This page was updated on 2 December 2021
Travelling overseas or unable to return from overseas
Where can I find travel advice?
You should consider the public health advice in the country you are visiting. If you do need to travel overseas (and are legally permitted to do so, for example, because it is for work), you should look at the rules in place at your destination and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice.
Do I need to advise my manager where I am spending my annual leave?
Until now it has not been appropriate for managers to ask employees where they intend to spend their annual leave. However, as a result of the quarantine requirements, when an employee submits a request for leave that involves travelling, they must be reminded of the government’s travel restrictions.
All requests for annual leave must be submitted to the manager for approval in line with the Trust leave policies.
Quarantine following legally permitted travel to a country on the Governments banned travel list - also known as Red list
Please note that the Red list of countries visited requiring self-isolation changed on 26 November 2021.
If you arrived in England between midday 26 November and 4am 28 November and have been in any of the following countries in the previous 10 days, you must quarantine at home, or at alternative appropriate accommodation:
- South Africa
Quarantine applies to you and your household, or whoever you are staying with.
People arriving in England that are on the Red list will be required to self-isolate in a quarantine hotel for 10 days and undergo additional mandatory COVID-19 testing. There are no exemptions to this rule. The cost of hotel quarantine is £1,750 per individual, to be paid for the individual.
You must take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 whilst self-isolating. You only need to take the tests if you are still in England. You cannot end quarantine early through the Test to Release scheme.
Managing quarantine following legally permitted travel to a country not on the Governments banned travel list - also known as Red list
If a member of staff has a legal need to travel abroad and has returned from a country not on the Governments Red list, any necessary quarantine period can be covered by using one or a combination of the following:
- Working from home where possible, this can include the temporary reassignment of appropriate
- Making up some or all of the working time lost during quarantine over a period of time through working additional hours/shifts.
- Taking previously accrued time off in lieu or taking unpaid leave
- Buying and selling leave in line with the Trust
I heard that the isolation period after returning to the UK from countries that are outside the travel corridor can be shortened to 5 days if I do a test. Can I have this test through the Trust swab service or use my LFD kit?
No, the government advice is the NHS resources cannot be used for this service and the test for the purpose of ‘Test to Release for international travel’ must be done privately.
NHS guidance is that the test can only be taken five full days after you were in the last location that is not on the travel corridor list. For many, this will be on completion of five full days of self-isolation. Evidence of a negative test will need to be provided to your line manager before agreeing on a return to work. Tests provided by NHS Test and Trace will not allow staff to shorten their isolation period. Fines may apply to any staff using an NHS test result to end their self-isolation period early. This is a voluntary scheme, so staff who do not opt into the scheme will be required to complete the full 10-day quarantine period.
What should staff do if they are unable to travel back to the UK?
Where staff are not able to return to the UK due to a country closing its borders or there are no transport options to leave the country, it is important to understand from the member of staff whether they know when such restrictions will be lifted. Make arrangements to remain in regular contact to be kept updated on the situation.
Working whilst abroad is not permitted. Where all options have been considered and the member of staff has no choice but to remain abroad their absence will be classed as special leave and paid at the member of staff’s usual rate of pay.