21st December 2020
With the news of the roll out of a Covid-19 vaccine bolstering optimism worldwide, it can be all too easy to forget that the pandemic is still very much gripping global economies. And while there is certainly more freedom of movement afforded to contract professionals now than there was in the first half of 2020, restrictions are still in place and changing constantly as governments continue to fight the spread of the disease.
As a case in point, in the Netherlands contractor travel could be hindered due to the latest restrictions put in place for the destination.
Netherlands contractor travel restrictions
The Netherlands has had a number of rules in place for travelling into and around the country since the pandemic first broke earlier this year, and these certainly seemed to have had a positive impact. In fact, in mid-November, the destination had eased many restrictions as infection cases fell. However, following yet another spike, officials have taken action again and have reinstated a number of rules.
As part of this, it was announced that from 15th December, anyone travelling from a destination that’s not listed on the EU’s ‘safe countries’ list and who doesn’t fall under the EU travel ban will have to present a negative Covid test on arrival in the Netherlands. Anyone failing to do so will not be allowed to cross the border.
However, Dutch nationals and EU residents and their family members who are travelling outside the EU or Schengen region or back into the Netherlands from these locations, will not be caught by these restrictions.
According to Schengen Visa information, anyone arriving into the Netherlands will need a negative result of a Covid-19 test and a signed Negative Test Declaration if they:
- Come from a country outside the European Union list of safe countries
- Come from countries outside the EU’s Schengen zone
- Arrive by sea or air
- Are over age 13
- Are not included in any of the exemption categories
It is worth noting, though, that cross-border commuters, transit passengers and those who hold a residence permit for the Netherlands will not have to present a negative test result.
Lithuania’s complex restrictions
The complexity of the regional restrictions that are being put in place is certainly presenting a real challenge for people planning to travel. Governments have, perhaps understandably, had to tweak rules to enable as much freedom of movement if deemed safe to help support local communities and economies.
As a case in point, in Lithuania, the restrictions for Polish travellers are highly nuanced. At the beginning of December, Poland was added to Lithuania’s Covid red-list. However, the country’s Ministry of Health recently revealed that only some regions of Poland would be classified as high-risk areas.
According to Schengen Visa Information, this means that “only persons coming from Poland’s regions of Lesser Poland, Opole, Lubusz and Subcarpathia will be added to Lithuania’s high-risk list.” As a result, citizens of these regions must follow the ten days compulsory quarantine rule or present a negative result of the Coronavirus test.
France resumes some international travel
In other global destinations there have been some positive steps in freeing up some movement once again. As a case in point, it was announced last week that France had reinstated international travel and movement to different regions following a month and a half of complete country-wide lockdown.
Travel in and out of the country will be permitted, but only for those locations that are considered low-risk, which, at the time of writing, included:
- European Union
- The Holy See / the Vatican
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- South Korea
- The United Kingdom
With cases dropping across France after a strict lockdown, authorities revealed that the location would move to a nightly curfew instead in order to curb Covid numbers and continue on the right path as it heads towards a potential end to a second wave of cases.
For contractors turning their attention to overseas opportunities once again, it is understandably an uncertain time right now. But some travel is still possible and so international opportunities should not be ruled out completely. There may, however, be delays to visa applications that will certainly need to be factored in to your timeframes for the immediate future.
It’s important to add that the above information was correct at the time of writing, but with developments happening regularly, we urge any contractors to check the latest restrictions before agreeing to any international assignments.
Staying compliant when travelling
While we can’t say for certain how the travel restrictions will change in the coming weeks and months, one thing we do know is that remaining compliant no matter where in the world you work from or which country the activity will be delivered for, is crucial.
The global pandemic may have halted things for some people and businesses, but it has not stopped authorities clamping down on fraudulent behaviour. Anyone found to be operating overseas through a non-compliant model will face action from local officials – including potential fines, criminal charges and a possible eviction from the country which would certainly have a detrimental impact on current and future work opportunities.
However, as experts in international contractor management solutions, we know that being employed overseas in a compliant way and paying the right taxes in your home country and destination of work is no easy feat to achieve. That’s why we highly recommend that you seek expert external guidance.
Why not contact our expert team today to find out how they can help you?