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U.K. Update: Authorities announce COVID-19 quarantine exemptions for 'high-value' business travellers

U.K. Update: Authorities announce COVID-19 quarantine exemptions for 'high-value' business travellers

England announced new quarantine exemptions for "high-value" business travellers, performing arts professionals, journalists and certain others, meaning that if they meet certain conditions they will not have to self-isolate on arrival in the country.

The exemptions will take effect from 4 a.m. (0400 GMT) on Dec. 5.

Direct GOV lists the new exemptions as the following: 

Business directors bringing jobs and investment to the UK

Applies to certain senior executives (directors or equivalents) travelling or returning to England who would be likely to bring significant economic benefit to the UK as a result of their activity.

Senior executives are only exempt if the business activity requires their physical presence and cannot be done remotely.

Senior executives are classed as bringing ‘significant economic benefit’ if the work they are doing has a greater than 50% chance of either:

  • creating or preserving at least 50 UK-based jobs in either:
    • an existing UK-based business which has at least 50 employees
    • a new UK business within 1 year of the date of their arrival in the UK
  • purchasing goods or services from a UK based business with at least 50 employees - the order must be worth at least £100 million, or the order would be likely to create or preserve 50 or more jobs in that business

The senior executive will need to complete the passenger locator form before travelling to the UK.

The senior executive will be required to self isolate, except when carrying out the specific activities that are likely to bring significant economic benefit to the UK (including travelling to and from the places in England where they undertake them).

They will also need to carry a letter signed by a company director from the businesses they are visiting. Where a new business is being created, the letter should be signed by a company director in the company proposing to create and own that new business.

The letter must be written on company headed notepaper of the signing senior executive’s firm and include the following information:

  • the full name of the senior executive undertaking exempt activity
  • date of birth
  • passport number
  • UK address at which the senior executive is otherwise self-isolating
  • the specific activity/activities to be undertaken, their duration, the date/s and location/s in which they will take place
  • contact details including a direct phone number for the senior executive signing the letter and for their business
  • a short explanation which gives evidence of the need for the activities to be performed by the senior executive at the specified location/s and why the activity is more likely than not to deliver significant economic benefit to the UK

Read the full guidance on travel exemptions in England for senior executives.

The regulations must also be consulted prior to travel to ensure eligibility.

Should you wish to discuss this further, please speak to your Good Travel Management consultant

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