NY Governor calls for halting UK flights amid concerns over new COVID-19 strain

·2-min read
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York [US], December 21 (ANI): New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Sunday called for banning incoming flights from the United Kingdom in response to the emergence of a new COVID-19 strain in London and southern England.

In a statement on Sunday, Cuomo blasted the Trump administration for not implementing such a shutdown, adding that it failed to learn from the initial days of the virus, reported The Hill.

"The United States has a number of flights coming in from the UK each day and we have done absolutely nothing. To me, this is reprehensible because this is what happened in the spring," he said.

The Governor in his statement noted several European nations which had banned flights from the UK in light of the new coronavirus strain, including Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France, according to The Hill.

"How many times in life do you have to make the same mistake before you learn? The federal government is being grossly negligent just like the spring, and every day they do nothing on this problem, they do something... It's high time the federal government takes swift action, because today that variant is getting on a plane and landing in JFK, and all it takes is one person," Cuomo added.

Cuomo's statement comes as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday announced new tier-4 COVID-19 restrictions in parts of England, including London, due to the rapid spread of the new variant of coronavirus, limiting the celebrations ahead of Christmas.

"Given the early evidence we have on this new variant of the virus, and the potential risk it poses, it is with a heavy heart that I must tell you we cannot continue with Christmas as planned," Johnson tweeted on Sunday.

A growing number of countries, including India, have halted flights from the UK following the discovery of this new variant of COVID-19, which is said to spread faster than other versions of the virus. (ANI)