Private jet flights surge in rush to beat planned Covid quarantine rules

Business leaders and expats are among the growing numbers of passengers trying to book private jets in order to bypass upcoming quarantine regulations.

Requests for private flights back to UK airports, including smaller provincial airfields, have increased since the government announced plans to ban vacation travel and introduce even stricter restrictions on arrivals to the UK.

UK nationals and residents returning from any of the 30 countries listed will be brought into a country Government approved hotel where they have to self-isolate for 10 days.

Foreigners and non-UK residents from these destinations – including South America, southern Africa and Portugal – are already banned from entering the UK.

Direct flights are suspended, but UK residents are allowed to return on indirect routes and then self-isolate at home.

In a broader sense, anyone entering the country from abroad, including UK nationals returning home, must demonstrate a negative Covid-19 test result recorded up to three days prior to departure.

Adam Twidell, managing director of the private jet company PrivateFly, said: “Over the past two days we have seen an increase in new inquiries and existing customers who have changed their plans amid concerns about the upcoming UK hotel quarantines.

“Some are second home owners who are currently overseas and wanted to return to the UK in February or March but are now pushing their flights forward to return within the next two weeks.

“We have received several inquiries from private jet users in the Algarve who are particularly concerned and urgent to fly back to the UK.

“Others in Spain and other parts of Europe, as well as the Middle East and Asia, are also planning to return earlier than expected, while customers flying to the UK on business trips are now changing or canceling their plans.

“A request came from a Paris-based management consultancy whose customer meeting was planned for mid-February and which has now brought it forward by two weeks in anticipation of the announcement.”

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