CoronavirusTravel & insurance

Staff Travel – Important Decision on travel for University Business

At the Executive Team meeting on 10 March it was agreed that all overseas travel on University business would cease with immediate effect, until further notice.

The decision is in response to travel restrictions and public health measures which may present you with difficulties when overseas or delay the return to normal academic and professional activities on your re-entry to the UK.

Any member of staff who believe that the business travel they had planned is essential should contact their line manager. Only in exceptional circumstances will such travel go ahead, at the discretion of the relevant Executive Dean or Senior Officer for the Professional Services (USCO, CCO, CFO, CPO).

The University is not asking staff or students currently abroad to change their travel plans, but they should heed the advice of health authorities in their location and consult with their University supervisor/line manager for further advice. 

Insurance frequently asked questions

Where the event has been cancelled by external organisers then cover would apply as organisers have cancelled the event.

It would depend on the Foreign Office advice. If they say it's still ok to travel to the Country/area, then our Insurers would not consider a claim. If the FO state it is unsafe to travel then yes we would be covered.

Yes, if the conference is cancelled our insurance would provide cover for any non-refundable travel and accommodation expenses.  If this should happen you should try to obtain a refund (even if partial) and then claim the remaining via Insurance.  If the Foreign Office advises not to travel, or an event that you were travelling to, is cancelled then a claim would be considered by our Insurers for reimbursement of travel costs.

This is something that would not fall under our general UMAL cover and would require a specific event cancellation insurance.  Whilst they can arrange such cover they are not offering any cover in respect of coronavirus at this time.

As the event has been cancelled a claim can be submitted to our Insurer. For the non-refundable flights, the airline should still be able to refund the tax for the unused seats, please contact them to request this.

As long as the journey has been suitably risk assessed and approved the travel cover would apply in the usual way, which would include cover for coronavirus. There is a requirement to exercise reasonable care so we would expect all prudent measures to be taken to mitigate the risk of infection whilst travelling.

If FCO advice states it is ok to transit through Hong Kong for example, a claim would not be considered.

Please see FCO for current travel advice.

Probably not. The impact of COVID-19 within China is severe and well publicised.  Whilst it is to be hoped that the situation will improve in the coming months, there are no guarantees of this and bookings should therefore be deferred until more is known. UMAL will not be able to cover cancellations of such ‘speculative’ bookings

Yes. If the FCO advice changes after booking and recommends cancellation the travel cover would respond as long as the journey has been suitable risk assessed and authorised.

By itself, the decision by the University to cease travel would not be sufficient grounds for a claim. There would need to be an additional external element, such as the cancellation of a conference, closure of the destination campus, Foreign Commonwealth Office advice against travel, etc. Instead, you should reach out to your Department/Faculty to reimburse any costs.