CDC Tells U.S. Travelers to Avoid the UK

NEW YORK -
A face mask lies on the ground at Piccadilly Circus in central London, Monday, July 19, 2021. As of Monday, face masks are no longer legally required in England, and with social distancing rules shelved, there are no limits on the number of people attending big events. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

The CDC has categorized the United Kingdom as a Level 4 coronavirus risk, the highest risk level, and is urging Americans to not travel there.

If Americans “must” travel to the UK, they are urged to be fully vaccinated before they travel.

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

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the end of mask mandates and nearly all coronavirus restrictions, including remote working and social distancing, as of Monday, in what he dubbed “Freedom Day.”

However, he himself soon had quarantine after coming in close contact with someone infected with the coronavirus. Despite the country’s vaccine program, the Delta variant is rapidly making inroads into the UK.

Cases have risen to 50,000 per day last week for the first time since January. Deaths remain far lower than in the winter thanks to vaccines, but have risen from less than 10 a day in June to about 40 a day in the past week. Additionally, Britain, in contrast to the rest of Europe and the United States, said it would delay vaccinating those under 18, leaving millions more exposed to a potential coronavirus infection.

With reporting by the Associated Press.