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Quarantine exemption for high-value business travellers and sports stars

Neil Lancefield, PA Transport Correspondent
·2 min read

High-value business travellers, sports stars and performing arts professionals will be exempt from England’s quarantine requirement for international arrivals from Saturday.

Journalists and TV production staff will also benefit from the new policy announced by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

Exemptions will be “subject to specific criteria being met”, the Cabinet minister said.

These include trips that create or preserve at least 50 UK jobs.

Individuals will only be exempt when undertaking specific business activity and will only be permitted to meet with others as required by that, the Department for Transport (DfT) said in a statement.

Further information will be issued once the new rules come into force at 4am on Saturday.

The DfT said sectors such as media and elite sport were also selected for exemption from quarantine as they “require specific, high-talent individuals who rely on international connections”.

It added: “PHE (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.”

Currently, nearly all people arriving in the UK from destinations not believed to be at low risk of coronavirus are required to self-isolate for 14 days.

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said: “This is a welcome first step in dismantling the quarantine system and showing that Britain is open for business again.

“There will be some big businesses that are able to take advantage of it.”

No changing are being made this week to the travel corridors list, which states where anyone can return to the UK from without needing to enter quarantine.

The list features destinations deemed to have low levels of coronavirus.