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High value business travel exempt from quarantine in England

The UK Government has announced a new “business travel” exemption from the normal quarantine rules.  From tomorrow morning, certain passengers travelling to or through countries which are not on the safe travel corridor list will no longer be required to self-isolate on return to England. 

The Department for Transport explained:

Individuals undertaking specific business activity which would deliver a significant benefit to the UK economy – including activity that creates or preserves 50+ UK jobs – will no longer need to self-isolate when travelling or returning from non-exempt countries. Individuals will only be exempt when undertaking the specific business activity and will only be able to meet with others as required by that specific activity.

We understand that the exemption will apply to senior company executives, such as directors or their equivalents, either returning or travelling to England who can deliver ‘significant’ economic benefit (e.g. work that creates or preserves 50 or more jobs for either an existing UK-based business or a new UK business, within one year of the passenger’s arrival). They will only qualify for the exemption if their work requires them to be there in person.

The DfT added

Exemptions will also come into force at the same time for domestic and international performing arts professionals, TV production staff, journalists and recently signed elite sportspersons, ensuring that industries which require specific, high-talent individuals who rely on international connections can continue to complete their work.

If you are planning overseas trips and have any questions with regards to this exemption, or the self-isolation process in general, please contact me or my team.  We will be happy to help.

New Guidance for Passengers published

The Department for Transport has published new aviation guidance, setting out measures operators should put in place to protect staff and passengers.

Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport

The guidance, produced by the government’s International Aviation Taskforce, in collaboration with the industry, also provides advice for passengers on how to travel safely and on how to follow social distancing measures at each stage of their journey.

The guidance focuses extensively on the health and safety of passengers and staff and in line with international best practice, is the culmination of an extensive programme of engagement between the government, aviation industry and public health experts. It outlines a framework for the industry to operate from once travel restrictions are lifted and when it is safe to do so, helping to restore jobs, trade, and opportunities for travel.

The guidance to passengers covers all aspects of the travel experience, from checking the public health requirements before booking a flight, to navigating the airport safely and boarding the flight or leaving the airport.

Grant Shapps, said:

[The] guidance is a positive next step towards ensuring a safer and more sustainable aviation sector. The government’s advice currently remains to avoid all non-essential travel, but today we are taking the necessary steps to ensure a framework is in place for the aviation industry to bounce back when it is safe for restrictions on travel to be lifted.

Tim Hawkins said:

Tim Hawkins, Chief Strategy Officer of Manchester Airports Group

This new guidance provides the basis for the restart and recovery of the UK aviation industry – it offers clear information for us, our passengers and our airlines on the steps needed to create a safe travel experience.

The guidance is the result of strong collaboration between government and the aviation industry, drawing on advice from independent medical and scientific experts who have looked specifically at what safety measures are needed at each stage of the travel process.

With similar protocols being adopted in other countries, and a targeted approach to reopening travel to low-risk countries, we will have the elements in place to get our economy moving again and protect jobs throughout the whole aviation supply chain.

Practical advice includes wearing face coverings when in the airport, washing hands regularly after touching any surfaces, checking in all baggage including hand luggage, and remaining seated as much as possible during the flight.

The guidance to operators will also support staff by promoting safe practices and workplaces. This includes extensive cleaning of aircraft, increasing the availability of handwashing and hand sanitiser facilities, reducing face-to-face interactions with passengers, and introducing protocols for symptomatic passengers and staff.

The guidance to passengers is available to read, here.