Tag: exempt

Tycoons and sports stars to be exempt from quarantine in controversial English travel rule

From Dec. 5, high-value business travelers will no longer need to self-isolate when returning to England from countries not in a travel corridor.


daniel leal-olivas/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Senior company executives, elite sportspeople, and television production staff are among those travelers who will be exempt from COVID-19 quarantine restrictions for international arrivals in England, the government has announced.

“From 4 a.m. on Sat 5th Dec high-value business travelers 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,” transport secretary Grant Shapps said on Twitter
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Under current rules, travelers from nonexempt countries have to quarantine for 14 days. However, from Dec. 15, they can cut this time to five days if they pay for a private coronavirus test under the government’s new Test to Release program. The tests will cost between £65 and £120.

Read: ‘Test to Release’ option can cut travelers’ quarantine time to five days — and make Christmas in England a possibility again

In a more detailed statement, the Department for Transport said that “individuals undertaking specific business activity which would deliver a significant benefit to the U.K. economy — including activity that creates or preserves 50+ U.K. jobs — will no longer need to self-isolate when traveling or returning from nonexempt countries.”

It added that all travelers, including those from exempt destinations, will still be required to show a complete passenger locator form on arrival into the U.K., unless they fall into a small group of exemptions.

The move was criticized by Jim McMahon, shadow transport secretary of the opposition Labour Party, who tweeted: “Are you loaded? No quarantine.

“I hope the virus has been made aware of the rules and keeps well away from them.”

Labour lawmaker Ben Bradshaw also slammed the move, tweeting: “Is this a joke? What Is high value?”

However, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which represents the global travel and tourism private sector, welcomed the government’s initiative, saying the decision will bolster business travel and provide a significant boost to the fragile U.K. economy.

“Last year, international business travel contributed £7.5 billion ($10 billion) to the U.K. economy, which demonstrates how vital it will be to reviving the country’s battered economic fortunes,” said Gloria Guevara, WTTC President and Chief Executive.

The news lifted shares in British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines
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+5.02%
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which rose 2.06%, while Ryanair
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+2.80%

was up 1.22%, and easyJet
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+2.66%

edged 0.81% higher in Friday morning trading in London.

New guidelines published by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency on Dec. 2 suggest that there is no increased risk to the spread of COVID-19 from passengers arriving by air.

“Travelers should not be considered as a high-risk population, nor treated as contacts of COVID-19 cases, unless they have been in known contact with a confirmed positive case,” the guidelines said, adding:

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China exempt from Hong Kong’s new 14-day hotel quarantine

Nov. 3 (UPI) — Hong Kong is requiring all overseas travelers to quarantine at a hotel for 14 days, with the exception of mainland China, after a mainland Chinese woman tested positive for the coronavirus in Hong Kong on Sunday.

The government of Hong Kong said the 14-day hotel quarantine is mandatory for all visitors, with the exception of people coming from the Chinese mainland, the special administrative region of Macau and Taiwan, the South China Morning Post reported Tuesday.

Starting Nov. 13, all other travelers will be required to show proof of a room reservation at a Hong Kong hotel. Before the policy goes into effect, arrivals can still quarantine at home for two weeks.

“We wanted to tighten the quarantine measures due to the worsening COVID-19 situation globally,” said Chuang Shuk-kwan, a physician and head of the disease branch of Hong Kong’s Center for Health Protection. “In the past, there were a few cases [of people who] infected other family members while they were quarantining at home.”

Hong Kong’s confirmed cases now stand at 5,345, lower than most neighboring countries but still higher than Taiwan, which has recorded only 564 cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.

China reported 86,070 cases on Tuesday, but the country is being exempted from the hotel quarantine requirement at a time when Hong Kong authorities have been curbing pro-democracy protests.

A cluster of infections at Hong Kong’s Mui Wo beach resort hotel has been traced to a Chinese national who tested positive on Sunday, the Hong Kong Free Press reported.

The woman, identified as a 42-year-old sex worker, is facing deportation after reportedly gaining illegal entry into Hong Kong, where police are tracking down about 100 clients who had contact with the woman, according to Hong Kong news service HK01.

On Tuesday Chinese leader Xi Jinping said uncertainties face China, as well as “shocks and challenges,” during a meeting of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee.

Last month Xi stressed the importance of integrating Hong Kong to the mainland on the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Shenzhen special economic zone.

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N.J. adds 2 states to COVID-19 travel advisory. Quarantine list hits 41, though neighboring states that qualify are exempt.

Two states were added to New Jersey’s travel advisory for the coronavirus that asks people traveling from or returning to the Garden State to quarantine for 14 days, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Tuesday.

California and Massachusetts were added to the list. There are now 41 states and territories considered COVID-19 hot spots.

“Cases have continued to increase at alarming rates, in our state and across the country and it is imperative that we keep the spread of COVID-19 under control,” Murphy said in a statement.

California is back on the list after it was removed on Sept. 15.

The updated advisory was announced a week after Murphy’s office said New Jerseyans didn’t need to quarantine when traveling to neighboring states like Pennsylvania and Delaware — even though all three of the states meet the criteria to be on the advisory.

Unrestricted travel is also allowed to New York and Connecticut, which are the two other states New Jersey agreed to issue a joint advisory with when the plan was announced in June. But governors from each of the states urged people to limit travel unless it’s necessary.

New Jersey has met the criteria used for its joint travel advisory for a little more than a week as numbers of new cases continue to rise. The advisory applies to any state or territory with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or those with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

The Garden State is averaging 1,254 cases each day based on provisional daily numbers reported by state health officials as of Monday. That’s higher by more than 300 average cases the prior week.

With the state’s 8.8 million population, anything over an average 888 new cases daily would push the state above the 10 cases per 100,000 threshold. New Jersey’s positivity rate as of Friday, the most recent day available, was 5.17% of tests.

Officials on Tuesday reported 1,663 more COVID-19 cases and 14 additional deaths, marking the 10th straight day of more than 1,000 new positive tests — something the state hasn’t seen happen since early May. The Garden State’s COVID-19 hospitalizations were above 900 for the second straight day and the statewide rate of transmission increased again, to 1.26, above the critical benchmark of 1 that shows the outbreak here is expanding.

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: Live map tracker | Newsletter | Homepage

Business travel has always been exempt from the quarantine advisory.

The quarantine, for New Jersey, is voluntary and there are other exceptions for people just passing through, but “compliance is expected,” according to state officials.

The advisory now includes:

  • Alabama (added 6/24/20)
  • Alaska (re-added 9/1/20)
  • Arizona (re-added 10/20/20)
  • Arkansas (added 6/24/20)
  • California (re-added 1027/20)
  • Colorado (added 9/29/20)
  • Florida (added 6/24/20)
  • Georgia (added 6/30/20)
  • Guam (added 8/25/20)
  • Idaho (added 6/30/20)
  • Illinois (added 7/28/20)
  • Indiana (added 7/21/20)
  • Iowa (added 6/30/20)
  • Kansas (added 7/7/20)
  • Kentucky (added 7/28/20)
  • Louisiana (added 6/30/20)
  • Maryland (re-added 10/20/20)
  • Massachusetts (added 10/27/20)
  • Michigan (added 10/13/20)
  • Minnesota (re-added 9/22/20)
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Outdoor recreation is exempt from Montana’s stay-home order, but don’t go too far | Montana Untamed

On Friday, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks announced changes to allowable activities at some of its recreation areas.

“It doesn’t look like we’ll be closing sites completely – it’ll be a little more precise than that,” said FWP spokesman Greg Lemon. “It’ll be things like you might not be able to camp, but you’ll still be able to use sites for day-use.”

State parks, fishing access sites and wildlife management areas remain open with the following restrictions:

  • Overnight camping will not be allowed. Campgrounds will be systematically closed, giving current campers 72-hour notice.
  • Group use sites will be closed, including playgrounds.
  • Visitor center closures will be extended at least through April 10.
  • Bathrooms at many locations will be limited due to public and employee safety concerns, because of the current lack of personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies. Sites will be regularly patrolled by enforcement staff.
  • Specific sites may close to address groups gathering, public health and safety, FWP employee safety or resource damage.

With the governor’s new order, FWP has fielded phone calls from people asking many different questions, including whether restrictions in other states could come to Montana. For example, the state of Washington prohibited fishing to limit the spread of COVID-19, but Montana has had no such discussions, Lemon said.

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