COVID-19: University Travel Advice
Message from Dr Veena O’Halloran, University Secretary and Compliance Officer
The University Executive Incident Management Team (IMT) met on Friday to consider the implication of the spread of the new coronavirus (Covid-19).
With the number of cases increasing around the world, and in the UK, business continuity planning for the short, medium and long term has commenced.
Updates will be issued at regular intervals. In the meantime, the IMT felt it timely to issue further travel advice to assist staff and students when considering travel overseas and whether it is essential at this time.
All staff and students on University Business Overseas
Where the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise not to travel, you should not travel to these countries or areas. Up to date information can be obtained at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus and https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
If your destination is not on the FCO list of places not to visit, please use all available information to inform your travel risk assessments to determine whether you should proceed with your travel plans.
While the overall risk of infection remains moderate, the University’s position is that where someone feels uncomfortable travelling they are not required to do so.
Taking a pragmatic approach to deciding whether or not travel should take place is encouraged. Here are some of the aspects to consider:
- Do you have an underlying health problem that may put you at increased risk if you acquire the infection? If so, then it would be sensible not to travel.
- Consider whether your travel is absolutely necessary: Is it of strategic importance? Can the purpose of your trip be achieved through other means, such as Skype, video or telephone conferencing, or by postponing to another time?
- Consider that the country you are planning to visit may become a hot spot and you may need to self-isolate if you develop symptoms upon your return. What would the impact of this happening be?
- If you are unsure of whether to postpone or go ahead with a trip after conducting your risk assessment you should discuss this with your line manager or Head of Department/School.
- If you conclude that travelling overseas is essential at this time you should, before departing:
- Check with your host e.g. conference organiser, key contact in the University/organisation you are visiting to establish what the situation is in the country before you depart.
- For example, is the transport system and health care system operating as normal or are they severely disrupted? If there is disruption you should consider if your travel should go ahead.
- Check with your airline or other transport and accommodation providers as they may have specific requirements you need to meet.
- You should keep checking government advice at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public after you return for any updates on information that may require action.
Visitors to the University from Overseas
If you are expecting visitors to the University from affected areas, please refer to the latest government advice at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public.
Travellers must be prepared to follow the Government guidance e.g. self-isolate if coming from affected areas, as necessary. This may mean a 14 period of self-isolation so consideration would need to be given to the practical implications and to whether the visit is essential at this time or could be rescheduled.
For students who are enrolled to join courses at Strathclyde, Departments/Schools, Student Experience and RIO have arrangements in place to assess the best options, communicate the latest government information and support them on their arrival.
All staff and students on Non-University Business Trips Overseas
Those planning personal trips overseas will want to carefully follow the government and FCO advice, so you know what to do if you experience symptoms of the virus, and what actions you may have to take on return from an affected area.