UK remains in ‘high risk’ category as US lifts blanket travel ban

The US has finally lifted its blanket advisory warning citizens against all international travel – but the UK is still on the “high-risk” list.

Only a handful of countries – including New Zealand, Thailand and Fiji – have been classed as level 1, or “low risk” in terms of Covid-19, while destinations including the British Virgin Islands, Mauritius and Taiwan are designated “very low risk”.

Almost the entirety of North and South America, Europe and Africa are currently classed as level 3, or high risk.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that travellers avoid “all nonessential travel” to level 3 countries.

“With health and safety conditions improving in some countries and potentially deteriorating in others, the department is returning to our previous system of country-specific levels of travel advice,” the CDC and the US state department said on 6 August.

The policy will see countries split into four categories related to coronavirus – high, moderate, low and very low risk – in order to “give travellers detailed and actionable information to make informed travel decisions”.

“This will also provide US citizens more detailed information about the current status in each country,” reads the advice.

It is currently unclear how the CDC is calculating the risk level of each country.

The UK has updated its own travel lists, with Belgium, Andorra and the Bahamas removed from both the list of countries exempt from quarantine for travellers arriving into England, and the Foreign Office list of destinations where its blanket warning against all non-essential travel has been lifted.

It follows a spike in confirmed coronavirus cases in the affected countries.

France is also on the government’s “watch list” after an increase in infections.

US “very low” risk destinations

British Virgin Islands


Cayman Islands


Falkland Islands

French Polynesia



Macau SAR


New Caledonia



US “low” risk destinations



New Zealand


Saint Barthelemy

Sint Eustatius


All other destinations are classed as level 3 – “high” risk

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