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State Department relaxes travel advisories for Americans visiting the UK and Israel

May 11, 2021
4 min read
State Department relaxes travel advisories for Americans visiting the UK and Israel
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As the vaccination programs in the United Kingdom and Israel continue to roll out at pace, the U.S. State Department has relaxed some travel warnings for American tourists hoping to cross the Atlantic.

In another promising sign for summer travel, the U.K. has been reduced from a "Level 4: Do Not Travel" rating, down to a "Level 3: Reconsider Travel" rating from Monday 10 May 2021. The move coincides with the U.K. government's move to downgrade the country's warning from level four to level three, which means that the epidemic "is in general circulation," rather than "transmission is high or rising exponentially."

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Unfortunately, the United States was placed on the amber travel list by the U.K. government last week. This means that despite the U.S. State Department's advice to American travelers, any arrivals from the United States to the United Kingdom, regardless of nationality, will continue to be required to quarantine at home or in a hotel for a period of 10 days.

They will need to pre-book a Day 2 and Day 8 testing package. The quarantine period can be reduced upon the completion of an additional PCR test after five full days of quarantine. If that test returns a negative result, they can forgo the rest of the quarantine period, but will still need to take the Day 8 test. In total, arrivals in that reduced quarantine scenario will need to take three PCR tests.

Related: Pressure mounts on governments to establish US-UK travel corridor by June

Any American citizen or resident aged 2 and older returning from the U.K. to the U.S. must also present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of flying (now a requirement for all international travelers to the U.S., effective Jan. 26, 2021) or have documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days.

Non-American citizens looking to visit the United States from the United Kingdom for leisure purposes are currently prohibited from doing so since March 2020.

Israel, one of the world's most vaccinated countries per capita, has been further reduced to "Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution," though it's not currently allowing most foreign tourists.

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On April 6, 2021, Israel announced it would begin allowing non-citizens who are fully vaccinated into the country, however, those permitted in will be limited to those who can prove they have an Israeli family member or fall into very specific categories. Details can be found here.

Israel hopes to begin allowing others to visit in the coming months as vaccinations continue worldwide.

With Monday's announcement from the U.S. State Department, most other foreign destinations remain at Level 4: Do Not Travel on the State Department's travel advice.

Related: Most of the world’s countries added to State Department’s ‘do not travel’ advisory

The travel industry has been pushing the U.S. and U.K. to open a travel corridor between the two countries to allow for quarantine-free travel. With last week's announcement that the U.S. didn't make the green list, the idea faced a setback. However, there are still hopes that the corridor could open by June's G7 Summit in Cornwall, England.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees