Americans should not travel to the United Kingdom — which includes England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — because of a spike in Covid-19 cases caused by the Delta variant of the virus. Both the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. State Department gave the U.K. their respective highest warning levels.
Yesterday the CDC raised the travel advisory for the United Kingdom to a level 4, meaning “very high level of Covid-19.” The designation comes with an “avoid travel” warning. “If you must travel to the United Kingdom, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel,” reads the notice in boldface type.
“Because of the current situation in the United Kingdom, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants,” says the CDC notice.
The U.K. had previously been at level 3, which signifies a “high” level of Covid-19 and warns that only fully vaccinated travelers should travel.
The U.S. State Department raised its travel advisory warning for the United Kingdom to a Level 4, which means “do not travel.”
The United Kingdom is currently recording an average of more than 65 new daily Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people, per data from the Brown School of Public Health. That level of spread puts the country at a “tipping point,” according to Brown’s Covid-19 risk-assessment map.
The U.S. warnings came just as England ditched the last of its pandemic restrictions, bringing revelers out to celebrate “Freedom Day” and prompting widespread outrage. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are keeping certain restrictions—such as mandatory mask wearing and forms of social distancing—in place.
Covid-19 is also spreading quickly in the United States. The Delta variant of Covid-19 is fueling a surge of deaths around the country almost entirely among unvaccinated people, U.S. health officials said last week at a White House press briefing.
The United States is currently recording an average 12 new daily cases per 100,000 people. The epicenter of the U.S. pandemic is Florida, which is currently recording 49.3 new cases per day per 100,000.
“This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC.