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Staff travel advice

Travel advice for work or study

The information on this page is organised into the following themes:

International travel for work and / or studyInsurance for international travelOverseas trips of greater than 3 month’s durationTravel for work or study within the UK Frequently asked questions 



International travel for work and / or study 

In line with the easing of restrictions and the introduction of some international travel, we will begin to support some overseas University work and / or study, where it aligns with the University of Exeter Essential Travel Principles and the UK Government traffic light system.

All University travel for work and / or study must meet the following key principles:

  1. Travel to red list countries will not be permitted unless there are exceptional circumstances, and must be approved by the COVID-19 Gold group.
  2. A 'letter of support' is a University requirement of travel to amber countries. This letter will be produced as an output of the approval process, subject to approval being given.
  3. The University Travel Policy has been updated to align to best practice, including British Standards and University Safety and Health Association guidance.
  4. International Travel risk assessments have been consolidated, now one overarching risk assessment per trip is required.

We have published checklists for those planning travel, organised by the categories of travel that are permitted to resume. Please ensure you review and follow the guidance within the relevant checklist before making any bookings:

Type of Travel 
Essential research trips (Researchers and PGR) Checklist 
Conferences / Outbound UoE academics delivering lectures Checklist
Funding award - Global Partnerships Checklist
International student recruitment trips Checklist
Overseas Fieldwork / Fieldtrips (UG and PGT) Checklist
Professional Services team travel - where appropriate Checklist

For clarification​ - Fieldwork refers to travel for taught programmes, for research, for projects or academic/phds, whereas a fieldtrip is an outing that is led by an Academic.

Insurance for international travel

Once you have evidence of risk assessment and essential trip approval, you can then seek insurance approval by emailing If your requested destination is sanctioned, 14 day advance notification to the insurer is required. Cover is not guaranteed and certain exclusions will apply, this will be confirmed on a case by case basis. You must wait to receive confirmation of insurance before booking any travel.

For more information on the travel insurance process, please visit the staff pages.

Overseas trips of greater than 3 month’s duration

It remains the case that any overseas trips for greater than 3 month’s duration must follow the Global Mobility Policy to ensure employment law compliance. Advance notice of 3 months must be provided to enable this.

Travel for work or study within the UK

Attendance at educational day visits, seminars, conferences and business meetings is permitted, in line with government travel advice, provided that the relevant risk assessments are completed and approved. UK residential stays (such as fieldtrips) and sports events are also permitted, where the correct risk assessments are completed and approved.

Please note that individual travel between the University of Exeter campuses (e.g. Exeter to Penryn or vice versa) constitutes commuting for work/study at the University, therefore does not require the same risk assessment process as other UK based travel. However, group travel between campuses will still require risk assessment to ensure COVID-19 safety measures have been considered.

Booking your travel

Once you have an approved risk assessment and valid travel insurance (insurance confirmation only needed for international travel), you will need to send these to in order for them to give you access to the University travel booking partners. For further information, please visit our website.

Travel TypeAssessment TypeApproval RouteEscalation Route (if concern regarding decision)
UK business trip - day trip In-country travel College/Head of Service Director of Service/DCO
UK business trip - overnight stay In-country travel College/Head of Service Director of Service/DCO
UK research trip - day trip Fieldwork (in country) Director of Research Research Restart
UK research trip - overnight stay Fieldwork (in country) Director of Research Research Restart
UK field trip - day trip Fieldwork (in country) College/Head of Service ADE/DCO
UK field trip - overnight stay Fieldwork (in country) College/Head of Service ADE/DCO

Full detail is included in the risk assessment tools.

Key considerations:

  • Risk assessments for UK based travel may focus more on the use of private or rental vehicles - to lessen use of public transport.
  • If travel is planned to a higher risk region - for example due to variants of concern or regional outbreaks - trip organisers must consider how to reduce the risk.
  • There is no cancellation or curtailment cover within the University of Exeter travel insurance policy for COVID-19, but all other elements remain in place.
  • If Government guidance changes, bringing into force local, regional or national lockdowns, trips may be cancelled. There are two exclusions on our insurance policy, relating to (a) Government or Local Authority Directives, and (b) pandemic. If a trip is cancelled or curtailed for this reason, it will not be covered by insurance. Cancellable / refundable / transferrable booking options should be selected, to minimise the risk of financial loss.