A United Airlines passenger plane arrives over the apartment buildings to land at Heathrow Airport in west London, UK on March 13, 2020.
Matthew Childs | Reuters
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the State Department said Monday to avoid traveling to the UK as the Delta variant of Covid-19 continues to spread.
The warnings are “Level 4,” the highest from the CDC and the Department of State. While not binding, they come after airline executives and other members of the travel industry urged the Biden administration to relax existing Covid travel restrictions that devastated demand for international bookings.
The United States has banned non-US citizens from the EU, the United Kingdom and other countries from entering the country for much of the coronavirus pandemic, although several European nations recently opened their doors to international visitors. However, Canada said Monday that it will allow fully vaccinated U.S. citizens to enter the country for unnecessary travel starting Aug. 9.
The White House and the British Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The CDC said if people have to travel to the UK they should be fully vaccinated against Covid. Meanwhile, England lifted remaining Covid-19 restrictions on Monday, allowing indoor gatherings and nightclubs to reopen.
However, Covid infections remain high across the UK, according to a CNBC analysis of the data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 316,691 cases have been reported in the past seven days, an increase of about 43% over the previous seven-day period.
U.S. airline stocks fell sharply on Monday as an increasing number of Covid cases raised concerns about the economic recovery and the potential impact on the recent recovery in travel demand after a slump over the past year.
Covid cases in the US have increased about 66% over the past week to a seven-day average of about 32,300 new cases per day, according to Johns Hopkins data.