2020 applicants

Important travel information

If you are currently abroad

If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return to the UK.

International flights are already limited. The Government is providing up-to-date information on flights home from every country. A new partnership with the airline industry has also been announced by the UK Government to help British people travelling abroad to return to the UK where possible.

If you’re a UK national who needs emergency help from the UK government, you should contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. You can also call the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London on 0207 008 1500 for help or advice 24/7.

There is also advice available if you need financial help or support when abroad. We appreciate this is a worrying time, and the situation is changing regularly. Please continue to check this page regularly and email covid19@essex.ac.uk if you have any questions.

Quarantine period following travel abroad

Travel arrangements made before 26 July 2020

If staff a member made their arrangements to travel abroad before 26 July 2020 and is unable to carry out their work from home during the quarantine period they should contact their travel provider to explore what options they have for rearranging their plans. Managers are encouraged to be flexible where staff need to rearrange plans.

If a staff member can evidence that they are unable to make the changes then (providing leave was booked before 26 July 2020) we will honour their leave and the associated quarantine period. This means that staff who are unable to carry out their work from home will not suffer a detriment due to the recent announcement. 

Travel arrangement made after 26 July 2020

The possibility of sudden changes to quarantine periods has been widely publicised since 26 July 2020. If staff members booked their travel abroad after a change to the quarantine period was announced, the University will not cover the additional time, it will be at staff expense (either via annual or unpaid leave).

Making plans to book future leave

When requesting annual leave staff need to prepare for the fact there may be short notice changes to Countries being placed on the quarantine list and plan accordingly. This means that if a staff member wants to travel abroad for their holiday and their role cannot be carried out from home they need to speak to their line manager before they make any financial commitment or book their holiday and seek approval to be absent for the full period (taking account of any potential quarantine period) regardless of whether their travel destination is at that point in time on a quarantine list or not. If the manager is unable to accommodate the full period off then then leave request must not be approved.

If manager can accommodate the full period and the staff member does not need the quarantine period, we will be flexible and allow them to cancel the proportion of their leave which related to a potential quarantine period.


  • Patrol Officer wants to book a holiday abroad for 1 week
  • Role cannot be undertaken at home
  • Patrol Officer must speak to their line manager before making any financial commitments or booking their holiday. 
  • The leave request will cover 3 weeks (1 week holiday 2 weeks quarantine period). We would suggest it is booked in two parts.
  • If a quarantine period is introduced before they travel or whilst the Patrol Officer is on leave, they will need to take all three weeks’ annual leave to cover the quarantine period
  • If a quarantine period is not required, they can if they wish cancel the quarantine proportion of their leave request (2 weeks in this example) and return to work.

Students on Erasmus + exchanges

Travel to and from regions affected by COVID-19 may have to be postponed or cancelled, and participants should speak to their provider in case alternative arrangements are necessary. Where this travel is funded through the Erasmus+ or European Solidarity Corps programmes, the Force Majeure clause in your contract may apply. See the National Agency’s website for more information.

International students

Please contact the International Services Team within the University if you have any specific worries concerning travel and your immigration status in the UK.

Contact us
Contact us