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Traveling abroad in times of corona

Business trips to countries classed as orange or red must be supported by the Faculty Board or the Director, and must have the prior permission of – or on behalf of - the Executive Board. Business trips to green or yellow countries require prior permission from the Faculty Board or the Director. Each request for permission is assessed to determine whether the trip is necessary and whether it should be made at the suggested time.

More information on the Dutch government’s travel advice and the colour codes

Make sure you’re well prepared if you intend to travel. Check the Dutch government’s travel advice to see which countries are classed as green, orange, yellow or red.
Government advice as of 15 May 2021: Only travel to countries classed as green or yellow. Any country you travel to is likely to have its own coronavirus measures in place, such as compulsory testing or quarantine. The situation in a country can also change at short notice, so you should check the travel advice regularly.

Sustainability

This period has been difficult, but it has also demonstrated the possibilities the digital world offers us. Ask yourself whether you really need to take a business trip, or whether you could get a similar result from online meetings.

Requesting permission for a business trip to an orange or red country

  • If you are planning to take a business trip to a region classed as red or orange (either ‘do not travel’ or ‘essential travel only’), you must request permission beforehand using the overseas business trip request form for orange and red regions (.docx). Make sure you submit your request no later than 8 weeks before the planned trip.
  • For travel to the United Kingdom, use the request form for green and yellow regions (.docx).
  • The request will be put to the Faculty Board or director via the supervisor of the staff member.
  • If the Faculty Board or director agrees that the visit is necessary at the time planned, the International Incidents Team (IIT) will decide on trips to orange regions; in the case of a red region, the IIT will refer the request to the Executive Board for approval.

More information about travelling to high-risk orange or red regions.

Requesting permission for a business trip to a green or yellow country

  • If you are planning to take a business trip to a country classed as green or yellow, you must first request permission using the overseas business trip request form for green and yellow regions (.docx). Make sure you submit your request no later than 8 weeks before the planned trip.
  • Your supervisor will refer your request to the Faculty Board or the Director.

Business trips that were already planned

The new procedure applies to all business trips for which the Faculty Board or Director (yellow or green) or the Executive Board (orange or red) has not given written permission. These trips must be referred for approval.

Staff of international institutes

Members of staff of the international institutes (NVIC, NIMAR, NIT, KITLV) must also ask their Faculty Board, director or coordinator for permission for trips from the Netherlands to their place of employment and vice versa. Depending on the colour code, either the mandate holder will decide or, if the responsible body supports the request, the IIT will refer the request to the Executive Board.

Business travel insurance

Business travel insurance covers the costs of medical treatment that is not paid for by the employee’s health insurer. A condition of this insurance is that it must be possible to justify the need for the trip, and the employee concerned must be able to show that he or she has behaved in line with the conditions imposed in the country he or she is visiting: for example, the wearing of a facemask or not being outside in the public environment unless this is permitted.

If a new outbreak of corona occurs in the foreign country, the costs of evacuation from that country will not be covered by the business travel insurance. Be prepared: download the insurance card and instal the Chubb Travel Smart app before you leave for your trip.

Issues to be considered

The issues that a Faculty Board or director will take into consideration when deciding whether or not the business trip is necessary include:

  • The length, nature and risks of the trip
  • The impact on work or research that cannot progress if the trip does not take place
  • The costs that the Faculty will face in the event that repatriation is necessary
  • The possibility that repatriation may not be possible and the traveller will have to remain abroad for longer

Without permission on a business trip

If you do not have a form with permission the Faculty Board or the Director, or if necessary from the Executive Board or its representative for your business trip, your expense claims for the trip will be rejected.

Travel from a foreign country to the Netherlands

All advice issued by the Dutch government for travellers returning to the Netherlands is also compulsory for employees of Leiden University. If the government advises travellers to your destination to observe quarantine upon their return, you must not enter university premises during the quarantine period.

Corona file: travel advice and conditions

In the corona file you will find more information about business trips, travel advice and conditions.

View the travel advice in the corona file

The guidelines for business trips abroad have been changed in relation to Corona. The procedure is different for each COVID-related colour code.

  • Bussiness trips faculty & staff
    The completed + signed form should be sent to the Scientific Director of your institute for approval. You should also send a copy to FSW-dienstreizen@fsw.leidenuniv.nl for filing.
     
  • Bussiness trips Scientific Directors
    Send the completed + signed form to FSW-dienstreizen@fsw.leidenuniv.nl. They will make sure that the Dean assesses it. 

Colour code change

Form for yellow or green region is filled in, it changes to orange;

  • Before the employee starts travelling:
    still treat it as an orange region.
     
  • If the staff member has already started the trip:
     the institute should immediately contact FSW-dienstreizen, who will report this to the Faculty Board, the Board Secretary and the IIT. The FSW service travel managers will contact the IIT so that the ITT can monitor the employee's safety.

NOTE: Possible financial risks

When filling in the form and assessing it at the institute, it is also good to take into account any financial risks that are not covered by the travel insurance (the exceptions are listed in the policy conditions); these costs will be borne by the institute.

At this time, trips to red regions are not allowed.

The staff member fills in the form. The arguments must show why it is necessary to make this trip:

  • The digital possibilities have become great; why is the choice made to undertake this journey in person?
  • What is the impact on research or work if this journey cannot be undertaken?
  • What measures have been or will be taken to minimise the risks?

In assessing the application, consideration will be given to:

  • necessity of the trip,
  • safety of our staff and
  • sustainability. 

Procedure

  1. This form plus an accompanying letter from the supervisor, which shows the supervisor's motivation for supporting the undertaking of this trip, will be sent to Dienstreizen@fsw.leidenuniv.nl by the institute with the approval of the Scientific Director. Within each institute, there is one designated contact for the administrator of this mailbox.
  2. Upon receipt, the request will be submitted to the Faculty Board (Executive Director). The latter will assess the submitted form on the necessity of undertaking the trip.
  3. If the Faculty Board recognises the need for the trip, the form and the letter from the Scientific Director are forwarded to the Internationaal Incident Team (IIT).
  4. The ITT assesses the application again and specifically in terms of safety and submits it to the Executive Board.
  5. After the decision of the Executive Board, the IIT informs the faculty via the Faculty Office, which in turn informs the institute/employee.

Colour code change

Form for orange region is completed, and it changes to green or yellow before departure; the Scientific Director can sign.

NOTE: Possible financial risks

When filling in the form and assessing it at the institute, it is also good to take into account any financial risks that are not covered by the travel insurance (the exceptions are listed in the policy conditions); these costs will be borne by the institute.

Security trainings

The security training is mandatory for employees travelling to regions with colour codes orange or red, because of security risks other than corona (e.g. terrorism). The cost of the training is € 2500 and is borne by the institute. The training is valid for a number of years.

If someone travels to a region outside Europe or England, it is advised to include in the motivation which colour code the area to be visited would have if there were no Covid.

Action Yellow/Green Orange
Staff member Complete and sign the form Complete and sign the form
Scientific Director Authorised to sign Motivation letter
FSW - dienstreizen Filing Takes in hand, files
Faculty Board N.a. Signs if the need to undertake the trip has been recognised
IIT N.a. Accepts after Faculty Board signature
ITT for Executive Board N.a. Decision, final responsibility

 

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