COVID-19 travel guidance for providers managing education or work placements overseas

COVID-19 travel guidance for providers managing education or work placements overseas

This guidance is for providers. If you are a participant, please go to the guidance for participants.

General COVID-19 travel guidance for providers managing education or work placements overseas

All education providers managing mobility in education should follow the relevant Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice. They should highlight this to their participants, being aware that the situation can change rapidly.

At present, FCDO travel advice includes:

All education providers should also ensure mobilities are safe for the students involved and keep usual safeguarding arrangements in place. Statutory safeguarding guidance to support the protection of children is available for:

All providers should be flexible in their approach and conscious of the potentially rapidly changing situation on a country-by-country basis. Providers should be ready to make quick changes to projects and mobilities, consider delaying mobilities, and amend start and end dates as restrictions may change over time. They should direct participants to the information necessary to familiarise themselves with COVID-19 regulations in their destination country. Providers should let participants know they need to be ready to comply with any local isolation, testing or quarantine requirements in their destination country, and will need to rely on the local health system.

Turing Scheme guidance for providers

It is likely that COVID-19 travel restrictions will continue to affect international mobility, and therefore will affect planned Turing Scheme projects and participants during the 2021 to 2022 academic year. We want as many mobilities as possible planned for the 2021 to 2022 academic year to go ahead, but also to ensure they are safe for the students involved. Usual safeguarding arrangements must remain in place, and mobilities must be in line with UK and relevant international travel guidance.

To reduce any financial burden on participants, you should consider, where appropriate, delaying the start of placements until later in the 2021 to 2022 academic year.

The Turing Scheme offers flexibility for placements to be delayed and destinations changed in order to allow activities to go ahead, provided they still deliver the outcomes set out in your successful bids.

Red list countries

At present, Turing Scheme placements cannot take place in red list countries, in line with the UK government guidance: “The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advise against all but essential travel to red listed countries based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.” We do not consider travel under the Turing Scheme to be essential travel and any placements are therefore not exempt from this restriction. The Turing Scheme will not release funding for participants who are travelling to a red listed country at the time of departure.

An overview of red list countries is available for:

Participants who travel to a country that is on the ‘rest of the world’ list at the time of travel, but is subsequently added to the red list during their placement, must follow the current FCDO guidance for the destination country. Those who remain in their destination country in this situation will continue to be eligible for financial support under the scheme.

Hotel quarantine

We recommend you delay or rearrange placements in countries requiring hotel quarantine because:

  • it would place a financial burden on participants
  • it will not be possible to effectively safeguard participants within the restrictions of a quarantine hotel environment

Destination countries may set additional restrictions while participants are already there. Organisers must ensure their participants are aware of these, and are still able to travel to undertake their placement and comply with all relevant advice and restrictions in their destination country.

In addition, we may be able to provide financial support for projects taking place during the 2021 to 2022 academic year. This extra support will provide for disadvantaged participants who incur additional costs as a result of COVID-19. It will allow providers to receive Organisational Support (OS) funding if a mobility needs to begin on a virtual basis, provided these placements become physical mobilities when it is possible and meet the minimum duration requirements for participants to undertake the placement.

This extra support for disadvantaged participants on placements during the 2021 to 2022 academic year may cover:

  • hotel quarantine costs on placements lasting 90 days or more when travelling to a destination country for their placement
  • hotel quarantine costs on return to the UK when their destination country has been red listed during their placement and they were not able to return ahead of the red listing taking effect
  • costs incurred due to COVID-19 testing requirements, both when travelling to their destination country and on return to the UK, where necessary
  • the retention of some remaining cost of living grant amounts for participants who have to return home early due to COVID-19 and have incurred necessary and unrecoverable costs

Details of this extra financial support and further guidance on managing the additional costs incurred as a result of COVID-19 are available on the Turing Scheme website.

Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps guidance for providers

As part of the Withdrawal Agreement, legacy activity agreed ahead of the end of the transition period involving UK-based students on Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps (ESC) will continue. Therefore, Turing Scheme and Erasmus+ mobilities will both be in operation during the 2021 to 2022 academic year.

UK beneficiaries managing Erasmus+ and ESC mobilities should utilise any funding to the best of their ability. They must ensure participants remain as safe as possible and follow all relevant guidance, including existing statutory safeguarding guidance, relevant international travel guidance and advice related to their funding.

Please follow the guidelines set out by the Erasmus+ National Agency and the European Commission.

Other exchange schemes

Regardless of how it’s funded, providers of any international mobility in education should follow the relevant FCDO travel advice for the destination country. They should highlight this to their participants but be aware that the situation could change. Providers should ensure that participants are ready to comply with local isolation, testing or quarantine requirements, and will need to rely on the local health system.