US warns against travel to the UK as CDC raises alert to ‘highest level’

Boris Johnson discusses Stage 4 of roadmap out of lockdown

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Despite hopes a travel corridor could be developed between the UK and the US, American citizens are now being advised against travelling to the UK. It comes as the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US raises the UK to “level four”.

Level four is the highest level of alert by the CDC, with experts warning even those who are fully vaccinated “may be at risk” in the UK.

US citizens have been told to “avoid travel” saying the risk of Covid in the UK is “very high”.

“Because of the current situation in the United Kingdom, even fully vaccinated travellers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants,” the CDC said in its update.

In line with this, the State Department raised its alert level to “do not travel” to reflect the CDC warning.

The State Department has been incorporating the CDC recommendations into its travel alert system since April.

The development occurred just one day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the decision to fully relax COVID-19 restrictions in the country, reopening nightclubs and scrapping the face mask mandate.

The US also raised its alert for the British Virgin Islands, Fiji, Indonesia and Zimbabwe also saw alert levels increase.

Now the UK joins countries including Bangladesh, India, Mozambique and Saudi Arabia which are also listed as on the CDC’s “very high risk” areas.

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Paul Charles, CEO of the PC Agency, said the change served as a blow to any hopes of resumed travel between the UK and US.

“As the CDC advise Americans not to travel to the UK, the US/UK travel taskforce couldn’t be further from a solution to creating a safe corridor,” he wrote on Twitter.

“A report was promised by the UK Department for Transport this month so it will be fascinating to read its conclusions within the next 12 days.”

Speaking on Sky News, Secretary of State for Small Business, Paul Scully, said the UK Government hoped to “keep discussions open” with the US.

“They want to take their decisions. I’m not going to comment on their decisions,” said Mr Scully.

“I think what we’ve got to do is we’ve got to have discussions with the US and other countries to make sure we can keep as much open as possible.

“We’ve talked a lot about the UK but you’re right to look at travel, not just for holidays although that is important this year, but so that we can remain connected.

“It’s good for the economy, it’s good for getting that money in through the treasury to cover the costs for things we’ve just been talking.”

The US has had an entry ban on non-citizens throughout the pandemic.

At the time of writing, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) warns “It is not possible for most British nationals to enter the USA if they have been in the UK or Ireland within the previous 14 days.”

Only specific visa holders, US citizens and residents, or specific close family members of citizens will be permitted to enter the US.

The latest decision is likely to cause devastation for airlines such as British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, which have been rallying for a transatlantic travel corridor.

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