TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE 12 JAN
- Home Office Visa Update (Again)
The Home Office has yet again updated it’s visa guidance to include information for those outside the UK whose leave has expired before they are able to return to the UK and update information referring to the free replacement of expired vignettes. People whose 90 day vignette has expired need to apply for a replacement by completing the online form. The cost of replacing an expired 90 day vignette is £154 and applicants will need to make an appointment to resubmit their biometric information.
There is also an online form for people who left the UK with valid leave before 17 March 2020 and intended to return to the UK and make an application for Indefinite or Further Permission to Stay, but you were unable to do so before your leave expired because of travel restrictions related to coronavirus.
TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE 4 JAN 2021
- Updated Visa Guidance
The Home Office has updated it’s guidance on visas to say that if you are a business that is sponsoring a person coming to the UK under the following routes
- Skilled Worker visa
- Health and Care Worker visa
- Intra-company Transfer visa
- T2 Worker visas
- T5 Temporary Worker visas
And they are waiting for their work visa application to be decided, you may allow them to start work before their visa application has been decided if:
- you’ve assigned them a CoS and either:
- they are applying under the Health and Care visa
- their CoS was assigned before 1 January 2021
- the employee submitted their application before their current visa expired
- the role they are employed in is the same as the one on their CoS
TIER BREXIT UPDATE 31 DEC
EU (Future Relationship) Bill approved
The EU (Future Relationship) Bill has been approved by Parliament and received Royal Assent. Further details about the bill are available here.
The Department for Health and Social Care has updated guidance on healthcare for visitors. The key message for EU nationals from 1 January 2021 is:
• If you are visiting the UK from an EU country and you fall ill or have a medical emergency during your temporary stay in England, you can use a valid EHIC issued by your home country to access healthcare.
• Your EHIC also covers you for the treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and for routine maternity care, providing the reason for your visit is not specifically to give birth or receive treatment.
• The EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance as it will not cover any private medical healthcare, being flown back home, or lost or stolen property. You should still get travel insurance.
If you are visiting the UK from Norway, you will be entitled to medically necessary healthcare. You will need to show a valid Norwegian passport.
TIER BREXIT UPDATE 30 DEC
MPs approve the UK’s post-Brexit trade deal
Today the European Union (Future Relationship) Bill was laid before Parliament. It has been debated and voted on in the Commons with 521 who backed the bill against 73 votes.
The Bill is currently being debated in the House of Lords – with the vote taking place at around 10.30pm tonight. Once it has completed the process it will be passed to the Queen for Royal Assent at around 11pm.
Other guidance updates
- The ‘Travel to the EU’ section of the Foreign travel insurance page has been updated to reflect that UK-issued European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) will still be accepted in EU countries, with different guidance for people travelling to Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland from 1 January 2021.
BREXIT UPDATE 29 DEC
On 24 December, the European Commission and the UK Government announced that a trade agreement had been reached. You can read the agreement on the Gov.UK website here, which includes a summary explainer.
The European Commission held a press conference on 24 December hosted by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier, you can read the press release here. At the conference:
· Von Der Leyen said it was a fair and balanced deal and said they were well prepared for Brexit, with €5bn budgeted to help business affected.
· The EU rules and standards will be protected as well effective tools to respond to changing regulations if necessary. They will continue to work with the UK on issues such as climate change, energy, security, and transport.
· Barnier mentioned that there would be real changes as of the 1 January for many people and businesses, but that this new agreement founded a new relationship.
· He said that the level of mobility between the UK and EU states would not be what it had been. He mentioned the UK had decided not to participate in ERASMUS, the European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students allowing free movement and education exchange between registered universities and institutions for eligible students.
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a UK press conference on 24 December after the European Commission’s and you can read his statement here. At the conference:
· The PM described the deal as being a Canada style free trade deal worth £660bn a year. It will allow UK goods to be sold without tariffs and quotas in the EU.
· From 1 January we will be outside the customs union and single market. He highlighted the end of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, and the ability to set our own standards.
· The PM said the deal means certainty for the aviation industry, border force, business, and security services. He noted this would allow the UK to become leaders in science and allow for collaboration around the world. He described it as allowing for a ‘giant free trade zone’ of which we will be a member but also allow us to make independent free trade agreements (there are over 60 deals so far including this one).
· Johnson was further asked about ERASMUS, he said that they are producing a UK scheme (named the Turing Scheme) to allow students to travel and study at universities around the world.
What happens next:
· Ambassadors from the 27 EU member states have provisionally approved the EU-UK post-Brexit trade deal, paving the way for it to take effect. The EU Parliament will vote on it in the New Year.
· MPs will be recalled to Parliament tomorrow, Wednesday 30December, to vote on the legislation to ratify the deal.
BREXIT UPDATE 17 DEC
The Secretary of State for DHSC has notified the House about arrangements the Government has made to support people who require ongoing, routine healthcare treatment in order to be able to travel to the European Economic Area or Switzerland after the end of the Transition Period, should there be no further negotiated outcome with the EU. These arrangements would commence from 1 January 2021.
Negotiations on future arrangements with the EU are ongoing and include necessary healthcare provisions. If agreed, such provisions would provide effectively the same healthcare cover as the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The Government continues to work hard to secure these arrangements. See more here.
2025 UK Border strategy published
The government has published the 2025 UK Border strategy setting out its vision for when the UK takes back control of its borders on 31 December.
The strategy will look at improving passenger journeys through ports and increased use of eGates to speed passenger journeys.
BREXIT UPDATE 16 DEC
Brexit transition update
Updated guidance for EU, EEA or Swiss citizens on crossing the UK border and visiting the UK from 1 January 2021.
Guidance has been updated on the ‘Visiting the UK from 1 January 2021’ section on gov.uk. Irish citizens will continue to be able to enter and live in the UK as they do now. EU, EEA and Swiss citizens will continue to be able to travel to the UK for holidays or short trips without needing a visa. They will be able to cross the UK border using a valid passport which should be valid for the whole time you are in the UK. They will not be able to use an EU, EEA or Swiss national ID card to enter the UK from 1 October 2021 unless they:
- have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
- have an EU Settlement Scheme family permit
- have a frontier worker permit
- are an S2 Healthcare Visitor
- are a Swiss Service Provider
UK and US sign Customs agreement
The UK and US governments agreed a deal to continue Customs cooperation following EU Exit. Further details are available on gov.uk.
BREXIT UPDATE 8 DEC
Wales Brexit update
The Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates and the Rt Hon Simon Hart MP, Secretary of State for Wales, have issued a joint letter highlighting the actions businesses need to take to prepare for the changes which will occur and affect business operations from 1 January 2021.
They will be jointly hosting a webinar to talk directly to business in Wales about the challenges and opportunities that the end of the Transition Period presents. It will take place on 10 December 2020, 11.30am – 12.15pm. Register here.
Brexit Update 7 Dec
UK signs Services Mobility Agreement with Switzerland
On Friday the Government announced that the UK signed a Services Mobility Agreement (SMA) with Switzerland. The SMA will allow UK professionals to work in Switzerland for up to 90 days without a work permit as per current rules. Currently, if a UK service provider wants to provide services in Switzerland for 90 days or less, they can use an online notification provider and there is no requirement to get a work permit. This provision will be retained. In return, Swiss professionals will be able to deliver contracts in the UK in skilled sectors through the Tier 5 International Agreement visa. The agreement covers a number of sectors, including tourism and creative industries.
The SMA contains a non-binding provision to encourage UK and Swiss regulatory bodies to develop a comprehensive agreement on the recognition of professional qualifications for service suppliers working in each other’s markets. The agreement sets out a timeframe and programme of work on MRPQ (Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications).
The initial agreement will last for two years to ensure continuity immediately after the transition period. Further information is available on GOV.UK.
Other Government updates
- The Visiting the UK after Brexit page has been updated to say that people will not be able to use the List of Travellers scheme to visit the UK from 1October 2021.
TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE 18 NOV
Letter to the tourism and hospitality sector on actions to take to prepare for our new relationship with the EU
With just over a month to go until the end of the BREXIT transition period, a letter has been published from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, to the tourism and hospitality sector urging businesses to take action now to prepare for our new relationship with the EU. The letter outlines what you need to do by 1 January 2021 along with a list of top actions.
TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE 6 NOV
Here’s day’s Brexit Update
- VAT Retail Export Scheme Campaign
Lobbying work continues on getting the Government to reconsider the decision to end the VAT Retail Export Scheme when the UK leaves the EU at the end of the year. Ending the scheme, rather than extending it to visitors from the RU, will have a considerable impact on tourism especially from high value markets such as China and the Middle East.
Attached is a fact sheet on just how considerable the impact this will have on tourism jobs and revenue. The key message is that if the Government extended the scheme to EU visitors rather than abolishing it, this would generate:
- over 1.3 million more visitors
- £1.9 billion
- more than 28,000 jobs
If you have an opportunity to raise this with officials, MPs or Ministers, that would be greatly appreciated
- Changes in Food Labelling and Logos
This guidance will be of interested to businesses that produce their own food products, especially in rural and seaside areas.
- Country of Origin labels
From 1 January, food from GB must not be labelled as ‘origin EU’ (there is an exemption for Northern Ireland) and you cannot use the EU emblem on goods produced in Great Britain unless you have been authorised by the EU to do so – this includes accreditation schemes like the EU organic logo. There is specific guidance for a range of produce including honey, eggs, fruit and vegetables and meat.
- Geographical Indication Logos
The UK will be setting up its own GI schemes from 1 January 2021 to replace the European Scheme. If you produce food, drink and agricultural GI products registered before 1 January 2021, you have until 1 January 2024 to change packaging and marketing materials to display the new UK GI logos. However, from 1 January 2021, the UK logo will be mandatory for any new product.
- Data Protection Campaign
The Government has just published the attached Partner Pack for a new campaign to make sure that businesses prepare for new data protection requirements that will result from the UK leaving the EU at the end of the year. The three key messages of this are:
- If you’re a business or organisation that receives personal data from the EU/EEA, you must check if you need to take action on data protection to ensure data can flow lawfully from January 1st 2021.
- Visit GOV.UK to find out how you can lawfully continue to receive personal data such as names, addresses or payroll details from organisations in the EU or EEA from January 2021.
- Sign up to the Information Commissioner Office (ICO) newsletter for up-to-date information on steps you can take to ensure that personal data you receive from the EU/EEA can flow lawfully from January 2021.
- HMRC Letter to VAT Businesses
HMRC will be writing to all VAT registered businesses next week explaining what they need to do to prepare. The letter specifically urges businesses to:
- decide how they are going to deal with customs declarations – most companies use a specialist for this;
- check to see whether they might be able to delay your declarations and duty payments; they may be eligible for this if their goods are not on the controlled goods list and they do not have a poor compliance record
- register for the free Trader Support Service if they plan to move goods into Northern Ireland.
TOURISM ALLIANCE UPDATE 4 NOV
- The Tourism Sector From January 2021
This is another link worth bookmarking. DCMS have put together a collection of guidance document’s specifically related to the operation of tourism businesses and activities from 1 January 2021. This includes guidance and policy papers on
- Visiting Europe
- Visiting the UK
- Settlement Scheme
- Data Management
- The eCommerce Directive
- The Movement of Goods
- Arts, Culture and Heritage Collection
DCMS have also put together a collection of guidance for the arts, Culture and Heritage Sectors. The topis covered by this collection are:
- Visiting Europe
- eCommerce Directive
- Movement of goods
- EU Funding
- Recruiting from outside the UK
- Global Talent Visa
And one for the Gambling/Gaming Sector with the following topics:
- Visiting Europe
- Your organisation and services
- Movement of goods
And one for the Creative Sector with:
- Visiting Europe
- Your organisation and services
- Movement of goods
- EU Funding
BVEP NOTE ON 3 NOV
We wanted to draw again your attention to an item on the Brexit Update we circulated yesterday which was flagged as being of most relevance to event and conference organisers:
‘Moving goods: From 1 January 2021 businesses will need an EORI number to move goods between Great Britain and the EU. They may also need one if they move goods to or from Northern Ireland. This is likely to be most relevant to events and conference organisers and the hospitality sector. The guidance covers who needs an EORI number and how to apply for one, as well as guidance on taking goods temporarily out of the UK.’
TIER BREXIT UPDATE 2 NOV
The End of Transition Period guidance for the tourism sector has been published, the guidance covers:
- Visiting Europe: Guidance for tourism businesses to share with their outbound customers covering passports; travel insurance; having the right documentation to drive in the EU and organising pet travel.
- Visiting the UK: Guidance for tourism businesses to share with their international customers covering entry to the UK (including school groups); what you can bring into the UK; healthcare in the UK; driving in the UK and mobile roaming.
- The Border Operating Model: Updated guidance provides further detail for businesses and passengers on how the GB-EU border will operate after the end of the transition period
- Impacts on employees: the EU Settlement Scheme and selling services to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein from 1 January 2021
- Data: encouraging businesses to check if they need to change the way that they receive personal data from the EU/EEA.
- Encouraging businesses to check the impact on any services that they provide to organisations or individuals based in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, including for ecommerce and eu domain names.
- Moving goods: From 1 January 2021 businesses will need an EORI number to move goods between Great Britain and the EU. They may also need one if they move goods to or from Northern Ireland. This is likely to be most relevant to events and conference organisers and the hospitality sector. The guidance covers who needs an EORI number and how to apply for one, as well as guidance on taking goods temporarily out of the UK.
DCMS is continuing to seek clarity on issues that are of significance to the tourism sector (e.g. reciprocal healthcare, labour mobility, cross-border transport) and will provide updates as when this is received.
TIER BREXIT UPDATE 30 OCT
- DCMS Seven Point Check List
DCMS has pushed a Seven Point Checklist for businesses associated with their remit to help them to prepare for Brexit.
The Seven Steps in the Checklist are:
- Step 1: Check your employees can still meet professional requirements for the country they’re working in, including whether they need a visa or work permit or need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
- Step 2: Check if you need to change the way you receive personal data from the EU/EEA.
- Step 3: Check what you need to do to visit Europe after the transition period.
- Step 4: Check the impact on any arts, cultural or heritage services you provide to organisations or individuals based in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, including for ecommerce and eu domain names.
- Step 5: Prepare for moving goods in and out of the UK, including works of art and historical objects.
- Step 6: Check the UK’s continued participation in EU programmes funded by the current EU Multiannual Financial Framework.
- Step 7:Prepare for the new points-based immigration system will introduce job, salary and language requirements.
This is another page that it is well worth bookmarking as it links to various guidance documents associated with each point in the checklist and no doubt these documents will be updated as things progress
- VAT Refund Scheme Lobbying
The Tourism Alliance is continuing to support the lobbying work being led by AIR and the New West End Company regarding proposals to remove the VAT Refund Scheme for all visitors to the UK from 1 January 2021 rather than extending it to EU nations in order to help kickstart the recovery of international tourism. One of the main issues this week was HMRC publishing a “Myth Buster” Document to try to justify the Government’s decision. However, this document itself contained a significant number of myths.
A good example of this was quoting VisitBritain research which showed that shopping wasn’t a motivating factor in overseas visitors coming to the UK. However, the reason that the people interviewed didn’t say that shopping was a motivating factor was quite simple – the research didn’t ask them if it was.
A copy of rebuttal to the HMRC document can be forwarded on request..
- CBI Conference
The CBI Conference is being held on 2-4 November. While it is not specifically Brexit focused – but it certainly will have a lot of Brexit related content. If you want to watch it you can sign up for free as an affiliate through the Tourism Alliance’s temporary membership.
- Air, Sea, Road and Rail Transport from January 2021
The Government has collated all the transport related guidance for travel between the UK and the EU together on one page to make it easier to access. Apart from road haulage particularly new but, again, it’s a page worth bookmarking.
- Intellectual Property And Brexit
The Ministry of Justice has partnered with the Law Society to run a free seminar on the impact of Brexit in intellectual property which will discuss:
- Wrapping up the Transitional Period provisions granted under the Withdrawal Agreement
- Protections for holders of UK Intellectual Property across Europe post 2020
- Future enforcement from any breaches of IP rights within the EU
- The role for UK IP lawyers in cross border proceedings
You can sign up on the following link
TIER BREXIT UPDATE 26 OCT
Immigration rules update
Legislation was laid in Parliament on 22 October, which sets out a number of changes to the Immigration Rules.
These changes provide the foundation for the UK’s new Points-Based Immigration System, which will apply from 1 January 2021, including to newly arriving EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss citizens (except Irish nationals). These changes build upon the measures already outlined in the policy statements published by the Government in February and July 2020.
Guidelines for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens
EU, EEA and Swiss citizens arriving in the UK on or before 31 December who wish to work, study or visit the UK should not apply through the Points-Based Immigration System. If they want to stay in the UK after 30 June 2021 they should apply to the EU Settlement Scheme upon arrival in the UK.
The Government has created a range of introductory guides for those planning to enter the UK from 1 January 2021 from the EU, EEA and Switzerland. They have also created individual country pages on GOV.UK with translated information available in 25 other languages. These pages will be updated in the coming weeks with further guidance.
TOURISM ALLIANCE BREXIT UPDATE – 26 OCTOBER
Here’s a quick update on what is happening with Brexit and the change to the immigration salary requirement.
- DCMS Update on Brexit
Download an excellent update that DCMS have provided. It pulls together Government Brexit announcements and arranges them under different themes
- Future Relationship and Transition Period
- EU Settlement Scheme
- People and Tourism
- International Trade
- Exports, Customs and Borders
- Carnets, Licences and Permits
- Data Protection and Intellectual property
- EU Funding and Finance
- Arts, Heritage, Tourism and Cultural Sector
Legislation has been laid in Parliament setting out a number of changes to the Immigration Rules that provide the foundation for the UK’s new Points-Based Immigration System, which will apply from 1 January 2021.
As you will have seen in the media, this contains the amendment that reduces the Salary threshold to £20,480 from the previous £35,800, a change that will greatly help tourism businesses recruit the staff they need in future.
The Skilled Worker Route will open for applications from December 2020. In order to recruit overseas workers through the Skilled Worker Route, you must be registered as a licensed sponsor. Getting a licence normally takes around 8 weeks and fees apply. You can find all the information you need, at GOV.UK/HiringFromTheEU.
Here’s a link to the full statement on changes to the immigration rules: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/statement-of-changes-to-the-immigration-rules-hc-813-22-october-2020