Business travellers to be exempted from England’s quarantine rule

Business travellers to be exempted from England’s quarantine rule

The rules will be eased for top executives of foreign multinational firms visiting English branches and businessmen at firms planning to invest.

The new rule will allow business people to travel to England from countries that are not on the UK's list of travel corridors without having to isolate for 14 days upon arrival.

The new rule was announced in a tweet by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

Performing arts workers, TV production staff, journalists and recently signed sports professionals will also be exempt, the government stated.

The change is a response to concerns by industry groups that the U.K.’s quarantine rules were holding back business deals.

The move will also be a boost to airlines and airports struggling to cope with a huge drop-off in air travel as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Travellers will have to demonstrate in an exemption letter that they are delivering these business benefits to the UK which will be checked by police or Border Force.

Current rules mean most travellers arriving in Britain from the U.S. and most of Europe have to self-isolate for 14 days otherwise they face a fine of up to £1,000.

Less Risk

The British government said that Public Health England did not expect the new rules for business travellers to increase the risk of coronavirus transmission in the UK.

However, it said the measures would remain under review.

Quarantine Rule

The British government has previously confirmed that travellers returning from coronavirus hotspots can cut their quarantine short by paying to take a test.

From December 15, people arriving in England from countries not on the travel corridor exemption list can choose to take a test after five days of self-isolation. If it comes back negative, they can be released.

Without a test, travellers from countries not part of the UK's safe list will stay in quarantine for 14 days.

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UK Travel Corridor

Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps has revealed that there are no changes to the UK's list, which determines if Brits need to quarantine upon their return.

He wrote on Twitter: “There will be NO ADDITIONS or REMOVALS from the #TravelCorridor list this week.”

Reactions to the New Rule

Anger erupted on the new rules being announced as the Transport Secretary's tweet.

One commenter stated that she has been stuck in Spain due to the quarantine requirement. She confirmed that she will also be unable to return to the UK for Christmas to be with her family. Arguing that her family considered her of high value, she expressed her disgust for the new rules. 

Emma Kenedy replied with

“Thank god the virus can tell who’s rich and swerve them.”

And Thunbergia 

“But when low-value arriving passengers want to reduce their self-isolation period they have to get tested, & they have to pay for the test. 

A free NHS test will get them a fine”

And Father Ian Maher responded with 

“What an absolutely disgraceful decision. One rule for the rich, and one for everything else. And you wonder why this government is despised. You might discriminate, coronavirus does not. We see you.”

What are your thoughts on this new rule? Comment below.

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