State Department raises UK travel advisories to highest level as Covid-19 cases rise

The department on Monday raised its level of travel advisory for the United Kingdom to “Level 4: do not travel” due to Covid-19. The move, which aligns with a separate update from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, comes the same day Prime Minister Boris Johnson lifted most of the remaining pandemic-related restrictions in England.

Noting the CDC’s decision earlier Monday to raise its level of UK risk assessment for Covid-19 to ‘level 4: Very high Covid-19,’ the department said in its updated travel advisory that “there are restrictions affecting the entry of US citizens into the UK.”

“Your risk of contracting Covid-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA-cleared vaccine,” the advisory continues. “Before planning an international trip, please review the CDC’s specific recommendations for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.”

The department’s advisory level for the UK was most recently at ‘level 3: reconsider travel’ due to the pandemic.

While most of the UK’s adult population is now fully vaccinated, new cases are approaching 50,000 a day – the highest infection rate since January – and hundreds of thousands more have been invited to isolate through a contact tracing application that tracks their possible exposure to an infected person.

Although Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – the UK’s other less populous nations – are highly vaccinated, only England decided to ease most restrictions on Monday.

Mandatory masks are gone, limits on the number of people who can mix indoors or outdoors have ended, social distancing will be limited to people who test positive for the virus and airports, and places like discos and sports stadiums are free to open at full capacity.

Meanwhile in the United States, concerns about the highly transmissible variant of Covid-19 Delta and reluctance to get vaccinated are increasing, with doctors in several states suffering from flare-ups saying the variant is sending people younger and previously healthy. health – the vast majority of which have not been vaccinated – to hospitals.

“This is becoming an unvaccinated pandemic,” CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky said last week.

CNN’s Luke McGee contributed to this report.

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Richard Dement

The author Richard Dement