BREXIT AND TOURISM
The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020 and entered a transition period which ended on the 31 December 2020. The UK and EU Trade and Corporation Agreement was agreed by UK and EU negotiators on 24 December 2020 and is applicable since 1 January 2021.
This webpage will continue to be updated to reflect the new UK and EU Trade and Corporation Agreement and further announcements.
Last updated: Tuesday 5 January 2020
VISITING THE UK
What you need to know about crossing the UK border and visiting the UK from 1 January 2021 can be found here.
A reciprocal agreement has been made between the UK and EU regarding the validity of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). UK EHIC cards will be valid until their expiry, after which a new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) can be applied for.
For UK nationals living in the UK the EHIC or GHIC will be valid if you’re travelling to an EU country. Further details can be found here.
For EU, Swiss, Norwegian, Icelandic or Liechtenstein nationals visiting the UK, we’re awaiting updated guidance from Government regarding the validity of EHIC cards in the UK.
The new agreement does not rule out additional costs for EU visitors using their phones in the UK, however the UK and EU have agreed to co-operate on international roaming charges. Travellers are advised to check their mobile operator(s) roaming policy.
EU, EEA and Swiss citizens will continue to be able to travel to the UK for holidays or short trips without needing a visa. Visitors will be able to cross the UK border using a valid passport which should be valid for the whole time they are in the UK. Visitors will not be able to use an EU, EEA or Swiss national ID card to enter the UK from 1 October 2021 however some exceptions apply, see here.
If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss Citizen travelling to the UK for a short business trip, you may not need to apply for a visa. Under the UK’s new points-based immigration system, you can continue to visit the UK without applying for a visa. In most cases you can stay for up to 6 months. Further details can be found here.
Working in the UK
- The UK Government introduced a new ‘points based’ immigration system on 1 January 2021 which applies to all non-UK nationals (except Irish nationals)
- Further resources can be accessed here which explains how the new system applies to SMEs
- Immigration rules for visitors including permitted business activities can be found here
- Information for UK employers on the new immigration system and how to register to become a licenced sponsor which is required to recruit a non-UK national. To receive email alerts on updates register here.
- Information for EU citizens on the new immigration system.
- Details about studying in the UK on a student visa can be found here and details about studying in the UK on a child student visa can be found here.
- All EU nationals (excluding Irish) resident in the UK before 1 January 2021 are required to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme before 30 June 2021. The scheme is free and only needs to be completed once
- EU nationals with status under the EU Settlement Scheme are not subject to the new UK immigration system
GUIDANCE FOR THE TOURISM SECTOR
DCMS have published The tourism sector from January 2021 that provides general guidance and actions needed for for businesses and organisations in the tourism sector. This includes guidance and policy papers on;
- Visiting Europe
- Visiting the UK
- Your employees
- Your data
- Your organisation and services
- Movement of Goods
Guidance for the arts, culture and heritage sectors can be found here.
Guidance for the creatives industries sector can be found here.
INFORMATION FOR BUSINESSES
The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement contains a bridging mechanism that allows the continued free flow of personal data from the EU/EEA to the UK after the transition period until adequacy decisions come into effect, for up to 6 months. For further information visit.
A UK version of TOMS (section 2.4) now applied. The new version is very similar to the current EU scheme, however UK businesses (including businesses in Northern Ireland) will only pay VAT on UK travel. UK businesses trading in EU countries (although zero rated by UK HMRC) will still be subject to VAT on EU travel and may need to register for VAT in each member state (this is currently unknown and further information will be provided). European Commission guidance on VAT (services) overall is available here.
Air, sea, road and rail transport from January 2021
All transport related guidance for travel between the UK and the EU can be viewed here.
VAT Retail Export Scheme
“airside” tax-free shopping in the UK and the VAT Retail Export Scheme (VAT RES) have now both been withdrawn from Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales). For further details visit
For businesses that produce their own food products, guidance is available regarding new labelling and logos that is now required. Details can be found here.
Members seeking further information are welcome to contact UKinbound’s Head of Public Affairs & PR [email protected]