Boris Johnson’s Government faced claims of creating “one rule for those at the top and another for everyone else” after announcing that some foreign tycoons will no longer need to quarantine when arriving in England.
Business leaders will be spared the burden of quarantine if their trip is likely to be of significant economic benefit to the UK. Company executives wishing to travel to England to make a “financial investment in a UK-based business” or for “establishing a new business within the UK” will be exempt but they will need written permission first.
The Department for Business said: “This exemption is designed to enable activity that creates and preserves UK jobs and investment, while taking steps to ensure public health risks are minimised.”
But the Government added that business leaders will not qualify for an exemption if the activities can be carried out remotely via telephone or email, or by another person.
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said the announcement “takes the piss” and is offensive to lower-paid workers who face having to quarantine when travelling. “Significant economic benefit” is considered to be having a greater than 50% chance of creating or preserving at least 500 UK-based jobs, or creating a new UK business within two years, the new guidance added.