UK Business Travel Exemptions

Finally some good news for private jet business travellers with the announcement of the UK Transport Secretary. Hi value business travellers in England will no longer be required to quarantine when returning from overseas, this also applies to senior staff of foreign businesses visiting their offices in England.

This is good news for business, especially those global companies looking to take advantage of this opportunity. Flying private allows you and your colleagues the capability to fly in a secure bubble. A safer environment, whilst being able to work en-route to meetings, making your journey more productive.

From 4am on Sat 5th Dec high-value business travellers will no longer need to self-isolate when returning to England from a country NOT in a travel corridor, allowing more travel to support the economy and jobs. Conditions apply. “

From 4am on Sat 5th Dec certain performing arts professionals, TV production staff, journalists and recently signed elite sportspersons will also be exempt, subject to specific criteria being met.

Business directors bringing jobs and investment to the UK – Applies to certain senior executives (directors or equivalents) travelling or returning to England who would be likely to bring significant economic benefit to the UK as a result of their activity.

Senior executives are only exempt if the business activity requires their physical presence and cannot be done remotely.

Senior executives are classed as bringing ‘significant economic benefit’ if the work they are doing has a greater than 50% chance of either: creating or preserving at least 50 UK-based jobs in either:

  • an existing UK-based business which has at least 50 employees
  • a new UK business within 1 year of the date of their arrival in the UK.
  • purchasing goods or services from a UK based business with at least 50 employees – the order must be worth at least £100 million, or the order would be likely to create or preserve 50 or more jobs in that business.

The senior executive will need to complete the passenger locator form before travelling to the UK. The senior executive will be required to self isolate, except when carrying out the specific activities that are likely to bring significant economic benefit to the UK (including travelling to and from the places in England where they undertake them).

They will also need to carry a letter signed by a company director from the businesses they are visiting.

Where a new business is being created, the letter should be signed by a company director in the company proposing to create and own that new business.

The letter must be written on company headed notepaper of the signing senior executive’s firm and include the following information:

  1. the full name of the senior executive undertaking exempt activity
  2. date of birth
  3. passport number
  4. UK address at which the senior executive is otherwise self-isolating
  5. the specific activity/activities to be undertaken, their duration,
  6. the date/s and location/s in which they will take place
  7. contact details including a direct phone number for the senior executive signing the letter and for their business –
  8. a short explanation which gives evidence of the need for the activities to be performed by the senior executive at the specified location/s and why the activity is more likely than not to deliver significant economic benefit to the UK.

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.

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. Read the regulations for a full definition of a ‘senior executive’.

The exemption covers 3 types of senior executives (where they are undertaking qualifying activities in England).

These are;

1 Multinational Executives – executives based overseas who are part of multinational firms and visiting their UK based subsidiaries or branches –

2 Returning Executives – executives of UK based firms who are normally based in the UK and who had left the UK on business connected with their UK based firm and are seeking to undertake exempt activity in England to benefit the same firm on their return

3 International Executives – executives of overseas companies normally based overseas who are seeking to undertake exempt activity in England related to either: making a financial investment in a UK based business, placing a contract for the purchase of goods and services from a UK based business, or establishing a new business within the UK.

You do not qualify for the exemption if your activities can be done remotely (for example by telephone or email) or can be done by anyone other than you who would not need to leave self-isolation.

If you are planning to use the exemption, it is up to you to determine whether or not your proposed business activities would qualify.

Published 4 December 2020 by UK Government


Please note: Prices shown are estimated prices for charter of whole aircraft – alternative routes, aircraft and airports are also available upon request. This estimated price is subject to availability, slots, traffic rights and schedule.