Sports Stars, Actors And “High-Value” Business Travellers Returning To England Will No Longer Have To Self-Isolate
From Saturday certain business travellers will no longer have to self-isolate when they arrive back into England (PA)
Grant Shapps has revealed “high-value" business travellers are part of a new group of people who will not have to quarantine when they return to England after traveling to countries outside of coronavirus travel corridors.
The transport secretary said recently signed sports stars, performing arts professionals, TV production staff and journalists will also be exempt from the 14-day self-isolation period even if they have visited a destination where people are required to quarantine on return.
The move, which will come into force from 4am on Saturday, was recommended by the Government’s Global Travel Taskforce, which warned that business travel would be particularly slow to recover.
Announcing the news on Twitter, Mr Shapps wrote: “New Business Traveller exemption: From 4am on Sat 5th Dec high-value business travellers will no longer need to self-isolate when returning to ENGLAND from a country NOT in a travel corridor, allowing more travel to support the economy and jobs. Conditions apply.
“From 4am on Sat 5th Dec certain performing arts professionals, TV production staff, journalists and recently signed elite sportspersons will also be exempt, subject to specific criteria being met.”
The news follows the government’s 'Test to Release' plan to cut the 14-day quarantine period to five days .
It means anyone arriving in the UK from a high-risk destination after 15 December will be able to leave isolation if they pay for a Covid-19 test after the fifth day and it comes back negative.
But as most inbound business travellers spend fewer than three days here that policy was unlikely to help revive this type of travel, which accounted for 22% of inbound visits a year before the pandemic, and contributed £4.5billion to the UK economy.
The department for transport has also revealed a “high-value" business trip must be one that “creates or preserves 50+ UK jobs”, but further guidance will be revealed before the plan comes into force.
In a statement it said: “Public Health England do not anticipate these changes will raise the risk of domestic transmission, due to the protocols being put in place around these exemptions, however all exemptions will remain under review.”
Mr Shapps also confirmed this evening that no destinations have been added or removed from the UK’s existing travel corridors list.