U.S. State Department Streamlines UK, Israel Travel advice

WASHINGTON-THE U.S. State Department said Monday that it has relaxed its travel advisory rating for the UK and Israel after raising its warning level to its highest level last month due to COVID-19 concerns.

The US State Department downgraded the UK to a”Level 3: Reconsider travel” rating and downgraded Israel to a ” Level 2-Proceed with caution.”This is the second drop in Israel’s rating in recent weeks.

Last month, the U.S. State Department raised the rating of about 120 countries to”Level 4: Don’t travel”to align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rating. Of the 209 destinations assessed by the State Council, about 150 are classified as Level 4.

A coalition of U.S. and European travel, airlines, alliances, business and airport groups called in a letter last week for a full reopening of the U.S.-UK air travel market as soon as possible and safely.”

Since March 2020, the United States has banned almost all non-U.S. citizens who have recently been in the United Kingdom from entering the United States.

“The return of Transatlantic flights will not only have a significant positive impact on our respective economies,but will also reunite those who have been separated from their loved ones for more than a year,”the American Chamber of Commerce, American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and other airlines said.

Almost the whole of Europe still prohibits most US travelers from visiting,while the UK allows US visits, but requires a 10-day quarantine and two COVID-19 tests on arrival.

On Friday, Britain said it would allow international travel to resume from May 17 after banning most travel abroad for several months, but almost all major destinations were excluded from its list of countries open to quarantine-free holidays, including the United States.