Journalists and rich people defined as “high value business travellers” will be made exempt from having to enter a 2 week COVID quarantine when they return to the UK under new rules announced by the government.
“From 4am on Saturday, people in a number of 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,” reports Sky News.
Those categories include journalists, “high value business travellers,” performing arts professionals and wealthy sports stars.
Under current rules, anyone returning from a country not on the UK’s “travel corridor” list has to self-isolate at home for 14 days or face escalating fines.
Public Health England said the new measures will not raise the risk of domestic transmission of coronavirus.
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.
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) December 3, 2020
The rule change is being pitched as a way to help boost the economy, but many responded by framing it as a classic example of elitist privilege.
“We are being governed by absolute fools, clowns and charlatans. If I’m rich enough to afford Business Class I’m immune to Covid?” asked one Twitter user.
“Ah! One rule for “us” and another for all the “little people”. Shrewd move just when trust and social cohesion is needed,” remarked another.
“What a load of rubbish. You mean those well off don’t need to follow “quarantine measures,” said another.
“There will be some big businesses that are able to take advantage of it,” said Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, underscoring once again how the rules favor large transnational corporations while small businesses continue to go bust.