January 19, 2022

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United Kingdom Travel Advisory

11 min read

Reconsider travel to the United Kingdom due to COVID-19. Exercise increased caution due to terrorism

Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for the United Kingdom due to COVID-19.

United Kingdom transportation options are still limited but continuing to operate. Business operations continue to increase as local lockdown restrictions are adjusted. Conditions continue to improve in the United Kingdom. Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in the United Kingdom.

Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in the United Kingdom. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.

There is also a risk of isolated violence by dissident groups in Northern Ireland, focused primarily on police and military targets.

Read the country information page.

If you decide to travel to the United Kingdom:

 

Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information.

News Network

  • Global War on Terrorism: Reported Obligations for the Department of Defense
    In U.S GAO News
    Since 2001, Congress has provided the Department of Defense (DOD) with hundreds of billions of dollars in supplemental and annual appropriations for military operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). DOD's reported annual costs for GWOT have shown a steady increase from about $0.2 billion in fiscal year 2001 to about $98.4 billion in fiscal year 2006. In fiscal year 2007, Congress provided DOD with about $161.8 billion in annual and supplemental appropriations for GWOT. To continue its GWOT operations, DOD has requested $141.7 billion in appropriations for fiscal year 2008. The United States' commitments to GWOT will likely involve the continued investment of significant resources, requiring decision makers to consider difficult trade-offs as the nation faces an increasing long-range fiscal challenge. The magnitude of future costs will depend on several direct and indirect cost variables and, in some cases, decisions that have not yet been made. DOD's future costs will likely be affected by the pace and duration of operations, the types of facilities needed to support troops overseas, redeployment plans, and the amount of equipment to be repaired or replaced. Future cost variables for other U.S. government agencies include the efforts to help form national and provincial governments and build management capacity as well as capable and loyal security forces in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Reconstruction activities to restore, sustain, and protect critical infrastructure will also impose costs. Also, healthcare costs will likely increase as more servicemembers require treatment from injuries and mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder. DOD compiles and reports monthly and cumulative incremental obligations incurred to support GWOT in a monthly Supplemental and Cost of War Execution Report. DOD leadership uses this report, along with other information, to advise Congress on the costs of the war and to formulate future GWOT budget requests. DOD reports these obligations by appropriation, contingency operation, and military service or defense agency. The monthly cost reports are typically compiled in the 45 days after the end of the reporting month in which the obligations are incurred. DOD has prepared monthly reports on the obligations incurred for its involvement in GWOT since fiscal year 2001. Section 1221 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006 requires us to submit quarterly updates to Congress on the costs of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom based on DOD's monthly Supplemental and Cost of War Execution Reports. This report, which responds to this requirement, contains our analysis of DOD's reported obligations for military operations in support of GWOT through April 2007. Specifically, we assessed (1) DOD's appropriations and reported obligations for military operations in support of GWOT to date and (2) DOD's fiscal year 2007 reported obligations for GWOT by military service and appropriation account.From fiscal year 2001 through July 2007, Congress has provided DOD with about $542.9 billion for its efforts in support of GWOT. DOD has reported obligations of about $429.1 billion for military operations in support of the war from fiscal years 2001 through 2006 and from the beginning of fiscal year 2007 through April 2007, the latest available data. The $113.8 billion difference between DOD's GWOT appropriations and reported obligations can generally be attributed to certain fiscal year 2007 appropriations and multiyear funding for procurement; military construction; and research, development, test, and evaluation from previous GWOT-related appropriations that have yet to be obligated, and obligations for classified activities, which are not included in DOD's reported obligations. DOD's total reported obligations related to GWOT have demonstrated a steady annual increase each fiscal year through 2006. Through April 2007, DOD's total reported obligations are already more than three quarters of the total amount of obligations it reported for all of fiscal year 2006. In addition, DOD's reported investment obligations--which include procurement; research, development, test, and evaluation; and military construction, through April 2007--are approximately one and a half times higher than its reported obligations for investments during all of fiscal year 2006. As a result, total reported obligations for fiscal year 2007 may well exceed the amount reported for fiscal year 2006. DOD's reported obligations to date include about $324.9 billion for operations in and around Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and about $76.5 billion for operations in Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, the Philippines, and elsewhere as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. It also includes about $27.7 billion for operations in defense of the homeland as part of Operation Noble Eagle. DOD's reported fiscal year 2007 obligations as of April 2007 total $76.6 billion. The Army accounts for the largest proportion of reported obligations--about $55.0 billion, nearly eight times higher than the almost $6.9 billion in obligations reported for the Marine Corps, the service with the next greatest reported amount. Among appropriation accounts, operation and maintenance, which include items such as support for housing, food, and services; the repair of equipment; and transportation to move people, supplies, and equipment, accounts for the largest reported obligations--about $38.9 billion. Obligations for investment, which include procurement; research, development, test, and evaluation; and military construction, account for more than a quarter of reported obligations or about $21.6 billion. In previous work, we reported that significant amounts of multiyear procurement funding provided in the fiscal year 2006 supplemental appropriation would likely not be obligated by DOD in fiscal year 2006 and would remain available for use in fiscal year 2007. A large amount of these multiyear funds has since been obligated.
    [Read More…]
  • Force Structure: Restructuring and Rebuilding the Army Will Cost Billions of Dollars for Equipment but the Total Cost Is Uncertain
    In U.S GAO News
    The high pace of overseas operations is taking a heavy toll on Army equipment. Harsh combat and environmental conditions over sustained periods of time have exacerbated equipment repair, replacement, and recapitalization problems. The Army has also taken steps to restructure its forces before implementing its longer term transformation to the Future Combat System. To support ongoing operations and prepare for the future, the Army has embarked on four key initiatives: (1) restructuring from a division-based force to a modular brigade-based force, (2) expanding the Army by adding about 74,000 people and creating new units, (3) repairing, replacing, and recapitalizing new equipment through its reset program, and (4) replacing equipment borrowed from its pre-positioned equipment sets around the world. Since 2004, Congress has provided billions of dollars to support the Army's equipping needs. GAO has issued many reports on the Army's efforts to equip modular units, expand the Army, reset equipment, and manage and replace prepositioned equipment. This statement, which draws largely on these reports, will address (1) the equipment-related cost of these initiatives, and (2) the management challenges facing the Army and the actions needed to improve its implementation of these initiatives. GAO is issuing a separate statement today on the Future Combat System (GAO-08- 638T).Restructuring and rebuilding the Army will require billions of dollars for equipment and take years to complete; however, the total cost is uncertain. Based on GAO's analysis of Army cost estimates and cost data, it appears that the Army's plans to equip modular units, expand the force, reset equipment, and replace prepositioned equipment are likely to cost at least $190 billion dollars through fiscal year 2013. However, these estimates have some limitations and could change. Further, the Army has stated it plans to request additional funds to address equipment shortfalls in modular units through fiscal year 2017. Several factors are contributing to the uncertainties about future costs. First, the Army's $43.6 funding plan for equipping modular units was based on preliminary modular unit designs and did not fully consider the needs of National Guard units. Second, the Army expects to need $18.5 billion for equipment to expand the force but has not clearly documented this estimate. Third, costs to reset equipment may total at least $118 billion from fiscal years 2004-2013 but may change because they are dependent on how much equipment is lost, damaged, or worn beyond repair during continuing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and how long these operations continue. Fourth, the Army believes it will need at least $10.6 billion to replace pre-positioned equipment that was taken out of storage to support ongoing operations, but this amount is an estimate and DOD's overall strategy for prepositioned equipment has not yet been issued Given the magnitude of these initiatives and potential for costs to change, DOD will need to carefully monitor the projected costs of these initiatives so that it can consider tradeoffs and allocate funding to balance the Army's equipping needs for the next decade and longer term transformation goals. A common theme in GAO's work has been the need for DOD and the Army to take a more strategic approach to decision making that promotes transparency and ensures that programs and investments are based on sound plans with measurable, realistic goals and time frames, prioritized resource needs, and performance measures to gauge progress. GAO's work on modular restructuring has shown a lack of linkage between the Army's funding requests and equipment requirements. This lack of linkage impedes oversight by DOD and Congress because it does not provide a means to measure the Army's progress in meeting modular force equipment requirements or inform budget decisions. Oversight of Army initiatives has also been complicated by multiple funding requests that makes it difficult for decision makers to understand the Army's full funding needs. GAO has recommended a number of actions to improve management controls and enhance transparency of the Army's plans for equipping modular units, expanding the force, resetting equipment, and replacing prepositioned equipment. However, many of these recommendations have not been fully implemented or adopted. For example, until the Army provides a comprehensive plan for its modular restructuring and expansion initiatives, which identifying progress and total costs, decision makers may not have sufficient information to assess progress and allocate defense resources among competing priorities.
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  • Remarks by Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen on the 19th Anniversary of the September 11th Terrorist Attacks
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  • Stabilizing Iraq: An Assessment of the Security Situation
    In U.S GAO News
    From fiscal years 2003 through 2006, U.S. government agencies have reported significant costs for U.S. stabilization and reconstruction efforts in Iraq. In addition, the United States currently has committed about 138,000 military personnel to the U.S.-led Multinational Force in Iraq (MNF-I). Over the past 3 years, worsening security conditions have made it difficult for the United States to achieve its goals in Iraq. In this statement, we discuss (1) the trends in the security environment in Iraq, and (2) progress in developing Iraqi security forces, as reported by the Departments of Defense (DOD) and State. We also present key questions for congressional oversight, including what political, economic, and security conditions must be achieved before the United States can draw down and withdraw? Why have security conditions continued to deteriorate even as Iraq has met political milestones, increased the number of trained and equipped forces, and increasingly assumed the lead for security? If existing U.S. political, economic, and security measures are not reducing violence in Iraq, what additional measures, if any, will the administration propose for stemming the violence?Since June 2003, the overall security conditions in Iraq have deteriorated and grown more complex, as evidenced by increased numbers of attacks and Sunni/Shi'a sectarian strife, which has grown since the February 2006 bombing in Samarra. As shown in the figure below, attacks against the coalition and its Iraqi partners reached an all time high during July 2006. The deteriorating conditions threaten the progress of U.S. and international efforts to assist Iraq in the political and economic areas. In July 2006, the State Department reported that the recent upturn in violence has hindered efforts to engage with Iraqi partners and noted that a certain level of security was a prerequisite to accomplishing the political and economic conditions necessary for U.S. withdrawal. Moreover, the Sunni insurgency and Shi'a militias have contributed to growing sectarian strife that has resulted in increased numbers of Iraqi civilian deaths and displaced individuals. DOD uses three factors to measure progress in developing capable Iraqi security forces and transferring security responsibilities to the Iraqi government: (1) the number of trained and equipped forces, (2) the number of Iraqi army units and provincial governments that have assumed responsibility for security in specific geographic areas, and (3) the capabilities of operational units, as reported in unit-level and aggregate Transition Readiness Assessments (TRA). Although the State Department reported that the number of trained and equipped Iraqi security forces has increased, these numbers do not address their capabilities. As of August 2006, 115 Iraqi army units had assumed the lead for counterinsurgency operations in specific areas, and one province had assumed control for security. Unit-level TRA reports provide insight into the Iraqi army units' training, equipment, and logistical capabilities. GAO is working with DOD to obtain the unit-level TRA reports. Such information would inform the Congress on the capabilities and needs of Iraq's security forces.
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  • Secretary Antony J. Blinken at the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence’s (NSCAI) Global Emerging Technology Summit
    In Crime Control and Security News
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  • Statement by Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband for the Civil Rights Division on Veterans Day
    In Crime News
    The Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and its Servicemembers and Veterans Initiative would like to wish a happy Veterans Day to our soldiers, both past and present. We owe you our thanks, but more than that, we owe you our freedom. As the head of the Civil Rights Division, I am entrusted with enforcing laws that protect the rights of the brave men and women of our nation’s armed forces, and the veterans who have served in the past. Enforcement of these very important federal civil rights laws helps ensure that these men and women can continue to safeguard our freedom. 
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  • Secretary Antony J. Blinken Remarks at a Virtual COVID-19 Ministerial
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  • Medicare Physician Services: Payment Rates, Utilization, and Expenditures of Selected Services in Alaska, Hawaii, and the U.S. Territories
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found Using the most recently available Medicare data, GAO found that Medicare Part B fee-for-service (FFS) populations in Alaska, Hawaii, and the U.S. territories—American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands—varied considerably in size, demographic, and other key characteristics. For example, the number of beneficiaries enrolled in Part B FFS at any time in 2019 ranged from 2,091 in CNMI to 122,480 in Hawaii. In terms of Medicare eligibility, most Part B FFS beneficiaries nationally were eligible because they were age 65 or older (85.1 percent), followed by beneficiaries eligible due to a disability (14.6 percent), and beneficiaries with end stage renal disease (ESRD; 0.3 percent). However, the proportions varied across Alaska, Hawaii, and the territories. For example, the proportion of Part B FFS beneficiaries eligible because they were age 65 or older ranged from 71.9 percent in American Samoa to 92.4 percent in the U.S. Virgin Islands; due to a disability ranged from just over half the national rate in the U.S. Virgin Islands (7.4 percent) to 26.3 percent in American Samoa; and due to ESRD ranged from 0.2 percent in Alaska to 2.5 percent in Guam. GAO also analyzed Medicare payment rates—which are adjusted to account for local differences in the costs of providing care—for 12 selected services that each accounted for at least $950 million in Medicare expenditures in 2019. GAO found that Medicare payment rates (that reflect local adjustments) for selected services were higher in Alaska, Hawaii, and the territories compared to national rates (which do not reflect local adjustments). However, utilization of and expenditures for these services were generally lower. Specifically, payment rates in Alaska were considerably higher than the national payment rates, whereas payment rates in Hawaii and the territories were largely somewhat higher than the national payment rates for services examined. For example, payment rates for selected services in Alaska ranged from about 26 percent higher for an eye exam and treatment to about 39 percent higher for an emergency department visit. For Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, payment rates were less than 1 percent greater than the national payment amount. GAO analysis of 2019 Medicare Part B FFS claims data shows that utilization and expenditures for the 12 selected services in its review were generally lower in Alaska, Hawaii, and the territories when compared to national rates. For example, Alaska, Hawaii, and all U.S. territories had lower per beneficiary utilization of outpatient evaluation and management services under the Physician Fee Schedule than national per beneficiary utilization in 2019. Per beneficiary use for these services ranged from 1.1 services in American Samoa to 5.6 services in Hawaii, less than the national rate of 6.1 services. Partly due to lower per beneficiary utilization, per beneficiary expenditures for all selected services were also lower in Alaska, Hawaii, and the territories compared to national Part B FFS per beneficiary expenditures in 2019. Specifically, they ranged from about $183 in American Samoa to about $627 in Alaska, compared with national per beneficiary expenditures of about $735. Why GAO Did This Study Certain state and territory stakeholders have raised questions about payment rates under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for Alaska, Hawaii, and the territories. They noted that the rates might not take into account unique characteristics which may affect the delivery of care. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) determines payment rates for services covered under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule based on estimates that the agency assigns to each service. These estimates reflect the time and intensity of provider work, practice expenses (e.g., cost of non-provider labor or office rent), and malpractice premiums needed to provide one service relative to other services. CMS separately adjusts the estimates to account for a provider’s geographic location, which affects the cost of providing care. House Report 116-62 includes a provision for GAO to examine Medicare funding for Alaska, Hawaii, and the U.S. territories. This report describes 1) demographic and other key characteristics of Medicare Part B FFS beneficiaries in Alaska, Hawaii, and the U.S territories; and 2) payment rates, utilization, and expenditures under the Physician Fee Schedule across these states and territories. GAO analyzed Medicare data from 2019—the most recent year of data available at the time of its review—to describe Medicare beneficiaries in Alaska, Hawaii, and the territories. GAO used the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Search Tool to determine payment rates for the 12 selected services based on Medicare spending in 2019 and compared them to the national payment amount. GAO also analyzed Medicare claims data from 2019 to determine per beneficiary utilization and expenditures for Alaska, Hawaii, and the territories. GAO compared them to national Medicare per beneficiary utilization and expenditures. To supplement this work, GAO obtained information from health officials in the states and territories and examined key documents. For more information, contact Jessica Farb at (202) 512-7114 or FarbJ@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Defense Acquisitions: An Analysis of the Special Operations Command’s Management of Weapon System Programs
    In U.S GAO News
    Special Operations Command's (SOCOM) duties have greatly increased since the attacks of September 11, 2001. Today, Special Operations Forces are at work in Afghanistan and Iraq, and SOCOM has been assigned to lead U.S. efforts in the Global War on Terrorism. SOCOM's acquisitions budget has also greatly increased in this period--more than doubling from $788 million in 2001 to approximately $1.91 billion in 2006. In light of SOCOM's expanded duties, Congress requested that GAO review SOCOM's management of its acquisition programs. GAO's evaluation includes an assessment of: the types of acquisition programs SOCOM has undertaken since 2001 and whether the programs are consistent with its mission; the extent to which SOCOM's programs have progressed as planned; and the challenges SOCOM faces in managing its acquisition programs.SOCOM has undertaken a diverse set of acquisition programs that are consistent with the command's mission to provide equipment that addresses the unique needs of the Special Operations Forces. SOCOM has committed to spend about $6 billion on these programs. About 88 percent of the programs are relatively small, have short acquisition cycles, and use modified commercial off-the-shelf and nondevelopmental items or modify existing service equipment and assets. SOCOM's acquisition plans--as reflected in its current 5-year plan--continue to focus on relatively small-scale, short-cycle programs with modest development efforts. Overall, SOCOM's acquisition program performance has been mixed. About 60 percent of the acquisition programs SOCOM has undertaken since 2001 have progressed as planned, staying within the original cost and schedule estimates. Included in this grouping are programs that had cost increases because of the need to buy additional quantities of equipment for ongoing combat operations. The other 40 percent of SOCOM's acquisition programs have not progressed as planned and experienced modest to, in a small number of cases, significant cost increases and schedule delays because of a range of technical and programmatic issues. Although fewer in number, the programs that experienced problems comprise about 50 percent of acquisition funding because they tend to be the larger and costlier, platform-based programs that SOCOM is acquiring and those where SOCOM depends on one of the military departments for equipment and program management support. SOCOM faces management and workforce challenges to ensure its acquisition programs are consistently completed on time and within budget. Urgent requirements to support SOCOM's ongoing combat missions have and will continue to challenge SOCOM's ability to balance near- and long- term needs against available funding resources. In addition, SOCOM has difficulty tracking progress on programs where it has delegated management authority to one of the military departments and has not consistently applied a knowledge-based acquisition approach in executing programs, particularly the larger and more complex programs. Furthermore, SOCOM has encountered challenges ensuring it has the workforce size and composition to carry out its acquisition work.
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  • Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division Adam Hickey Delivers Remarks at the ACI 2nd National Forum on FARA
    In Crime News
    Over the last few years, a conventional wisdom has developed about the arc of FARA enforcement.  It goes a little something like this: In the beginning, Congress created FARA. Then DOJ rested.  For nearly 80 years, it was not enforced, carried no penalties, and was largely ignored.  Beginning in 2017, the Special Counsel’s Office used the statute to investigate and charge Russian Internet trolls and politically influential Americans alike.  Suddenly, this vague statute transformed from an administrative afterthought into an unpredictable source of criminal liability.  FARA registrations skyrocketed, and conferences of white collar defense attorneys organized soon thereafter. 
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  • Some Courts Slow Reopening Plans as COVID Cases Rise
    In U.S Courts
    At a time when some states are backtracking on plans to restore business and government operations, a number of federal courts also are slowing plans to reopen courthouse doors as coronavirus (COVID-19) case numbers escalate in many states. In recent weeks, federal courts, especially in Sun Belt “hot spot” states, have issued orders extending courthouse closures, postponement of jury trials, and the use of video and teleconferencing for most or all proceedings. Most of the orders cited rising COVID-19 numbers.
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  • Michigan Based Wire Fraud Conspiracy and Tax Offenses Charged
    In Crime News
    A federal grand jury in Detroit, Michigan, returned an indictment today charging Michigan businessmen John Angelo from Royal Oak, Cory Justin Mann from West Bloomfield, Michael Daneshvar from Bingham Farms, Glenn Franklin from Harrison Township, and Brent Sitto, from Bloomfield Township with one count each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and further charging John Angelo and bookkeeper Rosina Angelo, also known as Rosina Caruvana, from Mountainside, New Jersey, with one count of conspiracy to defraud the IRS. John Angelo and Rosina Angelo were also each charged with three counts of aiding in the preparation of a false tax return and Cory Mann was charged with two additional counts of aiding in the preparation of a false tax return.
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