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Quarantine rules to be relaxed for business travellers

Photo by Suhyeon Choi

Quarantine rules are set to be eased for business travellers in England.

The rules will be relaxed for top bosses of foreign multinational firms visiting English branches and bosses at firms planning to invest.

Returning executives will also be exempt from quarantine.

In each case, the business trips must result in a deal which creates or preserves 50 jobs or leads to a £100m investment or order, according to the Department for Transport.

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 on arrival.

The move was announced in by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

Travellers will have to demonstrate in an exemption letter that they are delivering these business benefits to the UK.

This letter will be checked by police or Border Force.

When in England, the government said, executives will be exempt from the normal quarantine rules only in the course of a "specific business activity" that will benefit the UK economy.

"And [they] will only be able to meet with others as required by that specific activity," it said.

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

Currently, people arriving in the UK from most countries - including British nationals - must self-isolate for 14 days or face fines of up to £1,000. But that can increase to £10,000 for repeat offenders.

No risk

Exceptions are made for people coming from the Common Travel Area - the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man - or countries in travel corridors with England.

The 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.

Nevertheless, it said the measures would remain under review.