A Welsh MP has condemned the UK Government’s announcement that “high-value business travellers” will be exempt from having to quarantine on arrival at airports in England.
Rhondda MP Chris Bryant said that it showed that “the government’s official motto is now ‘one rule for the rich and another for the rest of you’”.
It is not clear whether the Welsh Government will follow suit but there is currently no planned restrictions on those who arrive in Tier 1 or 2 areas of England being able to travel to Wales.
The new rules will come into force at 4am on Saturday, and they mean people in certain categories will no longer have to self-isolate upon returning to England, even if they are travelling from a country not on the travel corridors list.
At the moment, nearly all people arriving back in the UK from destinations not thought to be at low risk of Covid-19 have to self-isolate for 14 days.
‘One rule for them’
According to the UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps the move will allow “more travel to support the economy and jobs” and full guidance will be issued soon.
He also said that exemptions will be “subject to specific criteria being met”, including trips that create or preserve at least 50 UK jobs.
Mr Shapps tweeted: “New Business Traveller exemption: 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.”
The announcement was met with a strong response from rival political parties, who criticised the move.
The SNP MP David Linden responded by saying: “I was unaware the virus skipped certain people based on their bank balance.”
The Labour MP Wes Streeting said: “Literally one rule for them and another for everyone else.”