Real People, Real Lives, Real Jobs

Statement from Carry on touring

Government causes chaos and confusion for UK   

It’s time for clarity and certainty for touring professionals and artists

The latest Government statement from the DCMS – which claims performers can tour freely in 19 EU countries - is not a solution.  It is also very misleading.  It will do nothing to help UK creatives and crew, who rely on touring to make a living, get back on tour or get this vital part of the UK’s economy back to work. This is a devastating blow to an already hard hit sector who want to work and carry on touring.

The Government has announced visa and permit free work in 19 countries but the reality is that nothing has changed and the bureaucratic and logistical nightmare cooked up by the Government’s failure to secure an exemption for touring in the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation remains.  

We need to look behind the headline and see the devil in the detail.  To be clear, work permit free periods range from seven to 90 days in any one year, with all countries having different requirements. Rather than provide a solution to the EU touring impasse, these 19 individual agreements will simply cause mayhem. 

UK touring creatives’  - and their crews’ - ability to work has been severely limited by the UK Government’s lack of an agreement with the EU that’s fit for purpose.

We asked for clarity and what we got is more chaos and confusion. We will continue to call for a pan European EU visa and work permit waiver to be negotiated because that is the only way to get tours back on the road and real people back into their jobs. 

Reaction from the industry and Carry on Touring Ambassadors and supporters:

“The spin which the DCMS is putting on announcements, claiming existing third country rules have been won in negotiations, are only adding to the confusion of what used to be simple. 

“Equally, the rules for EU nationals working in the UK is being further confused by the DCMS deliberately creating confusion between rules for professionals working and amateur performances.”

Tim Brennan, Carry on Touring Founder and petition creator


“This is what France, Germany and other states offered in the first place without the UK asking. But I suppose if someone steals your car then seven months later gives you back the steering wheel, it's progress of a kind.” 

Howard Goodall CBE, EMMY, BRIT and BAFTA award-winning composer


Carnets/Customs, Cabotage/Haulage, Contract/session work, CITES, Tech gear/ support crew still unresolved.

“Despite this latest statement, nothing has changed, there’s nothing new. It seems that absolutely no effort has been made to help all the sectors involved in our highly successful, world leading industry.

“I’ve recorded and toured very often in the EU over the last 20 years, and I understand, in minute detail, the logistics involved, and I can tell you that the DCMS hasn’t got a clue.” 

James Eller, Bassist, The The


 “Less of the spin please. That’s not actually much progress is it? The sector needs to revert to restrictionless creative touring for all. Both ways” 

Pat Fulgoni, Singer/Producer/Promoter


"There is nothing new in yesterday's statement. The government are gaslighting us again"

Peredur ap Gwynedd, Guitarist, Pendulum

We have analysed the situation & provide the following. Disclaimer, you must not rely on this, it's just a guide

Austria - 3rd Country Nationals

Up to 4 weeks allowed; check the exception box on source material

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Belgium - 3rd Country Nationals

Up to 90 days allowed with no requirement to apply to enter with exceptions (varying regional differences, also if artists of international renown no need to apply for permit).

Source Reference material


Bulgaria- 3rd Country Nationals

Unclear for short term work at the moment, however Freelance workers can obtain a Freelance Activity Permit for up to 12 months prior to arrival.

Source Reference material


Croatia- 3rd Country Nationals

Up to 30 days no requirement for a work permit. Check under art. 95 sec. 10. Needs to be done by local employer. Note: the source link works in most but not all browsers.

Source Reference material


Republic of Cyprus- 3rd Country Nationals

Done through local employer for short term work

Source Reference material


Czech Republic- 3rd Country Nationals

Exemption for performances up to 7 consecutive days or 30 days in any calendar year

Source Reference material


Denmark- 3rd Country Nationals

Up to 90 days allowed BUT may also require visa 

Source Reference material


Estonia- 3rd Country Nationals

Up to 6 months FREE. Must register with border police (Note 106 on the page link: Registration of short-term employment in Estonia).

Source Reference material


Finland- 3rd Country Nationals 

You need to have an invitation to work in Finland or have signed a contract to work maximum of 90 days status as professional artist, coach or athlete, or a member of an assistance or support team for such a person. (Note: this includes CREW)

Source Reference material


France- 3rd Country Nationals

Up to 90 days permit free 

Source Reference material


Germany- 3rd Country Nationals

Up to 90 days permit free

Source Reference material


Greece- 3rd Country Nationals 

A national visa must be applied for members of 'artistic groups'. This must be applied for in advance; allows up to one year. Source link: check National Visas tab then link under Duration of national entry visas

Source Reference material


Hungary- 3rd Country Nationals

Apply for a residence permit to pursue paid self-employed work.

Source Reference material


Iceland (NOT a member of the EU but part of the EEA so included for completeness) - 3rd Country Nationals

No permit needed for up to 90 days for musicians (excluding musicians who are due to perform in catering establishments). Notify the Labour Directorate before entry to undertake short-term work.

Source Reference material



British Citizens CTA means right to work remains without any need for permits

Source Reference material


Italy- 3rd Country Nationals

Up to 90 days BUT permit required. Remains unclear at this time)


Latvia- 3rd Country Nationals

Up to 14 days no requirement 

Source Reference material


Liechtenstein- 3rd Country Nationals

NOT a member of the EU but part of the EEA so included for completeness. A short-term work permit is needed for up to 12 months.

Source Reference material


Lithuania- 3rd Country Nationals

A visa for work purposes must be obtained before entry.

Source Reference material


Luxembourg- 3rd Country Nationals

No permit is needed for up to 90 days for the entertainment industry.

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Malta- 3rd Country Nationals 

Via local employer. An 'employment license' is required before entry to work.

Source Reference material


Netherlands- 3rd Country Nationals

Max 6 weeks free in any 13 weeks no visa work permit required. No Single Permit is needed in the following situation: Musicians and artists who are going to work (as a musician or artist) in the Netherlands for a maximum period of 6 continuous weeks within a period of 13 weeks. They submit an application for work in paid employment.

Source Reference material


Poland- 3rd Country Nationals

Up to 30 days in any calendar year are exempt the need for a work permit.

Source Reference material


Portugal- 3rd Country Nationals

A temporary stay visa is required for self-employed work purposes valid for 90 days.

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Romania - 3rd Country Nationals

Short term visa required, type C 

Source Reference material


Slovakia  - 3rd Country Nationals


Up to 30 days in any calendar year are exempt the need for a work permit.

Source Reference material

Slovenia- 3rd Country Nationals


Currently unclear for short term work. A single permit is issued for employment and self-employment lasting longer than 90 days.

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Spain- 3rd Pa Country rty Nationals

Requirement for work permit, no free period.

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Sweden- 3rd Country Nationals

Max 14 days in any one year no permit required but must have been invited by established organiser.

Source Reference material


Please note legal DISCLAIMER


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