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US issues 'do not travel' warning for UK as Covid-19 cases rise
20 July 2021, 06:13 | Updated: 20 July 2021, 14:40
Millions of US citizens have been warned not to travel to the UK due to rising Covid-19 cases.
Two US government agencies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US State Department each raised the alert levels for the UK to their highest levels - level four - yesterday.
The alert level had previously been at level 3 since May. Level 3 advises travellers to be fully vaccinated before travel to the UK, and recommended that unvaccinated travellers avoid all non-essential travel.
The CDC raised its level to the highest alert warning against all travel, saying: "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 US state department also raised its warning to the highest 'level four' category, warning against travel.
A further 39,950 lab-confirmed cases were announced in the UK on Monday, along with an additional 19 deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test.
The most recent Covid-19 case rates for every local authority area in England for the week up to July 15 show that of the 315 local areas in England, 307 (97%) have seen a week-on-week rise in rates and just eight (3%) have seen a fall.
A further 19 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Monday, bringing the UK total to 128,727.
The UK jab rollout is continuing with 82,413,766 Covid jabs given in the UK. 46,314,039 are first doses, a rise of 18,186 on the previous day. 36,099,727 were second doses, an increase of 128,878.
Americans were told to "avoid travel to the United Kingdom" but advised to make sure they are fully vaccinated if travel is essential.
"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 guidance added.
The UK joins countries including Brazil, South Africa and the Netherlands on Level 4.
India, Iran and Italy are among countries that have been badly hit by coronavirus but are a level lower on the US's rating.