22nd June 2020
As countries around the world aim to repair the economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, several travel bans and lockdown restrictions are slowly being lifted. All contractors hoping to complete international projects in Europe and APAC should familiarise themselves with the latest developments across those regions.
To help you stay abreast of the situations across multiple territories, we’ve compiled a round-up of the most relevant information for some of the most popular global contracting destinations. All information comes courtesy of trustworthy and verified sources, like Gov.uk and Wanderlust.co.uk, and are accurate as of June 13th.
The latest updates from global contracting hotspots
Germany has been widely praised for its response to COVID-19 ever since the first case was announced at the end of January and continues to gradually lift restrictions following the successful reintroduction of restaurants, hotels, and sport (albeit behind closed doors) during May. While only essential travel is allowed, its borders opened to the UK, as well as EU states, on Monday 15th June. This is a key moment for contractors wishing to resume work in the country.
Further waves of border reopenings are expected later in the summer, as Germany prepares to welcome global visitors and tourists for non-essential reasons, but no confirmed dates are set.
Spain has arguably been one of the worst hit countries, declaring a State of Emergency back on 14th March. It is slowly working through a three-phase exit plan, with many of its autonomous regions entering stage three on 15th June. However, both Barcelona and Madrid are exempt from this. International arrivals have been informed to self-isolate for 14 days while individuals must meet the entry requirements as imposed by local authorities.
While Spain gradually moves towards rebuilding its economy, it could be several weeks before contractors are able to resume projects in the Iberian Peninsula.
France continues to tread carefully in its bid to ease lockdown rulings. Still, contractors can enter the country for work opportunities as long as they have been granted a travel certificate by the French authorities. Meanwhile, UK arrivals are exempt from the 14-day quarantine period that arrivals from several other countries are required to adhere to. This allows contractors to start work on projects in all regions of France with immediate effect, as long as the project is essential.
The travel certificates and declarations are a little complicated, compared to usual, while internal public travel is compromised by COVID-19 too. However, work opportunities are still available for those willing to go through the levels of red tape.
New arrivals to the Czech Republic are permitted for several essential reasons, of which contracting projects are included, but you must provide a negative coronavirus test on arrival. Alternatively, you can provide a test within 72 hours, as long as you self-isolate until the results are verified. If a negative test is not submitted to the authorities, arrivals will be required to self-isolate for 14 days before commencing any work.
Austria has similar restrictions in place, although only for individuals that have been in a country deemed a COVID-19 risk by the Austrian Foreign Ministry.
Elsewhere in Europe
While Greece continues to move towards lifting its restrictions by no later than 15th July, arrivals from the UK will remain prohibited due to the high volume of COVID-19 cases. Italy is open to contractors from some destinations, although public transport is banned. Visitors to Portugal have been able to avoid quarantine since 6th June while flights to Turkey from the the UK have reopened for non-Turkish residents, including contractors.
Some countries like Montenegro have a total ban on arrivals from certain destinations, others, like Estonia, are using an enforced 14-day quarantine period, and some have no restrictions at all.
Essential travel to China is permitted as the country eases its lockdown ruling, but travel to Hubei Province is not advised by the FCO, even though the movement restrictions have officially been lifted in the region where COVID-19 first originated.
The FCO advises against all but essential travel to India for the time being as some lockdown restrictions remain in containment zones until at least 30th June. All travel to Jammu, Kashmir, and the Pakistan border is restricted, despite the destination looking to get more people back to work.
Entry to Brunei for work commitments is now permitted, but heavily restricted. Arrivals must pay $1,000 BND for a COVID-19 test and show that they have the funds to cover the costs of staying in quarantine.
Foreign arrivals remain banned, regardless of the circumstances while the Hong Kong authorities have yet to provide any update on when this may change.
Japan still has a strict ban on arrivals from other countries except under extreme circumstances. As a rule of thumb, contractors that have resided in another destination within the last 14 days will be unable to enter, even for work.
The Jordan authorities have closed all borders on land and sea. With no confirmed date for reopening the borders in place, contractors are still unable to visit for work.
Entry to the Maldives for work or leisure will be permitted from 1st July. However, you will need proof of a COVID-19 test and must stay for at least 14 nights, with accommodation booked in advance of your arrival.
Foreign arrivals are heavily restricted in Indonesia, although exceptions can be made for essential travel. In those cases, a valid health certificate will be required to gain entry to any of the islands.
For the latest info
While the above information is accurate at the time of writing, it should be noted that the situations in multiple territories change on an almost daily basis as governments respond to the latest COVID-19 developments. If you are planning to work in any European or APAC territory over the coming weeks, it’s imperative that you monitor the updates from the appropriate authorities.
As lockdown laws ease, compliance with local employment and tax laws is crucial. Here at 6CATS, our experts can support you with all of your compliance needs for destinations around the global. From understanding the restrictions to planning for your next overseas assignment, we’re here to help.
For further information, do not hesitate to give our team of specialists a call.