MINISTERS sparked outrage today over a fresh loophole letting high-flying foreign businessmen swerve quarantine – while sun-seeking Brits long for a holiday.
Bosses jetting in from amber list countries will be exempt from 10-day isolation – but only if they swing a deal that brings a big boost to Britain.
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Already feeling the heat after bending the rules for UEFA fat cats, Downing Street insisted the controversial exemption will only apply to those creating “significant economic benefit”.
Footie legend Gary Neville hit back that “we all bring value to the economy” – and suggested it left the current restrictions in tatters.
He tweeted: “That’s it. Do what you want everyone. It’s over… We all bring value to the economy!”
Labour’s Angela Rayner piled in to brand the exemption “an offensive slap in the face” that “makes a mockery of the sacrifices of the British people”.
Execs will still have to get tested and prove they’re worth exempting – defined as having a 50 per cent chance of saving or creating 500 jobs.
Besieged Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told MPs: “To my mind, if it helps thousands of people get and keep jobs it’s worthwhile.”
The PM’s official spokesperson said: “Protecting public health is our number one priority and that’s why those exemptions will only apply in truly exceptional circumstances.
“Many other countries have introduced similar exemptions and it’s important the UK public don’t lose out on prospective major investments and new jobs as a result of that.”
The Department for Business said: “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.”
Institute of Economic Affairs boss Mark Littlewood ripped into the exemption.
He blasted: “This looks suspiciously like a one rule for the rich and tighter, harsher rules for everyone else. Either that or it’s a recipe for bureaucratic cronyism.
“Who in Whitehall is going to determine whether a business trip is likely to lead to the creation or protection of 500 UK-based jobs within two years?
“These absurd and bizarre new laws are further evidence of the need to swiftly move to ending all lockdown restrictions.”