Covid Guidance on International Travel

The NASUWT has produced this advice and guidance to assist you as restrictions are eased for international travel and we manage our way out of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The easing of restrictions on the Government’s roadmap includes a change to the measures in place for international travel.

The latest advice and guidance from the UK Government and devolved administrations is that all non-essential international travel to Red List countries should be avoided, based on the traffic light system currently adopted for international travel.

Travel to Green and Amber List countries is permitted, though a country’s classification can change at short notice. As such, you are advised to keep yourself abreast of the developing situation and the following rules set out in regard to international travel. It should also be noted that different nations within the UK may have different Red, Amber and Green lists.

In addition, some countries have introduced restrictions on travellers entering from the UK, so you are advised to be aware of any entry requirements, e.g. proof of a negative Covid-19 test and/or quarantine measures.

Furthermore, you should be cognisant of the fact that any country may further restrict travel or bring in new quarantine rules at short notice, for example, due to a new Covid-19 variant.

Travel to Red List countries

The advice from the UK Government and devolved administrations is that nobody should travel to Red List countries. However, there may be situations where you need to travel to a Red List country, e.g. a family emergency.

In such circumstances, you should make yourself aware of the requirement to quarantine in an approved hotel on your return and any such period of quarantine should be taken into account, as well as any associated costs and requirements, when factoring in your availability to attend work on the first day of the new academic year.

In the event that you are travelling to a country that is on the Red List, you should discuss with your school/college any arrangements for managing your return to work during the quarantine period. You should be aware that, unless otherwise agreed, any period of absence following the start of the new term may be deemed by your employer as unauthorised for the purposes of pay.

Travel to Amber List countries

Whilst travel to Amber List countries is permitted, quarantine rules on return depend on vaccine status and/or age. For children and fully vaccinated adults, no quarantine period is required for amber countries, although a 10-day period applies for adults who are not fully vaccinated. PCR test(s) are required on return in both cases.

Travel to Green List countries

Currently, you are allowed to travel directly to/from Green List countries. Employers are not at liberty to impose any conditions on members travelling to Green List countries. You are not required to seek prior approval from your employer if travel to/from a Green List country takes place during the period of school closure.

You do not have to quarantine on return from a Green List country. However, a Covid-19 test must be taken on arrival, or within two days of arriving back home. If that test returns a positive result, then you will be instructed to self-isolate.

General advice

If you book a holiday to a Red List country or to an Amber List country if you are not fully vaccinated, you do so knowing that you may not be available to work in school at the start of term/half term and you could face significant difficulty with your employer, unless you have raised it with them in advance and been granted written permission to work from home during any period of quarantine on full pay. Your employer is under no obligation to agree this.

The NASUWT would strongly advise you to seek the view of your employer before making any bookings, even to current Green List countries, which could lead to you being unable to return to the workplace at the start of term/half term.

If you make the booking without speaking to your employer, you should be aware there may be pay and contractual implications if you are unable to be available for work during term time.

The NASUWT expects that schools/colleges should consult with the Union so that the relevant school/college policy is transparent, is applied equitably and consistently, takes appropriate account of personal circumstances, and is effectively communicated to all staff.