US authorities issued their highest warnings against travel to the UK because of a rising number of Covid-19 cases in the country.
The US State Department and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) both raised the UK to ‘level four,’ telling Americans they should avoid travel there.
“If you must travel to the United Kingdom, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel,” the CDC said in an advisory, while the State Department said: “Do not travel to the United Kingdom due to Covid-19.”
The US government had lowered the UK to a ‘level 3′ advisory rating in May.
But the rise in cases of the virus in the UK as seen hundreds of thousands of people being asked to self-isolate for ten days amid soaring Covid cases.
The changes came as the Global Business Travel Association warned that government restrictions on international travel continue to hinder the ability for companies to conduct key business functions.
More than half of members and stakeholders report that networking, business prospecting (51%) and business planning and strategising (50%) are impacted by these policies.
Chief executive Suzanne Neufang said: “There is clearly an appetite to resume non-essential business travel and in-person meetings to promote collaboration, networking and business opportunities. And interestingly, it doesn’t appear that cost savings are necessarily a key driver in waiting to get travellers back out on the road.
“However, government policies and restrictions on international travel continue to hinder progress in pursuing activities so important to conducting business,”
The US has barred nearly all non-US citizens who have recently been in the UK from America since March 2020.
The UK allows American arrivals but requires a ten-day quarantine on arrival and two Covid tests.
The Biden administration said it was forming expert working groups in June with the UK, Canada, Mexico and the European Union to determine how best to restart travel safely after more than a year of restrictions.
Airlines and others have pressed the administration to lift the restrictions that bar most non-US citizens who have been in Britain, the 26 Schengen nations in Europe without border controls, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil within the past 14 days from the US.
Speaking at a press conference with German Chancollor Angela Merkel last week, president Biden said that discussions on when travel restrictions for Europe could be lifted were “in process now”, adding that he expected to be able to answer “within the next several days what is likely to happen”.