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,

Effective April 1, 2021, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has again extended its remote I-9 verification policy that defers the physical presence requirements of the employment verification process.  Under a policy first introduced on March 20, 2020, the requirement that employers inspect employees’ Form I-9 identity and employment eligibility documentation in-person applies only

International travelers are continuing to face Covid-19 entry requirements, however, China has recently announced that it will simplify its visa applications for foreign nationals who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, specifically Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccines.

According to the Chinese embassy located in the Philippines, they will be returning to pre-pandemic visa requirements for those fully vaccinated.

Italy has become one of the first countries to waive the quarantine requirement for travelers who arrive on designated “COVID-free” direct flights.  By an ordinance issued by the Italian Ministry of Health, passengers who have tested negative for COVID-19 will be allowed to travel to Italy without being subject to the current 14-day quarantine measures

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

In a proclamation issued Monday, President Biden banned travelers from entering the United States if they recently spent time in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, the Schengen Area, or South Africa. Citing its goal of curbing the spread and health impact of COVID-19, particularly novel strains of the virus arising in Brazil, South Africa, and the UK, the new administration is requiring travelers to spend 14 days in a third country before transiting to the United States.  The travel restrictions take effect today, January 26, 2021.
Continue Reading Continuing Restrictions Placed on the UK, Ireland, Europe, and Brazil, Biden Administration Adds Ban on Travel from South Africa