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Advice on coronavirus (Covid-19) for colleagues planning to travel abroad

05 Mar 2020

The University’s advice reflects that issued by the Government

This advice is correct at the time of publication of this news article.  For the latest information, please check Public Health England and the University’s coronavirus website.

In light of the spread of coronavirus, when making plans to travel abroad for University business, colleagues are reminded to take a risk-based approach and read the following guidance prior to travel:

To ensure the University can account for all its colleagues, if you’re planning a business trip abroad, please share with your line manager, details of the trip, including the start and end dates and your contact details whilst away. 

Travel ban in certain areas owing to coronavirus

Following FCO advice, it is not permitted for University colleagues to travel to the following areas until further notice. If you have booked or are planning trips to these areas, please inform your academic supervisor or line manager immediately.  

  • Wuhan City and Hubei Province in China
  • Daegu and Cheongdo in South Korea
  • 10 towns in Lombardy (Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo and San Fiorano) and one in Veneto (Vo’Euganeo), Italy
  • Iran

Guidance for travel to certain areas

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) and PHE has issued specific guidance for travellers returning from the following areas, and as a result the University has raised the risk level of these countries from low to high:

  • Mainland China (except Hubei province)
  • South Korea (except Daegu and Cheongdo)
  • Northern Italy (except the towns previously mentioned)
  • Cambodia
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Laos
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

Active consideration should be given as to whether travel to the above areas is essential to University business and operation, and viable in light of the FCO and PHE guidance.    

If you have booked or are planning trips to these areas, you should seek re-approval from Head of School/Directorate before travel. Heads of School/Directorate must consider the balance of the academic or business merit of the trip against the risk involved, including the possibility of the requirement for self-quarantine on return, and decide whether the trip is essential and/or viable or not. 

Guidance for travel to all other areas

FCO guidance is changing regularly as countries adjust their response to the coronavirus outbreak.  When making any trip, you should take into consideration:

  • FCO travel advice which will also, in most cases, link to the relevant local equivalent of Public Health England guidance for the country in question
  • The current viability of the visit taking into consideration any restrictions being placed in-country

You should re-do your risk assessment taking into consideration the environmental risk of the country you will be visiting and your personal health.  You should discuss your trip with your line manager and seek re-approval from them before travel. 

Booking future trips

For travel booked or planned after June 2020, you should monitor the advice issues by the FCO and PHE, and delay your travel booking.  Where possible, you should purchase refundable air fares and hotel rooms to minimise the impact of the developing situation.