Quarantine for High-Value Business Travellers to be Scrapped from Saturday

QUARANTINE for High-value business travellers, sports stars and performing arts professionals will be scrapped from Saturday, said UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

High-value business travellers, sports stars and performing arts professionals will NOT have to quarantine on arrival in England from Saturday. Journalists and TV production staff will also benefit from the new policy announced by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. Mr Shapps said exemptions will be “subject to specific criteria being met”. These include trips that create or preserve at least 50 UK jobs.

The exemptions will take effect from 4 a.m. (0400 GMT) on Dec. 5. As things stand, all passengers arriving in England from abroad are required to self-isolate for 14 days, unless they are coming from a country included on a safe travel list available on the UK government website.

“From 4 am 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,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Twitter. The announcement has been met with criticism from some opposition MPs, with Labour’s Wes Streeting tweeting: “Literally one rule for them and another rule for everyone else.”

SNP MP Peter Grant added: “If you needed evidence that the British government puts the convenience of the wealthy above everything else, here they are announcing that ‘high value’ travellers are not a covid risk.” The Department for Transport (DfT) responded by saying people will only be exempt when undertaking specific business activity and will only be allowed to meet with others if that activity requires them to do so.

The government had previously announced that the quarantine rules would change for all passengers on Dec. 15, in that people would have the option of taking a COVID-19 test after five days of self-isolation. If the result was negative, people would then be released from self-isolation.

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Tony Winterburn

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