U.S. will not impose COVID-19 screenings for flights from Britain: sources
By David Shepardson and Tracy Rucinski WASHINGTON/CHICAGO (Reuters) - The U.S. government does not intend to impose COVID-19 screenings for passengers traveling from Britain after the emergence of a highly infectious new coronavirus variant there, people briefed on the decision said.
By David Shepardson and Tracy Rucinski
WASHINGTON/CHICAGO (Reuters) - The U.S. government does not intend to impose COVID-19 screenings for passengers traveling from Britain after the emergence of a highly infectious new coronavirus variant there, people briefed on the decision said.
White House coronavirus task force members backed requiring negative pre-flight tests after a meeting on Monday, but the Trump administration has decided not to take any action for the time being, the people said.
Much of the world shut their borders to Britain after the discovery of a mutated variant of the novel coronavirus, though the European Union recommended on Tuesday that members roll back sweeping closures to allow freight to resume and people to return home for Christmas.
Several airlines are requiring New York-arriving passengers from the UK to get negative COVID-19 tests within 72 hours of departure after a request from the state's governor.
The Trump administration has repeatedly refused to issue mandates for many federal COVID-19 safety policies for air travel, making only strong recommendations on issues such as mask wearing. President-elect Joe Biden has vowed to mandate masks in interstate air, bus and train travel after taking office on Jan. 20.
The White House in August scuttled an effort to require airlines to collect contact tracing information from U.S.-bound international passengers, Reuters reported.
The White House in July rejected a proposal to require facial coverings at U.S. airports, train and transit stations and onboard airplanes, trains and transit services and earlier dismissed proposals to require temperature checks of airline passengers.
Speaking on ABC's "Good Morning America," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said it is possible the new COVID-19 strain is already in the United States.
"You really need to assume it’s here already," Fauci said.
Michael Osterholm, a Biden COVID-19 adviser, on Tuesday said all options need to be considered to stem the spread of the new UK variant. He urged the Trump administration to come up with a plan.
"We really need to develop a national response," he told CNN. "Everything needs to be on the table."
(Reporting by David Shepardson and Tracy Rucinski in Chicago; Additional reporting by Susan Heavey in Washington; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Lisa Shumaker)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.