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US And UK Travel Bubble In Doubt Following Level 4 Travel Advisory

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Before vaccines were created for Covid-19, and long before talks of vaccine passports entered the discourse surrounding travel, the most popular solution being discussed in the travel world to the pandemic-related international travel question was the travel bubble, or travel corridor. Airlines have recently been pushing for a travel corridor between the US and the UK, but that plan now looks like it will fail to take off, following the US handing the UK a Level 4 travel advisory. Here’s everything you need to know about that story.

US-UK Travel Bubble In Doubt Following Level 4 Travel Advisory

US – UK Travel Bubble – What Travelers Need To Know

Agreements that would see smoother, streamlined travel between the two or more countries involved, some travel bubbles have become successes and beacons of hope, such as the one between New Zealand and Australia which allows travelers to move between the two countries without having to quarantine upon arrival. Some, on the other hand, have failed to even get started.

us uk flags

Prominent airlines British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are two of the airlines leading the charge for the establishment of a travel corridor between the two countries. Virgin Atlantic’s CEO Shai Weiss highlighted the opportunity for a travel bubble to be made, stating that he felt the proposed May 17th date for the UK restarting international travel would provide enough time for conditions to be met. However, recent developments suggest that the proposed US-UK travel bubble could be set to burst.

uk big ben

On April 20th, the US Department of State issued the UK with a Level 4 travel advisory. The US travel advisory system is designed to warn American travelers of the risks associated with traveling to particular destinations. By designating the UK as a Level 4 country, it has handed the country its strictest possible level, which warns travelers “Do Not Travel”.

US UK window

Reports in the US had suggested that President Biden had been considering removing the travel ban in May due to the encouraging start that both countries have made towards vaccinating the public. Just this week in the UK, Transport Minister Grant Schapps revealed at a seminar that he was working towards establishing a travel corridor between the two countries with officials in the US.  

uk us flags

Whilst the travel corridor isn’t officially dead and buried yet, the news is bound to be a blow to the scores of Americans and British travelers who had looked to mark the end of their lockdown with a trip across the pond. The US is the most popular destination for British travelers outside of Europe, whilst the UK is the third-most visited country for American travelers. It is also sure to have a negative financial impact; analysis suggests that delaying travel between the two countries until September could cost $76 billion in trade, and $4 billion in tourism GDP.

Other Level 4 Warnings – Information For Travelers

The United Kingdom wasn’t the only country designated as a Level 4 country in the past week. More than 130 countries have found themselves with that tag due to the increase in the perceived epidemiological threat that Covid-19 offers.  

The Level 4 warning was issued to several countries that Americans are fond of traveling to, including the Dominican Republic and Mexico. Whilst not a travel ban, it is sure to make travelers think twice about where they are heading this summer.


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Friday 23rd of April 2021

This **** is neverending. It just sucks that wealthy people like celebrities and politicians have continued to travel with 0 restrictions for them and the rest of us keep getting ~advised~ (AKA manipulated) into staying home. Most people got the vaccine to be able to travel again so why is Biden still telling them not to?


Friday 23rd of April 2021

Whilst some worry of a Biden Presidency heralding a return to American Isolationsim, it is worthy of note that Mexico is classified Level 4 and there are no restrictions on Mexicans or other foreigners entering the USA other than the universal covid test. It is equally possible that the State Department is merely trying to back up the CDC following the collapse of the quarantine recommendation and to get levels of infection down for May so that US freedoms can be restored before Memorial Day. I think the White House will be careful not to send the wrong political signals for instance by allowing the UK and Irish Common Travel Area but not Schengen, though Schengen has become a millstone for the EU during the pandemic. The longer the bans are in place the more economic damage is being done and there will eventually be a limit to how much bail out borrowing Congress will approve when it starts to undermine other Government Programs.


Monday 26th of April 2021

@Dennis, yes interesting. So far President Biden has played to the base and talked about the environment, gun control, reforming the courts but in big brush strokes not detailed policies barring the bail out bill which just made it with very limited cross party support. Given the Representatives on the Hill from States highly reliant on Tourism like (41 Democrats) California, (19 Democrats) New York and (10 democrats) Florida, he can ill afford to lose a chunk of their votes if he is seen to damage their tourist industry and stand any chance to make progress on the big initiatives. Obviously he has a difficult hand to play given fear of the pandemic was so much of the Political Campaign which has a double whammy as Democrats may wish to stay locked down with businesses closed and Republicans may refuse to vaccinate, wear masks, self distance etc limiting the success of the vaccination campaign. No one said being President was easy.


Friday 23rd of April 2021

@Rich, I hope your way of thinking is right,just one small problem Biden is already talking about canceling the 4th of july.