Get an exemption to temporarily leave quarantine if you're a senior executive bringing significant economic benefit to the UK
Certain senior executives travelling to England from a non-red list country can get an exemption to temporarily leave quarantine for coronavirus (COVID-19).
Applies to England
You may be permitted to temporarily leave quarantine for COVID-19 in England if you’re a senior executive in a business and you’re undertaking activities which are likely to be of significant economic benefit to the UK.
You’re only exempt when you’re undertaking activities that qualify for the exemption. You must quarantine at all other times.
You can use this exemption if you’re travelling from a country or territory which is not on the red list and you either:
- are not fully vaccinated
- have received a vaccine that is not recognised by the UK
You can’t use the exemption if have been in a country or territory on the red list in the 10 days before you arrive in England.
You must notify the government of your intention to use the exemption before you travel. You will only be able to use the exemption if you have received written confirmation from the government that you’re eligible to do so based on the information provided.
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 travelling from amber list countries 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 2 types of senior executives (where they are undertaking qualifying activities in England). These are:
- multinational executives – executives based overseas who are part of multinational firms and visiting their UK based subsidiaries or branches
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
- 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.
You’re considered to be bringing ‘significant economic benefit’ if the work you’re doing has a greater than 50% chance of creating or preserving at least 500 UK-based jobs in either:
- an existing UK-based business which has at least 500 employees
- a new UK business within 2 years of the date you arrive in the UK
Before you travel to England
Before you travel to England you need to tell the government you want to use the exemption by submitting a ‘Business, jobs and investment exemption notification form’. If the exemption is granted, you will receive a letter from the government confirming the exemption within 5 working days.
You must complete a passenger locator form before you travel. You may also need to book a COVID-19 test before you leave and after you arrive in England. Check the rules for quarantining and testing you’ve been in an amber list country to see what you need to do before you travel to England.
How to apply for an exemption
You must complete a ‘Business, jobs and investment exemption notification form’.
The form will ask you for your details, including the name and address of your employer and why you’re applying for an exemption. This form must be completed for each individual wanting to use the exemption.
You must send the completed form to email@example.com.
You must submit this form to the government if you wish to use the exemption. You will not be able to use the exemption unless you have received written confirmation that the government are satisfied that you meet the criteria to do so.
After you have notified the government
You will receive a response within 5 working days of the form being received.
The government may ask you for further information if they do not have sufficient evidence to be satisfied that you meet the criteria to use the exemption.
The government will tell you if more information is required, including what you need to provide and how to do so. You will receive a response within 5 working days of any further requested information being received.
If after providing additional information the government is still unable to verify that your proposed visit meets the exemption criteria, you will be informed of this by letter. You will be able to provide further information to demonstrate that your visit does meet the exemption criteria if you wish to do so. You will not be able to use the exemption unless you receive a letter from the government confirming that the government is satisfied that you’re eligible to do so based on the information provided.
After you arrive in England
You will need to show Border Force officials the letter from the government confirming your eligibility to use the exemption. You will be unable to use the exemption if you do not provide this evidence. Each senior executive seeking to use the exemption must present their own letter from the government confirming their eligibility to use it.
You will need to quarantine, except when carrying out activities that would be more likely than not to deliver significant economic benefit (including travelling to and from the place in England where you’re working).
You’re only able to meet others as required by the exempted business activities you’re undertaking. These should be done in a COVID-secure way.
If you’re undertaking a series of qualifying activities on the same site and on the same day (for example, a meeting followed by a factory inspection) then you may remain on site between exempt activities so long as you self-isolate on site between the activities.
During your time in the UK you will be required to adhere to national and local COVID-19 restrictions in force at the relevant time.
Any individual who leaves quarantine when required to, and who is not lawfully exempt from those requirements, will be committing a criminal offence.
If you feel unwell after entering the UK, you should consult the NHS website.
Examples of activity that would or would not be likely to qualify for an exemption
This is not an exhaustive list and is intended to provide guidance only.
|Ineligible activity||Potentially eligible activity|
|Attending a routine board meeting||Attending a board meeting where the meeting is to take a decision on whether or not to make a new investment in a UK plant.|
|Potential investor wants to discuss a business idea||Substantial business plan has been previously developed making clear plans to set up a business and create over 500 jobs in the UK within the next 2 years and investor needs to decide which of 2 UK sites to purchase|
|Attending a UK company site/s for a routine visit||Attending a company site/s to inform a decision whether or not to continue to invest in a subsidiary company (which has at least 500 employees) and its site.|
|A routine factory visit by a company customer||A site visit by a potential investor to see the operations of a company to enable them to decide at the end of the visit whether or not to invest in that company (which has at least 500 employees).|
|Senior executive of overseas parent of a UK based company wants to attend a routine meeting with UK stakeholders||Senior executive of overseas parent of a UK based company needs to attend a meeting with creditors or investors to reach a decision on future funding for the UK based company which could make the difference between the UK company (which has at least 500 employees) continuing or going into insolvency.|
Last updated 26 August 2021 + show all updates
Guidance updated to reflect the latest rules around travelling to England from a country or territory on the amber list. You can't use the exemption if you've been in a country or territory on the red list in the 10 days before you arrive in England.
Eligible senior executives can again leave self-isolation if they are undertaking business activities which are likely to be of significant economic benefit to the UK. You must tell the government if you wish to use this exemption. You will only be able to use the exemption if you have received written permission from the government confirming that you may do so.
Exemption from quarantine for senior executives bringing significant economic benefit to the UK will be suspended as of 4:00am on Monday 18 January 2021.