Americans Are Advised Not to Travel to United Kingdom Due to COVID Concerns

by Maurie Backman | Published on July 20, 2021

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Masked woman with luggage waiting in a busy airport.

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Planning a trip to the U.K.? You may want to rethink your itinerary.

Over the past several weeks, a number of countries have announced that they'll be opening their doors to U.S. travelers. And many people may, in turn, have booked vacations in the United Kingdom.

But now, the State Department and CDC are warning American travelers that visiting the United Kingdom may not be the best idea right now. Here's what you need to know if the U.K. is on your travel list, or if you're planning on booking a flight.

COVID risks abound

Americans are currently being warned not to travel to the U.K. because of high levels of COVID-19 in the country. The warning extends to the fully vaccinated but is especially targeted at travelers who haven't yet gotten a coronavirus vaccine.

The U.S. issued its warning the same day almost all COVID-related restrictions were lifted in England. Other parts of the U.K., like Scotland and Wales, have not reopened fully yet.

Should you postpone your U.K. trip?

If you haven't yet booked a trip to the U.K., you may want to consider holding off while COVID-19 cases are so abundant. But if you're going to move forward with your plans, then be sure to protect yourself by purchasing travel insurance for your trip.

Travel insurance could protect you from losing money if your plans have to change due to the ever-evolving COVID situation, or if you fall ill overseas and need medical attention (at which point your U.S. health insurance generally will not kick in).

Some travel insurance policies even allow you to cancel your trip at the last minute for any reason without losing the bulk of your money. That could be a good option given the health crisis at hand.

Plus, it's important to purchase insurance for your trip even if you're booking your plans using a travel rewards credit card. Though your card may offer you some protection if things go awry, a separate travel insurance policy will likely be far more comprehensive.

It's natural to want to get away and take a vacation this summer, and if you're fully vaccinated, you may be willing to assume the risk of flying to the United Kingdom. On the other hand, there are other countries you can look at visiting that don't have the same level of risk associated with them. Not only can you look at different countries in Europe (which may have varying levels of COVID cases), but you can now see about going to Canada. Starting in August, the border will once again open to American tourists.

The U.K. is a great place to visit, and if it's on your bucket list, you may be eager to go there. If you're going to move forward with those plans, be sure to stay apprised of COVID-related requirements and potential restrictions so there are no unpleasant surprises for you to grapple with on any leg of your journey.

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