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Performing Arts Self-isolation Exemption Scotland

UPDATE: the Performing Arts Self-isolation Exemption Scotland has been suspended as of 4am, Monday 18 January 2021.



What is the exemption?

Artists and cultural professionals returning to Scotland from professional activity abroad (i.e. not holidays), and international artists and cultural professionals travelling into Scotland can be exempt from self-isolating upon arrival if they are coming in to work on a specific professional performing arts activity.

This Guidance should be read in conjunction with Government guidance on how to self-isolate when travelling to the Scotland.

This exemption only applies to Scotland. Check the relevant government guidance for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Also note that all usual immigration requirements for entering and working in the UK still apply..

Who can apply?

A producing venue or organisation can apply on behalf of:

  • 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 Scotland from professional activity abroad (i.e. not holidays), to work on a specific professional performing arts activity
  • International artists and cultural professionals (e.g. non performers essential to the making of 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 Scotland on a specific professional performing arts activity

In all cases, the exemption only applies to when the individual has a professional paid commitment with the applicant venue - 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.

For further details on eligible disciplines, types of activity and evidence please read the eligibility guidance document.

If you have read the eligibility criteria guidance and want to apply for this exemption, then the applicant (the producing venue or organisation for the activity) can apply via email to exemptions@artscouncil.org.uk.

This email should include the completed application letter and the individual professional’s supporting evidence, as set out in the guidance.

Making a decision

Arts Council England, who are managing this process in consultation with Creative Scotland, will assess the application within ten working days maximum - but faster whenever possible.

The recommendation will be signed off by the Director or Senior Manager for International and a letter confirming the decision will be returned to the applicant via email as a PDF attachment on Arts Council England headed paper.

If the application is successful the individual must carry a copy of the letter from Arts Council England and a letter from the producing venue or organisation (as detailed in the eligibility criteria guidance) with them at all times.

If the application is unsuccessful and an applicant feels that a mistake has been made, they can submit an appeal via email.

This appeal can only be used if it is felt that the published process has not been followed. It cannot be used to submit additional information or evidence.

A decision will be returned to the applicant via email within ten working days, or sooner where possible.

Data Protection – Arts Council England

Arts Council England is committed to using any personal information (or personal data) we collect on a lawful, fair and transparent basis, respecting your legal rights as an individual in accordance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (2016/679), 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, Arts Council England has published its General Privacy Notice for you to refer to here. This tells you more about the personal data the Arts Council collects; the different purposes it is used for and on what legal basis; who ACE may share that personal data with; how long it is kept; and your legal rights, including your right to contact ACE and receive information regarding the personal data about you that ACE may hold from time to time.

For further information about 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 also see the Information Commissioner’s Office website.

Data Protection – Creative Scotland

Arts Council England will provide Creative Scotland with your personal information when notifying Creative Scotland of successful applications from applicants based in Scotland.

For information on how Creative Scotland processes your personal information, please read the Creative Scotland Privacy Notice.

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