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IT workers join elite sports stars, fat cat biz execs, celebs and posties for special treatment under England's COVID-19 travel isolation rules

Arriving from a listed at-risk nation? New rules in place mid-December

IT pros have joined the elite of high-flying biz execs, sports stars, and celebrity actors in qualifying for's exemptions to two-week Covid-19 self-isolation rules when returning to England from listed at-risk nations.

As of 15 December, those who meet the criteria in almost 60 areas can arrange a private coronavirus test to cut down the time required to stay indoors to five days, providing, of course, they return a negative result.

However, it is unlikely the government's definition will give a green light to cutting isolation times for all trips for IT-related work.

According to the official website, the exemption is limited to, “information technology or telecommunications professionals whose expertise is required to provide an essential or emergency response to threats and incidents relating to the security of any network and information system and ensure the continued operation of any network and information system.”

That leaves a lot of important but not “emergency” work outside that definition.

The new rules will, however, apply to people working on data infrastructure maintenance or “the repair of data infrastructure required to reduce and resolve outages, or in the provision of goods and services to support these activities.”

Meanwhile, “people engaged in urgent or essential work on electronic communications networks” will also be exempt from the two-week isolation rule, following travel from listed at-risk nations outside the UK’s safe travel corridor, which excludes France, Germany, and the United States.

Techies also share the exemption list with postal workers, seasonal poultry workers, and bus drivers, who also qualify under the government’s new rules.

El Reg notes that journalists are also covered by the new regs but the vultures here in the northern hemisphere haven't really left their nests since the end of February.

In the UK, rules designed to prevent the spread of coronavirus are formed by respective national governments with Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland having their own regulations in place around isolation after international travel. ®

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