For many months, the Business Travel Association has been campaigning for an exemption for business travel that will free UK plc from the shackles of quarantine.
The support we have received from industry media and from the parliamentarians in the all-party parliamentary group on business travel has played an integral role in this.
So the government’s decision to exempt specific categories of business travellers from quarantine is good news and a step in the right direction. It will help build business confidence at a time when it’s desperately needed.
But this is only the first step.
Business travel takes many forms, and all should be exempt if we are to truly unlock travel and the economic benefits it brings.
Business travel is a vital enabler for the economy and contributes £220 billion to UK plc in a "normal" year.
Many think of business travel as just people flying first class to meetings, but actually it’s a lot more than that.
To name but a few, it’s engineers travelling to maintain power stations, humanitarian workers going to places desperately needing aid, construction workers going to build hospitals, marine workers travelling to ships and rigs, and retail buyers going to choose next year’s high street fashions.
All of them are important for the UK and its economy, and ALL should be exempt.
Only when we combine total exemptions with pre-departure testing, and the vaccine, will British business truly be able to travel, trade and do the deals that will help our economy recover from Covid-19 and thrive in a post-Brexit world.