Foreign business leaders will no longer need to be locked up on their own when they arrive in England if their trip could be of great economic benefit to the UK, the government has announced.
The exemption will be for those from amber-listed countries, and will only be granted in exceptional circumstances, the Department of Commerce (BEIS) said.
Some business groups and MPs have expressed outrage as it does not include small companies.
But BEIS said it would balance economic interests with public safety.
Some critics say that it should cover all business transactions with key employees. Angela Rayner of Labor and Labor Mayor Manchester, Andy Burnham, say they strike a common law that they are rich and united.
Craig Beaumont, of the Federation of Small Business, said: “Small and self-employed entrepreneurs often visit their businesses, and it’s not fair that this business doesn’t have much economic benefits – and therefore without government programs.
“There should be no fast route for big business easements while small firms are lagging behind.”
Tej Parikh, a senior economist at the Institute of Directors, said: “Medium-sized enterprises will be the catalysts for our economic power, so programs that effectively reduce the need to separate executives from executives in large corporations look unfair.”
Mr Parikh emphasized that “it is important that the government does not overlook the importance of helping SME business leaders to rise up and continue to focus only on the international community”.
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls agreed, telling the BBC that the release should “be extended to cover a wide range of business trips, including currently imported workers who may not be able to return to the UK due to the cost and suffering of current solitary confinement needs”.
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The plans follow the disruption of standards recognized as two guest and distinguished degrees after sponsors and officials from Uefa and Fifa were allowed to enter the UK at Euro 2020 without being dragged alone.
The exemption is for executives who wish to travel to England to make a “financial investment in a UK business” or “to establish a new business within the UK”.BEIS said: “This release is designed to create work that creates and sustains UK jobs and investment, while steps are being taken to ensure that public health risks are minimized.”
A spokesman for the Prime Minister continued: “Protecting public health is our top priority and that is why those exemptions will only work in exceptional circumstances.”
Business leaders will not be eligible for exemption if operations can be performed remotely by phone or email, or by someone else. “General meetings” and “speculative sales outlets” will not be eligible.
“Significant economic benefits” are considered to have a 50% chance of creating or retaining at least 500 jobs based in the UK, or creating a new UK business within two years, BEIS said.
Ms Rayner said: “It is the low-wage workers who have taken our country through this crisis, risking their lives.
“Once again it is one law for those who are high and one for another.”
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said “this was the wrong move at the wrong time”.
“It will not be the same law for the rich and each other,” he added.
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Business leaders visiting England will need to take the Covid-19 test, take some tests on their arrival and tell the government they intend to use the exemption, before receiving a letter of confirmation.
Managers who hope to use the opportunity to attend a regular board meeting will be disappointed, although a meeting to decide whether to invest in the new UK is not welcome.
Like the release by the separation of part-time employees, business leaders will need to isolate themselves whenever they are not doing free business work.
Travelers from red-listed countries are not released.
Business leaders have been doing long-distance operations throughout much of the epidemic.
But airlines have been pushing for lower restrictions, as sales of high-end business seats and high-end seats – which are more profitable – have fallen as companies use long-distance operations.
A spokesman for ABTA, a tourism organization, told the BBC that although this was a “step forward”, the roles and responsibilities involved were “limited, and this would not be enough to bring positive recovery to business.”
Matthew Fell, UK policy director for the CBI business lobby group, told the BBC the move was “an acceptable step towards taking a more forward-looking and risky approach to business travelers in the coming months”.