Business travellers could be given exemptions from the UK’s planned 14-day quarantine rule.
Ministers are reportedly examining proposals to spare a “limited” range of business people, freight drivers, doctors and scientists from the required 14 days self-isolation on arrival in the UK.
Whitehall sources said the exemptions would be “job specific” and cover all arrivals in the UK but plans to announce the proposals as early as today (Friday) have been postponed until next week, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Guidance this week said all international travellers except those from the common travel area like Ireland, Guernsey and Jersey will have to supply their contact and accommodation information and self-isolate for 14 days.
They will also be strongly advised to download and use the NHS contact tracing app.
The idea of a blanket exemption for France as suggested earlier are now being downplayed as officials and a joint Anglo-French working group try to finalise the details.
“The French don’t want a blanket exemption, only freight and business travel. You have to remember there are multinational firms in Europe that are testing every single one of their workers for coronavirus two times a week,” a source told the newspaper.
The prospect of a blanket exemption for France was raised on Sunday when Boris Johnson said “no quarantine measures would apply to travellers coming from France at this stage” in a phone call with president Emmanuel Macron.
However, the EU warned that the UK faced costly lawsuits in the European Court of Justice if it only granted France an exemption and failed to extend the quarantine to all EU citizens. France is also considering quarantine for all EU and non-EU travellers.
“What is now being said is that if you were thinking of having a holiday abroad by going to France, you will have to can it,” a Whitehall source said.
Downing Street said any exemptions would be “limited” and played down suggestions business travellers could escape.
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