Arts Council of Northern Ireland

The Funding and Development Agency
for The Arts in Northern Ireland

028 9262 3555 info@artscouncil-ni.org

Latest News
Browse Archive

TRAVELLING OR RETURNING TO NI FOR WORK AS A PERFORMING ARTS PROFESSIONAL DURING COVID-19

Tuesday 12th October 2021 at 9am 0 Comments

This Guidance should be read in conjunction with Northern Ireland Executive guidance on how to self-isolate when travelling to Northern Ireland:
Coronavirus (COVID-19): travelling to Northern Ireland from a red list country | nidirect
Coronavirus (COVID-19): travelling to Northern Ireland from a non-red list country | nidirect

Who can apply:

An application for self-isolation exemption can be submitted by a well-established and recognised producing venue or organisation in Northern Ireland, such as a theatre or theatre company, a concert hall, grassroots music venue or orchestra, a recording studio, dance studio or dance company, on behalf of a domestic or international artist or cultural professional who is coming into Northern Ireland to work on a specific professional performing arts activity with that producer.

Who a producing venue or organisation can apply on behalf of:

  • Individual domestic artists and cultural professionals (e.g. non-performers essential to an activity such as crew, production or technical team members, tour managers, directors, executive producers, artist managers or record label executives) returning to Northern Ireland from professional activity abroad (i.e. not holidays), to work on a specific professional performing arts activity within the following 10-day period, and whose work schedule would not enable them to self-isolate without impacting the production or activity.
  • Individual international artists and cultural professionals (e.g. non-performers essential to the making or an activity such as crew, production or technical team members, tour managers, directors, executive producers, artist managers or record label executives) coming to work in Northern Ireland on a specific professional performing arts activity within the following 10-day period, and whose work schedule would not enable them to self-isolate without impacting the production or activity.

In all cases, the exemption only applies when the individual has a professional paid commitment with the producing venue or organisation - other than for this purpose, they must self-isolate.

All domestic and international professionals must derive a living from performing arts or other performance-related cultural activities.

No family members are permitted to use the exemption. Any family members or other dependents travelling with artists and cultural professionals will need to follow relevant travel requirements.

This exemption is not available for those entering Northern Ireland from red list countries.

Disciplines covered by this exemption include:

  • Combined Arts - including multi-artform/inter-disciplinary activities
  • Dance
  • Music - including recording and music video production
  • Theatre
  • Live Literature
  • Live art (performance)

Types of activity can include:

  • a dramatic production, such as a performance of a play, opera, musical or other dramatic piece
  • a reading or recitation
  • a performance of live music
  • a recording of a performance of live music which is broadcast, at the time of the performance or later, to the general public, or released, at the time of the performance or later, to the paying public (by digital or other means)
  • a music video production,
  • a performance of dance, or
  • an event that combines more than one of the above activities

Eligibility criteria that artists and cultural professionals must meet:

  • Must be attending a professional performing arts event in Northern Ireland, for which they are being paid, that would be delayed or affected by having to self-isolate; or the individual's work schedule would be critically delayed or affected by having to self-isolate
  • Must provide details of engagements in the next three months
  • Must provide evidence of at least one of the following:
    • media recognition for their work
    • having won recognised awards
    • evidence of working professionally in a least two countries other than the UK
  • Must provide a URL of their public profile – e.g. Personal website/Social Media profiles/Spotify/Wikipedia etc
  • Must sign a consent form confirming they accept personal responsibility for, and agree to, reduce transmission risk as far as possible, including by following Covid secure protocols. It is the responsibility of the applicant (i.e. the producing venue or organisation) to produce the form and secure a signature of the individual and submit this with the application.

All applicants (i.e. the producing venue or organisation) must submit to Arts Council England, who are managing this process in consultation with Arts Council of Northern Ireland, an application letter with the supporting evidence at the time of application:

  • The letter must be from a well-established and recognised Northern Ireland producing venue or organisation, such as a theatre or theatre company, a concert hall, grassroots music venue or orchestra, a recording studio, dance studio or dance company
  • The letter must show the organisation's logo and registered address and be dated and signed by the author, who must be a senior member of the organisation (e.g. Chief Executive, Artistic Director, Principal or Chair);
  • The letter must include full contact details for the author, including personal email address and direct telephone number
  • The letter must include details of the author's credentials (for example, a CV/resume/bio) and how they know the individual (personal relationship or reputation)
  • The letter must show full details of the booking – activity dates and location
  • The letter must show the country that the individual is travelling to Northern Ireland from, and their nationality
  • The letter must detail how integral the individual is to the production – i.e., without the individual, the production could not take place, or the production would be made impossible by a delay due to self-isolation of the individual
  • Confirmation that the activity is being done in line with COVID-secure guidance, and a full risk assessment has been completed
  • Confirmation from the producing venue/organisation that workplace testing is in place, and that the recipient of the exemption is to be considered as an employee for testing and Covid secure protocols
  • Confirmation that the individual has been made aware that they will be required to remain within a 'bubble' for 10 days (unless leaving the country before the end of the self-isolation period). The 'bubble' only includes their place of accommodation and COVID-secure work locations, with necessary travel between them
  • Agreement they accept personal responsibility for, and agree to, reduce transmission risk as far as possible, including by following Covid secure protocols. It is the responsibility of the applicant (i.e. the producing venue or organisation) to produce the form and secure a signature of the individual, and submit this with the application
  • Confirmation that both the individual and the event organisers are aware of the guidelines on self-isolation. Guidance on self-isolation is available at: Coronavirus (COVID-19): self-isolating | nidirect. Further information can be found at Stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

This is particularly important should COVID-19 Test and Trace protocols need to be engaged. Confirmation of such accreditation may be requested at various points of the relevant person's journey.

Any such individuals will be required to remain within a 'bubble' for 10 days (unless leaving the country before the end of the self-isolation period). The 'bubble' only includes their place of accommodation and COVID-secure performance and rehearsal locations, with necessary travel between them.

As per the legislation, the individual must hold a certificate in accordance with this Document, which has been published by Arts Council of Northern Ireland. This means that the individual will be certified as a performing arts professional by Arts Council England, confirmed via a letter from Arts Council England.

The producing venue or organisation must also provide the individual with a letter they must carry, if approved. This letter must show:

  • Name
  • date of birth
  • passport number
  • address where staying during Quarantine Exempt period
  • activity dates and location
  • contact phone number for the relevant organisation
  • confirmation that the activity that will be carried out is being done in line with COVID-secure guidance and a full risk assessment has been completed
  • confirmation that the producing venue/organisation has testing in place and that the recipient of the exemption will be considered as an employee for testing and covid secure protocols
  • confirmation that the individual has been made aware that they will be required to remain for up to 10 days (unless leaving the country before the end of the self isolation period) within a 'bubble' that includes only their place of accommodation and COVID-secure work locations, with necessary travel between them
  • confirmation that the individual is aware of the guidelines on self-isolation as part of the Test and Protect protocols.

The individual must also carry an accreditation letter from Arts Council England to confirm their eligibility for the self-isolation exemption, which will be provided by Arts Council England in advance of the individual entering the UK. This letter will confirm that Arts Council England have, using their recognised expertise and where ppropriate, in consultation with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, assessed the request from the producing venue or organisation alongside the professional's supporting evidence and agreed that the exemption is appropriate.

Summary of what the individual must obtain before entering the UK:

  • A letter from producing venue or organisation
  • A letter from Arts Council England

Application process:

  • The applicant (the activity producer) applies via email to Arts Council England at exemptions@artscouncil.org.uk with their application letter as set out above, along with the professional's supporting evidence.
  • Arts Council England's Global Talent team will assess the application within ten working days maximum.
  • The recommendation by the Global Talent team will be signed off by the relevant director or senior manager and a letter confirming the decision will be returned to the applicant via email as a PDF attachment on Arts Council England headed paper. The individual must carry this accreditation letter with them when not isolating.
  • If an application is unsuccessful and an applicant feels that a mistake has been made, they can submit an appeal via email to Arts Council England on behalf of the professional. This appeal can only be used if it is felt that Arts Council England have not followed the published process. It cannot be used to submit additional information or evidence. Arts Council England will return their decision to the applicant via email within ten working days.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Performers and cultural professionals' exemption

NOTE: This guidance only applies to Northern Ireland. See separate advice for quarantine measures in England, Wales and Scotland.

Eligible professional performers and cultural workers (e.g. non performers essential to an activity such as crew, production or technical team members, tour managers, directors, executive producers, artist managers or record label executives) are able to engage in specific work activity whilst continuing to isolate in a 'bubble' for 10 days when not engaging in that work activity, unless leaving the country before the end of the self-isolation period. Anyone who qualifies, or is employing someone who does, should follow the guidance on self-isolation.

Exempt individuals must still complete a Public Health Passenger Locator Form prior to, or as soon as reasonably practicable upon, arriving in Northern Ireland.

NOTE: All usual immigration requirements for entering and working in the UK still apply.

Data Protection – Arts Council England

Arts Council England is committed to using any personal information (or personal data) they collect on a lawful, fair and transparent basis, respecting your legal rights as an individual in accordance with the UK General Data Protection Regulation, the UK Data Protection Act 2018 and other applicable laws that regulate the use and privacy of personal data (Data Protection Law).

As part of meeting this requirement, they have published a Privacy Notice for the Self Isolation Exemption scheme for you to refer to. This tells you more about the personal data the Arts Council England collects through this scheme, the different purposes they use it for and on what legal basis, who they may share that personal data with, how long they keep it; and your legal rights, including your right to contact them and receive information regarding the personal data about you that they may hold from time to time.

For further information about how the Arts Council England collects and uses personal data, please refer to their General Privacy Notice. For further information about the Arts Council England’s obligations and your rights under Data Protection Law, as well as how to report a concern if you believe that your personal data is being collected or used illegally, please see the Information Commissioner’s Office website at www.ico.org.uk.

Data Protection – Arts Council of Northern Ireland

Arts Council England will provide Arts Council of Northern Ireland with your personal information when notifying Arts Council of Northern Ireland of successful applications from applicants based in Northern Ireland. For information on how Arts Council of Northern Ireland processes your personal information, please read our Privacy Notice. This is available online at http://artscouncil-ni.org/site/page/privacy

Comments (0)

Add Your Comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.
Continue