The US State Department this week took the step of raising the travel warning to the United Kingdom to its highest advisory.
The Department earlier this week issued a “Level 4: Do Not Travel,” recommending that Americans avoid travel to the country due to COVID-19. The advisory level for the UK was most recently Level 3: Reconsider Travel due to Covid-19.
The decision aligns with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated risk assessment level for the U.K. to a “Level 4: Covid-19 Very High” Travel Health Notice due to the high level of COVID-19 in the country.
According to Reuters, COVID-19 cases in the U.K. are climbing by more than 50,000 a day- the highest rate of infection since January--although most of the UK's adult population is now fully vaccinated.
"There are restrictions in place affecting U.S. citizen entry into the United Kingdom," the advisory states. "Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine. Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC's specific recommendations for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers."
“Because of the current situation in the United Kingdom, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson lifted most of England's remaining pandemic-related restrictions, including mandatory mask-wearing. Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales are keeping some protocols in place.
The United States is under the UK’s Amber travel category, requiring visitors to take multiple COVID-19 tests and quarantine.