United Airlines on Monday will begin asking passengers traveling from London to Chicago and other cities for proof of a negative COVID-19 test before departure in an effort to stop the spread of a new mutant coronavirus strain.
The Chicago-based airline said the new policy, which requires a test to be taken within 72 hours of a flight, applies to passengers who are older than 5 years old and whose travel originates in the U.K. The policy affects people departing London Heathrow Airport to O’Hare International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport and San Francisco International Airport.
The new policy won’t affect passengers who have U.S.-connecting flights at Heathrow.
Beginning next month, United will operate two daily flights from London Heathrow to its hubs in Chicago and Newark.
United will accept results from a molecular or antigen coronavirus test before departure, and said a site offering rapid tests is available at Terminal 2 at London Heathrow for passengers.
In the past week, some countries have shut down travel to and from the U.K. after discovering a new strain of the virus that is said to be up to 70% more transmissible.