Just two days after the United Kingdom lifted most of its Covid-19 related restrictions, the State Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added the UK to its highest warning level, urging all Americans not to visit the country.
UK Lifts Most Covid-19 Restrictions
England ended most of its Covid-19 related restrictions on June 19th, which has come to be known as “Freedom Day.” The easing of restrictions was celebrated by some and criticized by others.
Despite restrictions lifting this week, Covid-19 cases have actually been soaring in the country.
The U.K. added more than 54,000 new cases Saturday, and over 47,600 on Sunday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
As a result, it was announced that the UK would be launching domestic vaccine passports, which will be necessary for those wanting to visit nightclubs and other crowded events, including travelers.
CDC Adds UK to Highest Level ‘Do Not Travel’
Today, the CDC put out an updated travel notice urging all Americans, even those vaccinated, to avoid visiting the country. It lists the UK as level 4, which means there is a very high level of Covid-19 in the country.
“Even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants,” the CDC said.
They recommend that any travelers visiting the UK wear a mask and stay at least 6 feet (1.8 meters) from other people.
Can Americans Visit the UK Right Now?
The UK uses a traffic light system to determine its entry requirements, and right now the United States is listed as ‘Amber.’
This means American citizens can visit if they are fully vaccinated under the UK vaccination program. Arriving passengers must take a Covid-19 test before arrival, book and pay for a day 2 Covid-19 test to be taken after arrival in England, and complete a passenger locator form. All travel requirements can be found here.
While the new US travel warnings are not binding, they are certainly not going to encourage more travelers to visit the country.
Delays In International Travel Restarting With The U.S.
Although the U.S. government formed an expert working group to lift travel restrictions with key markets, including Canada, Mexico, the EU, and the UK, no decisions have been made yet.
Earlier this week, Canada announced that vaccinated American travelers could visit the country as of August 9th, which was expected to impact the long-awaited U.S.-Canada land border reopening.
However, it was announced today by the homeland security department that the land borders with Canada and Mexico will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least Aug. 21.
As for the UK, it is not yet clear how this CDC decision might affect deliberations with the US government to drop travel restrictions. At this time, UK citizens are not permitted to enter the United States.
While many have been hoping for a travel corridor between the two countries, it seems unlikely to happen anytime soon given today’s news. UK tourism groups even filed a lawsuit against British travel restrictions, which they just lost. Still, outside groups continue to push for a resumption of travel between the two countries.
“The scientific evidence, including independent studies from Mayo, Harvard and the Defense Department, all point to the safety of air travel with proper safeguards in place,” said Tori Emerson Barnes, a vice president of the U.S. Travel Association.
She called for a timeline for the reopening of international travel, “particularly with countries with similar vaccination rates to the U.S. — starting with a U.K.-U.S. air corridor — given the durability of the vaccines and the need to get international travel safely restarted.”
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Wednesday 21st of July 2021
Americans can’t go anyway unless they got vaccinated in the UK. So this makes virtually no impact unless you want to quarantine.
With that said, at least we’re seeing one country opening up with cases high. This will be a good car study I suppose.
Saturday 24th of July 2021
@Karl, yes I fear it will take time for countries to accept vaccinations from other countries due to the differing recording and storing used in national IT systems. UK visitors to Hawaii can be vaccinated but are ignored same as US citizens vaccinated are ignored by the UK. Mind you despite the big drive for vaccinations, neither the UK nor the US have paid any notice of vaccinations on entering the country. The UK move is a small step. That said I fear both Biden and Johnson are happier to drive businesses to the wall and disrupt weddings, funerals and other important events in people's lives rather than being seen to have mad a mistake. Johnson has already made 2 major mistakes with infections in Italy and then India when travel was allowed to continue for a month after concerns were raised. Mind you he stand little chance of getting re-elected based on his current performance.