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The new, more transmissible coronavirus strain: What you need to know

A police officer directs traffic at the entrance

A police officer directs traffic at the entrance to the closed ferry terminal in Dover, England, on Monday after the Port of Dover was closed because of the new strain. Credit: AP/Kirsty Wigglesworth

A new and more transmissible strain of coronavirus sweeping across the United Kingdom prompted Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday to ask airlines to include New York on the list of 120 nations that require all travelers coming from Britain to have a negative COVID-19 test before they get on the plane.

The three airlines with direct flights between New York and the U.K. — British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Delta — have agreed to the request, Cuomo said.

Several European nations, including Austria, Belgium, Italy, Ireland, Germany, France and the Netherlands, have banned incoming travel from England, citing concerns about the new strain.

There are many questions about what the new coronavirus strain means for foreign travel, when it could arrive in the United States and how it will respond to the newly released COVID-19 vaccines.

Should people be worried about this new COVID-19 variant?

How is this new COVID strain different?

Is this strain of the virus more deadly than current variants of the virus?

Is there a concern the COVID-19 vaccine would not be effective against this new strain?

What is the likelihood of this variant making its way to the United States?

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