As COVID-19 safety restrictions lift in the United Kingdom after months of lockdown measures, the CDC has increased its risk assessment of Americans traveling to that country to its highest level.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated their COVID-19 risk assessment recommendations Monday, and moved the UK into “Level 4: COVID-19 Very High.”
Level 4, according to the health agency, means Americans should “avoid travel to these destinations,” and if travel is necessary, “make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel.”
The elevated risk level comes as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson lifts most of England’s remaining coronavirus-related restrictions, including mandatory mask requirements. Johnson has called July 19 “Freedom Day” in his country.
Venues like sports arenas, nightclubs, etc. are free to open at full capacity and social distancing is no longer required for the most part.
However, the change in restrictions comes as the UK is seeing a rapid rise in the number of COVID-19 infections, driven by the delta variant.
Currently, about 54% of the UK’s population is fully-vaccinated; the vaccine is only approved for those 18 and older in that country right now, health officials are considering allowing those between 12 and 18 years old who have underlying health conditions to be considered. Roughly 90% of the adult population has had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.