Hospitality and Tourism

Key facts: 

  • Some aspects of hosting and entertaining visitors from the EU are different following the end of the transition period.
  • There are more requirements on travel between the UK and the EU.
  • Import and export of goods and services is subject to new rules.

Examples include:

Hotels, B&Bs, hostels, AirBnBs, restaurants, bars, caterers, guides, tourism workers and tour operators, online intermediaries.

How we buy and sell products, and hire staff from the EU changed after the transition period ended. Businesses are advised to consider their route to market and look at what it means for their margins when they provide their services, or export and import to and from European countries on different terms, and when costs of recruitment will rise.


  • EU nationals currently in the UK can apply for (pre-)settled status under the Settlement Scheme.
  • Since 1 January 2021, EU staff that come to the UK to work need to apply under the points-based immigration system, and businesses have to sponsor applicants they want to recruit.
  • UK visitors can travel to the EU visa-free with a passport that is valid for at least 6 months, and they can stay for a maximum of 90 consecutive days in any 180 day period.
  • EU visitors can travel to the UK visa-free with a valid passport, and they can stay for a maximum of 6 months.
  • The EHIC card can no longer be used to obtain free medical treatment.


  • Import and export of goods are subject to customs controls and may attract tariffs.
  • Importers and exporters of food products have to demonstrate compliance with safety rules at the border.
  • UK services providers are subject to more local rules in an EU country than now.


  • UK nationals in the tourism sector working in Europe may be subject to local employment and immigration rules. There may be requirements on professional qualifications, as no mutual recognition of professional qualifications has been agreed under the new trade deal.


  • Travelling between the EU and the UK may be affected by longer passport and personal allowances checks, by uncertainty around the validity of driving licences, insurance and consumer rights, and by different rules for accompanying pets, cash, VAT refunds, card payments, roaming and travel company insolvency.

To do



  • Check what it means to provide services in EU countries and which business activities will require compliance with local rules.
  • Find out about changes to exporting goods to EU countries.
  • Find out about changes to importing goods from EU countries.
  • Apply for an ATA Carnet for temporary export of items.
  • Call the UK Export/Import helpline for support: 0300 3301 331.


Employing and managing staff

Useful resources to help businesses understand the implications of leaving the EU on employing and managing staff include:

  • Home Office guidance for EU, EEA and Swiss frontier workers who want to continue working in the UK
  • The EU Settlement Scheme enables EU,EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members who lived in the UK before the end of the transition period to continue to live, work and study in the UK.

Go to the Government’s checker tool for all other questions on EU exit and your sector.

What’s next?

The EU–UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement lays down the final conditions for mobility and UK-EU trade in goods and services.


Related Resources