The U.S. Department of State eased travel advisory ratings for the United Kingdom and Israel on May 10 just weeks after placing both countries on its “Level 4: Do Not Travel” list.
The department reduced the U.K.’s rating to “Level 3: Reconsider Travel” and dropped Israel to “Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution.”
In April, the U.S. issued “Level 4” ratings to around 80% of the world’s countries, citing “unprecedented risks to travelers” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, robust vaccination programs in the U.K. and Israel have prompted the State Department to downgrade their ratings.
The U.K. recently relaxed its own risk rating from “Level 4” to “Level 3,” meaning the virus “is in general circulation” instead of transmitting at “high or rising exponentially” rates.
While the easing of travel advisories is good news for Americans hoping to visit the U.K. or Israel this summer, they will still face significant hurdles when visiting the countries.
Last week, the British government placed the U.S. on an “Amber” travel list, which means American visitors must quarantine for between five and 10 days on arrival in the U.K. They must also undergo pre-travel testing and get PCR COVID-19 tests at specified intervals after they land.
In early April, Israel announced that it would only allow entry to fully vaccinated non-citizens who can prove they have an Israeli family member or meet other strict criteria. The country said it plans to begin allowing other foreign travelers to visit in the near future as global vaccination rates increase.
As of May 13, 60% of Israel’s population has received at least one vaccine dose and 56% are fully vaccinated, according to the New York Times. In the U.K., 53% of the population has received at least one vaccine dose and 28% are fully vaccinated.
The U.S. has administered at least one vaccine dose to 46% of the population and fully vaccinated 35%.