As of December 5th, high quality business travelers will no longer need to self-isolate when returning to England from countries that are not in a travel corridor.
Daniel Leal-Olivas / Agence France-Presse / Getty Images
According to the government, executives, top athletes and television production workers are among the travelers exempt from COVID-19 quarantine restrictions on international arrivals in England.
“From December 5th at 4am, high quality business travelers will no longer need to self-isolate when returning to ENGLAND from a country that is NOT in a travel corridor. As a result, more travel can support the economy and jobs. Conditions apply, ”said Transport Secretary Grant Shapps on Twitter
According to current regulations, travelers from non-exempted countries must be quarantined for 14 days. However, starting December 15, they can cut that time down to five days if they pay for a private coronavirus test under the government's new Test to Release program. The tests cost between £ 65 and £ 120.
Read: With the "Test to Release" option, the quarantine period for travelers can be shortened to five days – and Christmas in England is possible again
In a more detailed statement, the Department of Transport stated that “Individuals doing certain business activities that would be of significant benefit to the UK economy – including activities that create or maintain more than 50 jobs in the UK – no longer need to self-isolate when traveling or return from non-exempted countries. "
It added that all travelers, including those from exempted destinations, will still be required to provide a full passenger search form upon arrival in the UK, unless they fall under a small group of exemptions.
The move was criticized by Jim McMahon, Shadow Transport Secretary of the opposition Labor Party, who tweeted, “Are you invited? No quarantine.
"I hope the virus has been made aware of the rules and is staying away from them."
Labor lawmaker Ben Bradshaw also slammed, tweeted, “Is that a joke? What is high value? "
However, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which represents the global private sector in travel and tourism, welcomed the government's initiative, saying the decision will boost business travel and give a significant boost to the fragile UK economy.
"Over the past year, international business travel added £ 7.5 billion (US $ 10 billion) to the UK economy, showing the importance of reviving the country's troubled economic fortunes," said Gloria Guevara, WTTC President and CEO Manager.
The news canceled the stake in International Consolidated Airlines, the owner of British Airways
that rose 2.41% while Ryanair
was up 3.64% and easyJet
was trading 1.40% higher in London early on Friday afternoon.
New guidelines released on December 2nd by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency suggest that there is no increased risk of the spread of COVID-19 among passengers.
"Travelers should not be viewed as a high-risk population or treated as a point of contact for COVID-19 cases unless they have known contact with a confirmed positive case," the guidelines said, adding: "Travelers should be treated in the EU are in the same way as local residents and are subject to the same rules or recommendations as for the local population. "
In response to the guidelines, the International Air Transport Association trade organization stated that quarantines "clearly" were essentially politically motivated, non-risk-based measures, "unrelated to what is actually needed to protect public health".
A study by consultants Oxera predicted that among the 409,800 weekly passengers from the European Union to the UK, only 0.01% of air travelers should be infectious travelers discharged into the UK population. This equates to one infectious person for every 10,000 travelers.