Exemptions to the global advice against non-essential travel
On 4 July the government's travel advice changed, with exemptions for travelling to certain countries and territories that no longer pose a high risk for British travellers. View the list of exempted destinations. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) continues to advise against non-essential international travel, except to countries and territories listed.
FCO are monitoring the international situation very closely and keeping this advice under constant review so that it reflects our latest assessment of risks to British people. For coronavirus, this includes the incidence rate and the resilience of healthcare provision in each country. Find out more about how their travel advice works.
For further information visit - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus
If you are a student and have further questions or need advice please raise these with your Academic Supervisor in the first instance. Similarly, if you are a member of staff, questions should be raised with your Line Manager.
Can I travel on University business for study or work?
The University, at all its campus locations, follows the UK Government advice, as advised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in relation to travelling on University business. All University travel was suspended on 17th March 2020. The FCO currently advises against all but essential international travel but travel to some countries and territories is currently exempted: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
Travel on University business is therefore permitted based on the FCO list however travellers should be aware that it is expected that the list of countries where travel is currently allowed is likely to change on an ongoing basis. If the UK Government advice changes subsequently and advises against travel to a particular country at the point of travel, then travel will not be permitted even if it has been previously approved.
Given the scale of the financial challenge the University faces, Covid-19 risks facing travellers generally, and the environmental risks involved with travel, there is an expectation that University travel will be limited to trips that are required to be carried out in person and cannot be reasonably conducted remotely.
The safety of students and staff travelling is paramount at all times and it is for every individual, with the support of the University, to assess the level of risk that they personally face when planning to travel and whether those risks are acceptable. If anyone travelling has any concerns about their trip, then they should speak to their line manager (staff) or academic supervisor (students) in the first instance.
What should I do if I am planning to travel for holidays or leisure?
Many students and staff visit other countries and areas either while based at other campuses, as part of a University trip, or in general. Please note that this is not generally covered by the University’s travel insurance policy and you should take out sufficient personal travel insurance to cover you for your trip.
For personal trips, you do not need to complete a travel declaration as this is used to record travel on University business (e.g. travel for study). The University follows the latest travel advice at all times which is issued by the UK Government via the FCO and is country specific. Whilst the University is not responsible for you on personal trips, we strongly recommend that you also follow the advice and guidance found on the FCO website at all times. https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
I am not a UK national. Do I still have to follow FCO guidance?
All Heriot-Watt students and staff must adhere to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) guidance at all times. Non-UK nationals must also follow the advice of their home-governments should that differ from the UK Government advice.
Arriving in / Returning to Scotland
Travellers arriving from these countries will still be required to complete the online passenger locator form prior to travel and to supply contact details, travel details and the address of the final destination where they will be staying. Travellers arriving into Scotland via an English port or airport, or direct to the country, will still need to quarantine if they have been in a country which is not on the exemption list.
Arriving in / Returning to Dubai or Malaysia
Please ensure you are familiar with the local regulations that apply at the time of your travel. These may include requirements for evidence of recent Covid-19 tests and / or to quarantine on arrival. In general terms, travellers should ensure they have familiarised themselves with all Covid-19 regulations relating to returning from University trips and comply with them when returning at the end of their trip
Tier 4 students
Detailed advice for students studying on a Tier 4 visa is available here
What do I do if I begin to feel unwell while travelling?
All travellers must download the SafeZone app and can use this to request assistance. The University’s insurer and medical assistance helpline is available 24/7 on +44 (0)1489 868 888 where you should quote policy number 711483418.