Covid and Brexit combine to disrupt tradespeople’s travel plans to UK

A combination of Covid and Brexit is disrupting the plans of European nationals attempting to travel to England. Ahead of new rules for international arrivals introduced this week, a number of Hudson’s clients have reported difficulties as different nations apply different approaches to travel policies.

Ian Anfield, managing director of Hudson Contract, said: “We are hearing that some individual immigration officials at individual airports in individual countries are being inconsistent in how they treat tradespeople trying to travel to England. Some are being blocked and told their journeys are not essential.

“This was before the introduction of new rules demanding that international travellers must test negative for coronavirus if they wish to travel to England, Wales and Scotland and then self-isolate for 10 days. We continue to work with the National Federation of Builders to lobby the government to ensure Britain can safely access sufficient skilled labour to deliver the housing and infrastructure we need as a nation.”

With Britain having left the EU, the free movement of people has now come to an end. Nationals from the EU and EEA who were working in the UK before the end of 2020 can continue to live, work and be paid here. They have until 30 June to register for settled status if they wish to remain.

Ian added: “If any clients need expert advice on Brexit and what it really means for their European subcontractors, please do get in touch.

“Fundamentally, we believe our construction industry will remain attractive to tradespeople from across Europe who can earn very good money for their highly skilled labour.”

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