THE Government has confirmed that high-value business travellers, sports stars and performing arts professionals will not need to self-isolate upon arrival.

The Transport Secretary Grant Shapps last night confirmed those falling into the above categories would not need to self-isolate when arriving into England from Saturday.

But he said such exemptions will be "subject to specific criteria being met," as it was revealed it included trips that create or preserve at least 50 UK jobs.

In a statement, the Department for Transport said individuals will only be exempt when undertaking specific business activity and will only be permitted to meet with others as required by that.

It said that further information will be issued once the new rules come into force at 4am on Saturday, December 5.

The Department for Transport said sectors such as media and elite sport were also selected for exemption from quarantine as they “require specific, high-talent individuals who rely on international connections”.

It added: “Public Health England do not anticipate these changes will raise the risk of domestic transmission, due to the protocols being put in place around these exemptions, however all exemptions will remain under review.”

Currently, nearly all people arriving in the UK from destinations not believed to be at low risk of coronavirus are required to self-isolate for 14 days.

But Mr Shapps' announcement was met with criticism with some accusing the Government of providing "one rule for them, and one for others."

On social media, author Emma Kennedy said: "Thank god the virus can tell who's rich and swerve them."

Richard Allen said: "Well that's opened Pandora's Box. No-one's going to self-isolate now. Absolutely ridiculous. Do you know how absurd you sound?."

Matthew Bott said: "(I) didn't realise Covid looked at your LinkedIn profle before deciding whether to infect you."

But Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, welcomed the news saying it showed Britain is "open" for business.

He said: “This is a welcome first step in dismantling the quarantine system and showing that Britain is open for business again.

“There will be some big businesses that are able to take advantage of it.”

No changing are being made this week to the travel corridors list, which states where anyone can return to the UK from without needing to enter quarantine.