2m Brits could be exempt from 14-day quarantine scheme
Published on Monday, June 1, 2020
At least two million people will not have to undergo 14 days’ quarantine when returning from abroad because they work in jobs that make them exempt from the rule.
The Independent reports the government’s list of jobs that are exempt from the policy, which is due to come into effect on June 8, includes bus drivers, health workers such as doctors, nurses and dentists, as well as police officers.
“There is no need to have been working on official international duties; the indemnity applies for ordinary holiday trips,” the Independent’s travel editor Simon Calder said.
The government announced last month that travellers returning to the UK will have to spend two weeks in quarantine. It’s not known how long the rule will be in place, but the policy will be reviewed every three weeks.
The government is also planning to operate ‘air bridges’ with certain countries, which will mean holidaymakers returning from participating destinations will also be exempt from the 14-day rule.
The Independent says: “Some of the jobs on the list are directly related to cross-border travel or highly specialised, such as Eurotunnel train drivers and Euratom inspectors.
“The exemption for fruit and vegetable pickers from abroad requires them to self-isolate on a farm, though they can mix with others.
“But other categories are far wider. The Independent has calculated that at least 2 million workers will be able to avoid quarantine.
“The highest number – at least 1.5 million – is likely to be those who can demonstrate they are ‘a registered health or care professional travelling to the UK to provide essential healthcare, including where this is not related to coronavirus’.”
The report says road haulage workers, taxi, minicab and Uber drivers could also claim exemption.
International commuters will be able to avoid self-isolation if they can demonstrate that they travel to another country professionally at least once a week.
Partners and dependents accompanying exempt travellers will have to abide by the 14-day rule, unless they are with a diplomat or representative of international organisations.
A government spokesperson said: “The list of exemptions has been agreed by all government departments in consultation with their stakeholders which will ensure critical supplies and services can continue and will be kept under review.
“People coming into the UK will be required to provide contact and travel information when coming to the UK, including those who are exempt.
“We will set out further detail shortly including on how we will take action against those who flout the rules.”
A campaign calling on the government to ditch the 14-day quarantine plan in favour of air bridges, has been backed by over 200 travel and hospitality companies.