Foreign business leaders will no longer need to quarantine when arriving in England

business newspaper

According to the Department for Business (BEIS), foreign business leaders will no longer need to quarantine when arriving in England if their trip is likely to create an economic boost to the UK.

The exemptions will be for entrepreneurs and high ranking officials from amber-list countries – and only if given exemptions by BEIS.

BEIS released the statement: “Senior executives can temporarily leave quarantine in England if they are undertaking business activities which are likely to be of significant economic benefit to the UK.”

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office said: “Protecting public health is our number one priority and that’s why those exemptions will only apply in truly exceptional circumstances.”

Speaking to the BBC, the Federation of Small Business (FSB) and the Institute of Directors (IOD) opposed the announcement.

Craig Beaumont, for the FSB, said: “Small business owners and the self-employed often travel for their business, and it is wrong to declare this activity as of no significant economic benefit – and so outside of the government’s plans. There should not be a fast lane of easements for big business while small firms are left behind.”

Tej Parikh, Chief Economist at the Institute of Directors, said: “Medium-sized enterprises will be the powerhouses of our economic recovery, so initiatives that effectively lower quarantine requirements for executives in large businesses seem arbitrary.”

Who is exempt?

Certain senior executives that are performing activities which would be more likely than not to bring ‘significant economic benefit’ to the UK are exempt. The exemption covers two types of senior executives (where they are undertaking qualifying activities in England).

These are multinational or international executives. These are executives based overseas who are part of multinational firms and visiting their UK based subsidiaries or branches; or from overseas companies normally based overseas who are seeking to undertake exempt activity in England related to either make a financial investment in a UK based business or establish a new business within the UK.

A business person does not qualify for the exemption if their activities can be done remotely or can be done by anyone other than themselves who would not need to leave self-isolation.

A person is considered to be bringing ‘significant economic benefit’ if the work you are doing has a greater than 50% chance of creating or preserving at least 500 UK-based jobs in either an existing UK-based business which has at least 500 employees; or a new UK business within two years of the date you arrive in the UK.

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