Updating travel restrictions in the UK

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Americans travel to Europe again, but travel restrictions still apply to several countries, including the United Kingdom. If you are hoping to visit the UK, here are the latest CDC travel guidelines and UK Government Guide.

CDC Risk Level 4 for the United Kingdom

The CDC is currently awarding a Level 4 covid-19 risk assessment to the United Kingdom. This is the highest level of risk and indicates that the transfer risk is “very high” for Covid-19 and its variants. Taking it a step further, the CDC only recommends traveling to the UK if fully vaccinated.

After returning from international travel, the CDC recommends that the fully vaccinated receive a viral test 3-5 days after the trip. However, they should not be quarantined. Non-vaccinated travelers should stay home for the first 7 days after the trip and receive a viral test between days 3 and 5. If you refrain from the post-test, the CDC recommends isolating for 10 full days after the trip.

The United States maintains a firm stance on international travel, primarily due to the Delta variant.

The variant spread rapidly across the United States and around the world. Nations may have to reverse the reopening plans for tourism and non-essential travel.

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From August 2, 2021, fully vaccinated residents of the United States and travelers from other “green countries” will not have to quarantine themselves when coming to the UK for non-essential travel. England and Scotland currently have the most flexible entry requirements on 2 August. Northern Ireland and Wales may have their own travel guidelines.

International guests should review the travel guidelines of each nation in the UK they visit.

The United States extends British travel ban

While the UK makes it easier for Americans and EU residents to visit the country again, the US does not reciprocate the benefits. There has been a travel ban in the UK since the first weeks of the 2020 pandemic.

On Monday, July 26, 2021, the Biden administration extended the travel restrictions for British residents wishing to visit the United States. The international travel restrictions also apply to several other nations, including the EU, China and South American nations due to the Delta variant.


Although the UK will not require a mandatory 10-day quarantine for vaccinated Americans from August 2021, the US still advises against traveling to the UK. The CDC only recommends traveling if necessary and following the guidelines before and after travel to minimize your transfer risk.

Related articles:

  • Is the Delta variant the cause of travel restrictions?
  • Updates and restrictions on travel to Hawaii
  • Update on travel to Europe in the US

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