California state officials expressed deep concern about a new, more infectious strain of the coronavirus detected in Europe and South Africa, which led government officials to renew lockdown measures across much of England.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that he’s been having discussions with airlines and others about the potential for new quarantine protocols from people flying into California from the United Kingdom in an effort to keep the more contagious variant of the virus out of the state. “I hope the federal government takes action in this space,” Newsom said. “They should.”
By Sunday, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Ireland and Bulgaria all said they would ban incoming flights from the U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the newly reinstituted lockdown measures, including travel restrictions and the shuttering of pubs, gyms, theaters and hair salons, were taken in response to findings that the genetic changes in the new strain could make the virus “up to 70% more transmissible.”
Newsom said the new strain of the coronavirus has not been detected in California, where thousands of viral samples are tested daily to identify mutations in the virus. “We haven’t seen anything related to a new strain yet.”
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