Breaking: Most business aviation operators should qualify for new UK business traveller COVID quarantine exemption

PT 2 M minute read

Update: All UK safe-travel corridors and quarantine exemptions have been rendered null and void until further notice, due to the current rise in UK Covid infections.


In a very positive move for business aviation, effective 04:00 Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020, the United Kingdom announced that it is exempting business travellers from the country’s mandatory 14-day quarantine rules if exemption conditions are met.

Currently any visitor to the UK entering from any country that is not one of the approved travel corridors is required to quarantine for 14 days.

This is excellent and encouraging news for the business aviation industry, as most bizav operators should potentially qualify for the exemption.

 Who is eligible for the UK business traveller exemption?

 The criteria for exemption is for those travelling on business to deliver significant economic benefit to the UK, including:

  • Senior executives of multinational firms visiting their UK subsidiaries to do activities which will create/preserve 50+ UK jobs
  • UK-based executives who had left the country for business and are seeking an exemption for specific activity on their return which will create/preserve 50+ UK jobs
  • Foreign-based company executives or their representatives seeking to make:
    – A financial investment of £100k + in a UK-based business
    – Place a contract with a UK-based business with a value of £100K+
    – Establish a new business within the UK which will create 50+ UK jobs.

Exemptions will also come into force for certain types of performing arts professionals, TV production staff, journalists, and recently-signed elite sportspersons.These exemptions will remain under constant review.

Here is a full list of jobs that qualify for the exemption.

 UK traveller exemption to spur bizav traffic to the UK

 We are very encouraged about this news. We believe it restores confidence for many business travellers looking to do business in the UK and buoys the UK economy as we ready to Brexit.

The British Business and General Aviation Association has worked hard educating DfT and Government about the value of business aviation, so when amending the quarantine restrictions, they are fully aware of the implications it has had on our sector.

Since March, we saw the enthusiasm for travel among our clients change. Back then, they weren’t as comfortable about travelling and the 14 day quarantine was prohibitive for business.  Now they feel much safer in the knowledge that attention and investment has been made disinfecting our FBOs and aircraft and with Covid testing becoming more wildly available at our airports and FBOs.

These new exemptions are welcomed as we take steps back to normality. We are pleased to see that the Government has highlighted senior executives that can create or preserve UK jobs. Our sector is synonymous with resilience and agility and we can be swift to adhere to this new agenda.

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