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The US State Department has heightened its travel warning against the UK, now categorising it as ‘Level Four: Do Not Travel’. This is the strongest advisory rating, indicating a “very high level of COVID-19”.
Some 116 countries have also been reclassified as ‘Do Not Travel’, including Canada, France, Germany and Israel. China and Japan remain at ‘Level 3: Reconsider Travel’.
It had been hoped that transatlantic leisure travel could be possible this summer, with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps commenting on Tuesday that he was keen to establish a US-UK travel corridor. “We are having those conversations,” he told an Airlines UK webinar.
The State Department said the reclassification did not suggest a reassessment of current health situations, but rather “reflects an adjustment in the State Department’s Travel Advisory system to rely more on [the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s] existing epidemiological assessments.”
On Monday, the State Department revealed that 80 per cent of the world’s nations would be added to the list, increasing the total of inclusions from 34 to 150 – and counting. It has not confirmed when it will complete the updates.
Scroll down for more on this, and today’s other breaking news.
‘Reveal green list countries by May 1 or the holiday season will be ruined’
The Government must reveal its safe “green list” of holiday destinations by the end of next week or risk jeopardising the relaunch of summer breaks, say MPs.
The Commons transport committee has set a deadline of Saturday May 1 for Britons to be told the list of countries where they can safely book holidays from May 17, the scheduled date for the resumption of foreign travel.
The MPs warned that government plans revealed earlier this month for a traffic light system rating the risk of countries were “vague,” “costly” and lacked the detail that holidaymakers and the travel industry needed to prepare for foreign summer breaks.
Before we begin, here’s a quick recap of yesterday’s news:
Shapps confirms ‘green watchlist’
Greek, Spanish and Portuguese islands could open early to British tourists for summer holidays
France trials digital Covid travel certificate
Airlines are running out of cash, warns Emirates boss
Asian countries step closer to reopening for tourism
Now, on with today’s headlines.