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International travel

Students planning to travel internationally to Cambridge should consult the information on Travelling to the UK. See also information on COVID-19 testing for international travel on our Stay Safe webpage.

If you are unable to come to Cambridge for the start of the new academic year due to travel disruption due to coronavirus, you should consult the University’s guidance on exceptional circumstances.

Staff and students planning to travel for University-related business (including study)

Trips must be authorised and risk assessed as per the usual procedure. As a first step, you are strongly advised to telephone the COVID Helpdesk (01223 339514) for assistance with planning your trip. COVID testing and quarantine requirements vary widely from country to country, and change frequently. Please see Guidance on Managing Risks from Travel, Fieldwork and Work Away for further information (Raven login required).

Travel overseas for the purpose of carrying out research or studying away (including fieldwork) will normally be regarded as sufficient reason to travel by the University if evidence of necessity is included in the risk assessment and provided the following criteria are met:

  1. You have completed all the risk assessment forms which must include: 
    • evidence that you have consulted in detail any FCDO advice
    • evidence that you have researched the pandemic effects in the overseas country and checked any restrictions in place in the overseas country due to the pandemic and your ability to return to either UK or other country is not affected
    • you have in place COVID-19 risk contingency plans for medical care and travel arrangements
    • you have submitted these to your Department
  2. You have provided evidence as to why your research/studies is necessary and why your physical presence is required overseas.
  3. You have taken into account the need for any Covid-19 imposed quarantines or testing and subsequent additional costs as these will not be covered by University Travel Insurance.
  4. You have valid insurance. The University holds Travel Insurance that is suitable and appropriate for trips and includes professional medical and security support to individuals and groups.  One of the key risk issues is in travel to countries which sit on the Government’s ‘Red’ list and the FCDO guidance is against travel for ‘all but essential’ reasons.  Please also be aware that cover for Cancellation/Curtailment costs to such territories WILL NOT be covered.  For further information please visit the Insurance website.

Travel insurance

If you are planning to travel, check the travel insurance webpages for information on insurance, coronavirus and Brexit.

Year abroad

Plans for year abroad activity will need to be approved in advance of travel in the usual way.

Year abroad students should liaise with the Year Abroad co-ordinator in your Faculty or Department and your Director of Studies in your College to discuss your situation taking into consideration the latest government guidance and any relevant international travel restrictions. Please refer to the MML coronavirus information pages for more detailed guidance.

If you are abroad and cannot travel back to the UK due to the coronavirus outbreak

You should:

  • Check the FCDO website for the latest advice for the area you are in
  • Contact your Department immediately to tell them of your situation
  • Consider registering with any local consulates or embassies, who will be able to advise on any updates and evacuation plans for respective nationals

If you had booked travel insurance on the University’s Business Travel Insurance policy before the FCDO travel ban, the policy continues to provide cover for medical expenses. Please note we have changed travel insurance provider from Chubb to Allianz. Your existing Chubb policy will have migrated over to the Allianz policy and cover will remain in place for you. However please note if your trip is to expire and your cannot travel back, you will need to register a new trip with Allianz for the extended period that your require. Please visit

Please note the University’s Business Travel Insurance policy with Allianz Insurance Plc only applies to employees, graduate students and undergraduate students on their year abroad scheme.

If you are entitled to free healthcare in your current location, you must use the facilities provided before using the University’s insurance policy.

For more information see our travel insurance webpages.