25th August 2022
It used to be so much simpler; however now contractors face a complex web of data protection restrictions, tax and social security hurdles and a variety of health and safety led entry requirements in order to work in different countries. It’s particularly challenging for those who worked from home during the pandemic and may have lost track – understandably – of the drastically changing regulatory world around them. It was tough enough to keep up with the latest regulatory changes, immigration requirements and employment law to ensure you remained compliant when working overseas, and now it’s significantly harder.
That’s without factoring in the variety of ever-changing travel restrictions driven, in part at least, by Covid. Clearly, the world of international contracting is fraught with risks for professionals. We’ve outlined some examples of how post-pandemic restrictions are shifting around the world and how you can stay on the right side of the law, wherever you’re working.
A warning to those working in Portugal…
Health officials in Portugal have warned that strict Covid-19 restrictions could be re-imposed to stop the further spread of the Coronavirus, if the epidemiological situation worsens any further before autumn. The country recently decided to extend a state of alert until August 31, meaning that mandatory face mask requirements will be kept in place for all persons aged 10 and above on public transport and when planning to travel by air, in taxis or private car hire, as well as on entry to medical facilities and retirement and nursing homes. In Madeira, the Azores and Porto Santo these mandates apply to all people aged six and above. If you do regularly work in Portugal, or could do so in the coming months, it’s well worth keeping an eye on this ever-changing situation.
France drops restrictions
And, on the other side of the coin, the French Government announced at the start of August that all travellers will be able to enter France without having to follow any Covid-related restrictions. According to the French Ministry of Interior, all visitors to France, regardless of their country of origin and vaccination status will be able to travel without having to show paperwork of any kind. In addition, they will be able to enter the country for any purpose without having to provide a ‘compelling reason’ or with a pass showing that they recently tested negative for Covid and a commitment to undergo testing upon their arrival. The statement from the Ministry said:
“Faced with the new phase of the pandemic, the border health control system is lifted, in accordance with the law putting an end to the exceptional regimes created to fight against the epidemic linked to Covid-19. As a result, since August 1 2022, the rules previously applied to travellers to France no longer apply.”
While the French Government has decided to abolish all of its restrictions, it did also warn international travellers that they may be reimposed if the virus once again poses a serious health threat. This potential reimposing of the law, called the “emergency brake” by the Ministry, remains in place until January 31 2023, meaning it’s still worth keeping an eye on any potential shifts in French regulations.
Certification required in Netherlands and Luxembourg
The Netherlands continues to keep its Covid restrictions in place, but only for those travelling from a country outside the EU/Schengen area. Travellers from these countries must still present a vaccination – or recovery – certificate on arrival. Conversely, EU/EEA travellers can enter without providing this certification. Identical rules are also in place in Luxembourg and Spain. In both countries, all travellers over the age of 12 arriving from non-EU countries must show proof of vaccination or recent recovery from coronavirus. In total, 27 European countries, including Belgium, Greece, Germany and Italy, have dropped all Covid restrictions entirely
Restrictions dropping around the world
Outside of Europe, most countries around the world have also dropped their restrictions, however certain states are still insisting on precautions. Hong Kong, for example, is only just reducing its mandatory hotel quarantine period for overseas arrivals while Thailand just this week announced that visitors will no longer need to apply for its ‘Thailand Pass’ and that its mask mandate has been dropped. Canada continues to extend its border restrictions for international visitors until at least September 30.
Other countries, such as Morocco, also have relatively tight restrictions and still insist on proof of vaccination. And that’s before we even get to China, where rolling lockdowns appear to be becoming commonplace in some major cities.
Remain compliant when working overseas
However, while Covid-restrictions may – largely – be becoming a thing of the past in most parts of the world, as you may have gathered, navigating an ever more complex regulatory world is exceptionally challenging, and many countries have used recent years to tighten their restrictions to make their stricken economies more robust. If you’re in any doubt about your compliance status when working overseas then get in touch with 6CATS International.
6CATS International is part of WorkwellTM Group