The UK government announced that international business travelers were crucial to the country's economy and would be exempt from the obligatory self-quarantine. 

“High-value business travelers 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 job,” tweeted the UK’s Transport Secretary Grant Shapps on December 3, 2020. He also noted that there were conditions to this exemption. 

The new rule will come to action on December 5, 2020. It will exempt the business travelers coming from countries that are not in the UK travel corridor list from having to isolate for 14 days. The people qualified for this exception have to fall under one of the categories of “high value” business travelers, performing arts professionals, TV production staff, journalists or elite sportspeople. The rule will not apply to British business travelers returning home. 

The government wants to ensure “that industries which require specific, high talent individuals who rely on international connections can continue to complete their work.”

According to the Department for Transport, the business travelers must be going on a trip that would result in a deal which creates or preserves 50 jobs or leads to a £100,000 investment. Arriving travelers will have to demonstrate in an exemption letter that they are delivering these benefits to the UK.

The government claims that the exemption should not raise the number of COVID-19 cases due to the safety protocols in action. For example, travelers in the category would be not allowed to meet people outside their professional activities. 

The UK banned all non-essential travel in the country and abroad from November 5 to December 2, 2020. On December 2, 2020, it was updated to local restriction tiers. 

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The UK is entering a month-long lockdown. All non-essential travel in the country and abroad will be banned from November 5 to December 2, 2020, with a possibility to extend the ban beyond that date. Similar restrictions are in action in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.