Lockdown in the UK is easing at last.  We can meet up with friends, family and work colleagues who we have only seen virtually over the last few months.  Perhaps go for a meal……but will our favourite restaurants be able to re-open?

The UK hospitality industry has been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis. Since March 2020, these businesses have been forced to close during the various periods of lockdown, often leading them to letting staff go unless they could retain them under the furlough scheme. According to the Office for National Statistics, 335,000 jobs were lost in the catering industry in the year to March 2021 alone. A number of these positions had previously been filled by overseas nationals, many of whom have left the UK.  It has now been reported that a number of restaurant owners are now having issues recruiting staff.

However, help is potentially at hand due to the changes made to the UK immigration system on 1 December 2020.


Continue Reading Empty Chairs At Empty Tables

In line with many countries around the world, in order to combat the spread of Covid-19, the EU placed restrictions on travelers entering from non-EU countries.  With increasing numbers of people now being vaccinated, some countries are slowly coming out of lockdown with restrictions on non-emergency travel easing.

Earlier this week, EU Member States came to an agreement regarding entry of visitors from outside of the EU.  The agreement is still pending final approval but it is anticipated that EU countries will soon allow entry to visitors who either have been fully vaccinated with an EU approved vaccine or are from a “safe list” of third countries that have met certain criteria.


Continue Reading EU Getting Ready to Re-Open Borders to Travellers

In response to the rise of COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, the country’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced the implementation of new entry restrictions for foreign visitors.  Specifically, foreign nationals without a valid Alien Resident Certificate (ARC card) will be temporarily barred from entry to Taiwan.  This means holders of visitor or residence visas with COVID-19 special permits, as well as transit travelers, will be banned from entry, including those travelers who plan to apply for ARC cards following arrival in Taiwan.  Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis for emergencies and on humanitarian grounds.  This travel ban is in effect from May 19 to June 18, 2021. 
Continue Reading In Response to Rising COVID-19 Cases, Taiwan Further Bans Foreign Visitors

In order to comply with illegal working rules, all employers must check that their employees have the legal right to work for them in the UK.  If it later transpires the employee does not possess the requisite immigration permission, failure to have carried out a right to work (“RTW”) check, may lead to an employer being charged with a civil or criminal penalty depending on the circumstances.

On 21 April, the Home Office announced that the Covid-19 adjustment to the RTW would come to an end on 17 May 2021.  The end of the adjustment means that employers would once again have to see an individual’s original documents to comply with the RTW requirements.  We discussed this change in our article:  UK Right to Work Checks: Sunset of the Covid-19 Concession and Brexit Impact | The Mobile Workforce

The Home Office have announced today that the Covid-19 adjustment will now continue to 20 June.  This will assist a number of employers with employees who are continuing to work from home in line with current government guidance.


Continue Reading Ending of Covid-19 Adjustment to UK Right to Work Checks Postponed

India has reported the highest number of COVID-positive cases in any single day, in any country, since the pandemic.  New strain variants first identified in India have also appeared in other countries.  In reaction, multiple countries across the globe have announced restrictions on travel from India, and more are likely to follow in quick succession,

The Canadian federal government has made a series of announcements regarding travel, quarantine, and testing requirements for travelers arriving by air and by land.  These new measures form part of the government’s efforts to prevent the spread of new, more contagious COVID-19 variants feared to be introduced by travelers from overseas.  As of the date of this writing, the requirements are as follows.  Changes are being announced on a regular and frequent basis without advance notice, so please check for the latest requirements before booking or commencing travel.

Continue Reading Canada Implements Pre-and Post-Arrival Testing and Quarantine Requirements

Canada.  Today the Canadian Government announced rules further restricting international travel. According to the government’s press release:

  • Flight suspension.  All flights to and from Mexico and Caribbean countries suspended until April 30, 2021, in effect as of Sunday, January 31, 2021.
  • Routing Through Four Canadian Airports.  Effective midnight (11:59 PM EST) February 3, 2021, in addition to proof of a negative pre-departure test, all international flights will land at only four airports: Montréal-Trudeau, Toronto Pearson, Calgary, and Vancouver.  The new restrictions will include scheduled commercial passenger flights arriving from the United States, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and South America, which were exempted from the previous restriction.
  • Testing and Hotel Stay Upon Arrival.  All arriving air travelers must reserve a room in a government-approved hotel for three nights at their own cost, and take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival at their own cost.  The timing for implementation of this requirement has not been made clear at the time of this writing.
  • Testing for Land-Crossing.  Travelers crossing by land will be required to test negative 72-hours prior to arrival, with limited exceptions such as commercial truckers.


Continue Reading Travel Bans by Canada and the United Kingdom Broadened, In Ongoing Virus Containment Efforts

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed on Monday that the United Kingdom is considering changes to its self-isolation requirements for inbound international travelers, including a possible mandatory hotel quarantine period for those entering the UK.

The country currently requires travelers to have tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours before their travel and to fill

Several countries around the globe have imposed COVID-19 testing as part of their pre-travel requirements.  In line with these measures, Australia has joined the list of countries requiring COVID-19 testing, with the Department of Home Affairs in Australia announcing new measures.  Commencing on January 22, 2021, anyone traveling or transiting through Australia must provide evidence

On December 31, 2020, the Trump Administration issued Presidential Proclamation on Suspension of Entry of Immigrants and Nonimmigrants Who Continue to Present a Risk to the United States Labor Market, continuing restrictions on certain work visa and green card issuance through the end of March 2021.  Citing improved but still persistent unemployment figures caused by COVID-19, the new Proclamation extended two prior executive actions that have limited employers’ ability to sponsor foreign workers for residency and work in the United States:

  • Presidential Proclamation 10014, which suspended the issuance of new immigrant visas to applicants who were outside the United States as of April 24, 2020, and
  • Presidential Proclamation 10052, which, as reported here, suspended new H-1B, L-1, H-2B, and certain J-1 visa issuance for individuals who were outside the United States as of June 23, 2020; were not in possession of a nonimmigrant visa on that date; and have no other authorization to travel to the United States, such as a transportation letter, an appropriate boarding foil, or an advance parole authorization. The Department of State (DOS) has confirmed that the ban does not prohibit visa applications and travel into the United States by H-1B and L-1 nonimmigrants who are resuming “ongoing employment in the United States in the same position with the same employer and visa classification.”


Continue Reading Trump Administration Extends Bans on Issuing Certain Work Visas and Green Cards Until March 31, 2021