//New exemption for business travellers

New exemption for business travellers

“High value” travellers won’t need to self-isolate, says Grant Shapps

Some business travellers will be exempt from quarantine rules for countries not on the travel corridors list, the transport secretary has announced.

In a tweet, Grant Shapps said: “New Business Traveller exemption: From 4am on December 5 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.”

He then added that “certain performing arts professionals, TV production staff, journalists, and recently signed elite sportspersons will also be exempt, subject to specific criteria being met.”

Full guidance will be available on gov.uk soon, he said. No countries were added to or removed from the travel corridors list this week.

It is the first time in several weeks when substantial changes have not come to the list of countries. Last week, Bhutan, Mongolia and Timor-Leste were among those added.

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Aruba as well as the Pacific Islands of Samoa, Kiribati, Micronesia, Tonga, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands were also put on the list. It meant those arriving from these countries after 4am on November 28 do not need to self-isolate.

Latvia and Estonia were removed while the blanket travel ban on Denmark was lifted, following the concern regarding a new strain of the disease.

In a recently published report, the Global Travel Taskforce recommended studying the feasibility of short-stay exemptions for business travel.

Ahead of the report, the government also launched its new strategy for testing international arrivals, meaning those arriving into England will be able to reduce quarantine by more than a week.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps has today announced that from December 15, passengers arriving into England from countries not on the travel corridor list will have the option to take a test after five days of self-isolation, with a negative result meaning they no longer need to self-isolate.

The Department for Transport said the move will give passengers the confidence to book international trips. It added that the NHS Test and Trace testing capacity will be protected, with travellers footing the bill for a Covid-19 test from a private provider on the gov.uk list.

Under the ‘test to release’ strategy, passengers arriving into England by plane, ferry or train should book their test before they travel; must complete a passenger locator form; and will still need to self-isolate for five days before taking a test – rather than taking it at their port of arrival.