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International travel FAQs: what you need to know

18 Aug 2021

We've updated our international travel FAQs

The current pre-travel approval requirements for overseas travel should continue.

If you intend to travel abroad, you should also follow the current UK government guidance, which covers COVID-19 testing and quarantine rules.

We have updated the following COVID-19 international travel FAQs:

Do I have to self-isolate/quarantine if I return to the UK from international travel?  If so, is this counted as paid sick leave or do I have to take unpaid leave?

Please visit the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) for the most up-to-date travel advice. You should check the country page for your destination.

If you were travelling on University business and need to self-isolate on your return to the UK either because you have travelled to a red list country, or the country you have travelled to has changed from green or amber to red during your visit: 

If you are able to work from home during your required period of quarantine then you should do so.  If you are not able to work from home during your period of quarantine then you should use coronavirus special leave. If you have already used some or all of your coronavirus special leave and don’t have enough left to cover the period of self-isolation you should speak to your line manager about taking paid leave, over and above your usual annual leave allowance. If you develop coronavirus and are ill and cannot work you should report your absence to your line manager and you will receive full pay during this absence and it will not be counted for the purpose of monitoring against trigger points under the Sickness Absence Policy and Procedures

If you were travelling for personal reasons and need to self-isolate on your return to the UK either because you have travelled to a red list country, or the country you have travelled to has changed from green or amber to red during your visit:  

If you are able to work from home during your required period of quarantine then you should do so.

If you chose to go a red list country and you are not able to work from home during your period of quarantine then you should speak to your line manager about taking additional annual leave or applying for unpaid leave. 

If you chose to go to a green or amber list country which subsequently changed to red during your visit or between you booking and undertaking your visit and you are able to work from home during your required period of quarantine then you should do so. 

If you are not able to work from home during self-isolation. If you are not able to work from home during your period of quarantine then you should use coronavirus special leave. If you have already used some or all of your coronavirus special leave and don’t have enough left to cover the period of self-isolation you should speak to your line manager about taking paid leave, over and above your usual annual leave allowance.

If you develop coronavirus and are ill and cannot work you should report your absence to your line manager and you will receive full pay during this absence and it will not be counted for the purpose of monitoring against trigger points under the  Sickness Absence Policy and Procedures.

If you have travelled on a combination of University business and personal reasons (e.g. you have decided to extend a University business trip to take a holiday or visit family)

You should discuss with your line manager what proportion of any self-isolation period will be made up of working from home, coronavirus special leave, special leave, annual leave, paid leave or unpaid leave. From an insurance point of view, the personal travel element of any combined University business/personal travel trip should be no more than 50% of the business period (or a maximum of seven days), otherwise you would have to make your own travel insurance arrangements. 

Prior to travelling, it is recommended that you discuss with your line manager your travel plans so that they are aware of any possible periods of self-isolation which may be required on your return. There is no obligation for you to do this, but it may be useful to clarify expectations of any possible self-isolation period.

For more details on international travel, please visit:

Further information: