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Published on the 13-03-2020 Click Here For more information

Corona-virus (COVID-19)

Advice for employees, workers and contractors

This memo is based on up to date information as of 13th March 2020 in relation to the spread of Coronavirus and preventative measures which can be taken.

Latest Government updates and advice:

The Government is publishing daily updates on cases in the UK and advice. This can be accessed here:

Number of cases and general advice:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

Stay at home advice – main advice for people exhibiting symptoms (published 12th March 2020):

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-people-with-confirmed-or-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

Travelling advice

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus#returning-to-the-uk

What to do if you are exhibiting symptoms?

You must follow the Stay at Home Guidance at the link above. Primarily this is that you should self-isolate at home for at least 7 days if you have:

  • A high temperature
  • A new continuous cough
  • Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice

    Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advice is constantly under review, so that it reflects our latest assessment of risks to British people.

    In response to coronavirus measures we are advising against all and all but essential travel to some countries, cities and regions. You must check the travel advice to the country you are travelling to.

    Once we are aware of an incident that might significantly affect British people travelling or living in the area, we update travel advice as quickly as possible. We may update our advice several times a day giving this is a fast-moving situation. Find out more about how our travel advice works.

    Before you go

    Prepare for your travel

    Follow our coronavirus specific checklist before you travel:

    • visit this page regularly as it is constantly updated given the evolving situation overseas
    • check travel advice for your destination regularly and sign-up to email alerts.
    • make sure you can access money to cover emergencies and unexpected delays. Take more than one means of payment with you
    • be prepared to follow the advice of local authorities abroad. Be ready to comply with local isolation or quarantine requirements, and to rely on the local health system
    • read the details of your travel insurance carefully, and check that you are covered. Contact your insurer if you are uncertain
    • contact your airline, travel company, cruise line or other transport and accommodation providers to check for any coronavirus-related changes
    • make sure you have enough medication with you in case you are abroad longer than planned
    • decide if you, and those you may be travelling with, can manage logistical and financial disruption to your travel
    • arrange extra support for family members, dependants or pets who may need care if you are abroad longer than planned

    If you are older, or if you have pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease), you are more likely to become severely ill if you catch the virus. Consider whether travel at this time is the right choice for you. Check the NHS guidance before you travel.

    Get travel insurance

    Make sure you have appropriate insurance for overseas travel, and purchase it as soon as you book your holiday. It’s your responsibility to make sure you’re covered. Read our guidance on purchasing insurance.

    We only advise against travel to a particular country when the risks to British nationals are unacceptably high. You should check the detail of your travel insurance to see what it covers, and contact your insurance provider if you have any questions.

    If you are travelling with your family, and you have travel plans before or during the Easter holidays, make sure you have appropriate travel insurance. A family or group policy may be suitable.

    The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has published information on the travel insurance implications of coronavirus. Contact your travel insurance provider if you have further questions about your cover or would like reassurance.

    Entry restrictions

    Many countries and territories have introduced screening measures (temperature checks and health/travel questions) and entry restrictions at border crossings and transport hubs.

    If you have recently been in a country affected by the virus you may need to be quarantined, or you may not be allowed to enter or travel through a third country.

    Check the travel advice pages for all countries you are planning to visit or transit. For further information about entry requirements, contact the local immigration authorities or the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country you’re travelling to.

    Air travel

    As governments and local authorities bring in measures to control the spread of the virus, some airlines are changing their schedules or suspending flights for some destinations. If you’re due to travel to an area affected by coronavirus, keep up-to-date with the latest information from your travel company or airline.

    International cruises

    If you are planning to go on a cruise, be aware a COVID-19 outbreak on board is possible, and your travel may be disrupted.

    If you are aged 70 and over, or if you have underlying health conditions, we advise you against cruise ship travel at this time. Find out more in our cruise ship travel guidance.

    The Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) has adopted an enhanced member health policy which all CLIA ocean member cruise lines must follow. It includes guidance on who should be permitted to board cruise ships. If you are due to travel on an international cruise, contact your travel company for the latest information.

    International education trips

    If you work in an education setting and are planning a trip, read the Department for Education guidance which FCO travel advice reflects. The government advises against all overseas education trips for children under 18 until further notice.

    When you’re abroad

    If travel advice changes while you are abroad

    If we change FCO travel advice, we usually advise you to follow the advice of local authorities. Your safety and security is the responsibility of the local authority where you are.

    If you are abroad when our travel advice changes, contact your airline or travel company, and your insurance provider as soon as you are able.

    You should also keep checking our travel advice. If we advise people to leave a country we will say so. We only organise assisted departure in exceptional circumstances.

    Quarantine while you are abroad

    If the local authority where you are proposes to quarantine you for your own protection, you should follow their advice. When you are abroad, your safety and security is their responsibility.

    If there are suspected cases of coronavirus where you are, you may need to remain in your hotel room or accommodation for 14 days, move to quarantine facilities, take tests for coronavirus and, if positive in some cases, be hospitalised abroad.

    You should also contact your airline or travel company, and your insurance provider as soon as you can. We only organise assisted departure in exceptional circumstances.

    Consular help

    We publish all our Travel Advice on GOV.UK. Our consular officers cannot provide any additional information by phone. Read more about the consular support we provide.

    Latest health advice

    See the latest NHS guidance on coronavirus for the current situation in the UK and abroad.

    The National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) has also produced general advice on preparing for foreign travel and how everyone can reduce the spread of respiratory viruses.

    Published 4 February 2020
    Last updated 15 March 2020