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 other 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 travel restrictions and entry restrictions following travel.

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.

General advice

If you book a holiday to a Red List country or to another country if you are not fully vaccinated, with a return date close to the start of term, i.e. without sufficient time to isolate etc., 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 which could lead to you being unable to return to the workplace at the start of term/half term.

If you already have a booking and the changes to entry requirements mean that you are unable to return to work at the start of term, you should discuss this with your employer as soon as possible. The NASUWT would expect employers to be sympathetic in these circumstances and allow you to work from home on full pay. However, your employer is under no obligation to agree this.

Members experiencing difficulty in this regard should contact the NASUWT for further advice.

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.