2nd October 2020
The on-going global pandemic has certainly wreaked havoc on us all. For contract professionals seeking overseas opportunities, the ever-changing restrictions around cross-border movement are certainly proving challenge. Here’s a roundup of the latest contractor travel updates as reported by Schengen Visa Information.
(Note, this information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change. Contractors are advised to seek the latest information on travel updates ahead of any move.)
Changes in Finland
With parts of Europe reporting a second wave at the moment – or planning for one soon – Finnish authorities have once again limited movement across its borders. In a statement from the country’s Ministry of Interior, it was revealed that travel controls would be reintroduced for those traveling from Sweden, Iceland, Norway, Slovakia, Germany and Estonia. Residents from Canada, Georgia and Tunisia will also face limitations on entering Finland.
At the time of writing destinations that were on the Finnish safe list were:
- The Vatican
- San Marino
Cyprus safe list decreasing
In Cyprus, authorities are continuing to attempt to control the spread of the virus and, as a result, have further narrowed down the list of safe countries where citizens will not be required to present a negative PCR test on arrival to the islands. At the moment, just eight destinations meet the criteria to be considered a Category A country, allowing free movement of citizens without proof of a test: Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Finland, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea and Thailand.
Until recently, Norway and Canada were part of the Category A list, however following a spike in numbers they have both been moved to Category B. Anyone from these countries in the B list will need to provide a negative result from a Covid test that has been taken no more than 72 hours before their arrival in Cyprus.
Slovenia, Austria, Portugal and Switzerland also dropped a category and are now in the C list for Cyprus.
Sweden lifts advice against some non-essential travel
In more positive news, Swedish authorities revealed that as of 21st September, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) no longer recommended that citizens avoid all but non-essential travel to Finland and Slovakia.
In a statement, the Ministry urged citizen to remain vigilant despite this announcement:
“A high degree of personal responsibility must be taken by travellers regardless of where they travel. Before travelling, every traveller should prepare thoroughly, keep well informed about the entry rules that apply and follow the advice and instructions of local authorities when abroad.”
At the time of writing, Swedish citizens are advised against all but essential travel to the following locations until 7th October at which time there will be a review of the guidelines:
Lithuania’s high-risk list grows
In Lithuania, the number of countries the government classifies as high-risk has increased and contractors need to be aware of the travel updates this could lead to. According to the destinations Ministry of Health, Bulgaria, Sweden, Norway, Georgia, Canada, Tunisia and the Faroe Islands are all high-risk locations following spikes in cases in these areas.
Citizen’s returning to Lithuania from anywhere that is considered to be ‘profoundly affected’ by the pandemic will need to self-isolate for 14 days. This can be dropped to just ten days “if the test for Coronavirus infection (COVID-19) performed no earlier than on the eighth day of isolation is negative.”
Quarantining in Denmark
As of mid-September, Denmark advised its citizens and residents to avoid any travel to Austria, Hungary, the Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland. While this is guidance only, authorities also revealed that anyone arriving from these countries will need to isolate for ten days once they reach Denmark. This announcement followed reports of significant new cases in each of the locations.
However, it was reported by Schengen that “the advice against non-essential travel to high-risk countries is primarily aimed at Danish tourists, and not to business travel for essential purposes.”
Slovakia adds to its list of safe countries
Despite other countries adding it to their own high risk lists, Slovakia has added Bulgaria, Sweden and Canada to its list of safe countries. Anyone European travellers from those that are still on the destinations high risk list will have a choice of providing a negative PCR test or quarantining on arrival.
However, anyone traveling to Slovakia from any of the below locations will not be required to isolate or take a test:
- Denmark (including the Faroe Islands)
- Hellenic Republic
- South Korea
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
Contractor travel updates: don’t forget compliance
Contract professionals have a lot on their minds at the moment for obvious reasons. The world we are all operating in is changing rapidly and border restrictions and travel updates are happening almost overnight, which is creating a lot of uncertainty for many expats. And while we have always advised that health insurance is needed when relocating for a project, the on-going pandemic has made this much more critical, though contractors will need to ensure they have cover that is appropriate for the country they plan to work in.
However, what hasn’t changed is the need to remain compliant when delivering on international projects – even if you’re working remotely from your home country. Before the pandemic struck, global governments were driving tougher tax and compliance measures. But with authorities worldwide under increasing pressure to source additional funds in these tough economic times, you can rest assured that tougher compliance measures are just around the corner.
That’s why it’s crucial that you ensure you are operating compliantly – and seeking expert guidance is the most sensible way to achieve this. The team at 6CATS International has a wealth of knowledge and on-the-ground connections to ensure you remain on the right side of the law in your chosen destination.
Get in touch today to find out more.