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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.


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.
  • 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
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