16 through December 11, the airline will offer rapid tests to every passenger over 2 years old and crew members on board select flights from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to London Heathrow (LHR), free of charge. Anyone who does not wish to be tested will be placed on another flight, guaranteeing everyone on board other than children under two will have tested negative before departure.” I reached out to United to find out if this is still going to go on as planned but I don’t see how it can. I will update this post when I get a response.

Also announced on Saturday (October 31), Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced new guidelines allowing out-of-state travelers to New York to “test out” of the mandatory 14-day quarantine. Travelers from states that are contiguous with New York will continue to be exempt from the travel advisory; however, covered travelers must continue to fill out the Traveler Health Form. Essential workers will continue to be exempt as well. The new protocol is effective Wednesday, November 4.

Here’s that exact info:

“For any traveler to New York State from out of state, exempting the contiguous states, the new guidelines for travelers to test-out of the mandatory 14-day quarantine are below:

For travelers who were in another state for more than 24 hours:
-Travelers must obtain a test within three days of departure from that state.
-The traveler must, upon arrival in New York, quarantine for three days.
-On day 4 of their quarantine, the traveler must obtain seek another COVID test. If both tests come back negative, the traveler may exit quarantine early upon receipt of the second negative diagnostic test.

For travelers who were in another state for less than 24 hours:
-The traveler does not need a test prior to their departure from the other state, and does not need to quarantine upon arrival in New York State.
-However, the traveler must fill out the traveler information form upon entry into New York State, and take a COVID diagnostic test 4 days after their arrival in New York.

This obviously sucks but as economic and health experts have been saying all along, you can’t fix the economy if you don’t get COVID-19 under control. No one wants a lockdown but what do you expect government officials to do if the health care is maxed out?

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