Travel Corridors and Quarantine

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Travel Corridors

Guidance for Schools – Travel Corridors & Quarantine Periods – updated 28th July

As the country moves through trying to manage the spread of the Covid-19 Coronavirus, we are faced with the government guidance being changed and/or reviewed on a regular basis, sometimes with very little notice.

On 28th July Spain was removed from the list of countries where a “Travel Corridor” applies. A travel corridor, also referred to as an air bridge, enables people to visit that particular country without the need to self isolate upon return to the UK.

You may have employees who have pre-booked holidays to this destination or staff who have had the opportunity to change their holiday to later in the year and they may have opted for a holiday in the summer months. The FCO has reinstated its advice against all non-essential travel to Spain.

It is quite likely that due to this tour operators may cancel flights and bookings.

For staff members who are currently in Spain and work TTO, then this won’t be too much of an issue for school. However for all year round workers or TTO staff who travel late August, then they may be impacted.

School are advised to take a compassionate approach to circumstances beyond the staff member’s control, which could include other countries where holidays have been booked then subsequently removed from the quarantine exemption list. For example:

      • An employee who has extenuating circumstances such as a family funeral abroad
      • An employee who finds themselves abroad when a country is removed from the quarantine exemptions list, as has happened in Spain.

In the first instance, school should consider all opportunities to facilitate the employee to work from home providing this is not of detriment to school needs. If school are insufficiently resourced to accommodate this practice, caution should be taken to ensure that any requirement to cancel leave or take additional leave is exercised reasonably, ensuring particular groups of staff are not unfairly disadvantaged through the application of blanket rules. For example, where an employee cannot do their normal work at home, school may consider whether it would be reasonable to redeploy them to alternative duties that can be carried out at home.

School may require staff members that are quarantining and unable to work from home to:

      • take additional paid annual leave (All Year Round staff)
      • take unpaid leave
      • make up the term-time absence over a period of time

If a member of staff does decide to travel, against government advice, knowing that the need to quarantine upon return will impact on their ability to do their role in school and they don’t fall into the two examples above then it is likely that they are required to take the time as leave of absence for the days when they can not return to the workplace.

Quick Reference Guide

Situation What you need to know

Holiday booked to a country exempt from the government advice to avoid non-essential travel. See list of countries no longer posing a high risk for British travellers

No quarantine required.

However there is a risk that the situation may change and the risk for travellers may increase/government advice may change.

Holiday booked to a country currently exempt from the government advice to avoid non-essential travel, but the government advice changes.

If the advice changes before the person leaves, and a quarantine period is imposed, this must be taken as paid or unpaid leave and agreed with the manager.

If the advice changes while the person is on holiday, and a quarantine period is required, this must be taken as paid self-isolation.

Holiday booked to a country where the government has advised against all but essential travel to this country. See government’s advice to avoid all non-essential travel.

Travel to these countries requires a 14 day self isolation quarantine on return.

The member of staff is traveling against government advice.

They should make efforts to rearrange, postpone or cancel their trip abroad if they can.

If they choose to travel to the country, and a 14 day quarantine is required on their return, they must agree the leave time with their manager before they go on holiday and this must be paid or unpaid leave.

Essential international travel to a country which requires quarantine on return.

If an employee needs to make an essential and unavoidable trip abroad, for example for a family emergency, this would need to be looked at on a case by case basis.

If you need any further advice regarding this then please speak to your HR Business Partner or relevant HR provider.