Updated 15 July 2021.

This page contains information for students and staff intending to go abroad as part of their Queen Mary studies and work during the 2021/22 academic year. Information for International students arriving in the UK and immigration guidance is on the Queen Mary Advice and Counselling Service Immigration and Covid-19 page

Approval to travel abroad

Students and staff must have the permission of their Queen Mary School in order to travel abroad for education and work purposes. Students who wish to travel abroad for education purposes (including study exchanges & work placements) and academic or research staff/students can be approved to do so, provided they fulfil the below criteria:

  • The travel is deemed ‘essential’* for your education/research
  • The student/staff member has completed a risk assessment. Students/staff should highlight in the risk assessment particular risks related to their destination country
  • The travel is signed off/authorised by the relevant Queen Mary School, (Head of School or School Manager)
  • The student registers for Queen Mary insurance using TravelCert (Passcode 173466) prior to departure

The above criteria are applicable to students/staff going to green and amber list countries under the UK governments’ traffic light travel advisory system. Travel is not permitted to red list countries. See below section for additional information.

*If your school/department deems your reason for overseas travel as ‘essential’, travel abroad would be permitted and Queen Mary insurance cover will be in place (note that all students/staff would need to register for Queen Mary insurance. There are exclusions around cover and changes in policy relating to cancellation due to Covid-19, see Insurance coverage and exclusions section for additional information).

International travel advice & traffic light system

The current traffic light system introduced by the UK government outlines quarantine rules upon returning to the UK.  When planning to travel abroad, students/staff should consider both the new traffic light system, as well as the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) country advice. This advice sets out the risks of travelling to another country, including non-Covid risks.

Queen Mary University of London follows UK Government and Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice when reviewing and approving international travel.

The FCDO continues to advise against all ‘non-essential’ international travel to many countries and territories as well as ‘all travel’ to others. You should check the country page for your destination.

Red list countries

No travel to red list countries will be authorised, except in the following circumstances:

  • The student/staff member is already in the red list country
  • The student/staff member is a national of the red list country

Please note the travel must also be signed off/authorised by the relevant Queen Mary School, (Head of School or School Manager).

In these circumstances, the student/staff member is asked to complete a risk assessment and ensure adequate insurance cover is in place, as the Queen Mary policy may not cover all claims, which may arise.

Insurance coverage & exclusions

Healix International provides insurance cover for Queen Mary students and staff. In addition to reviewing guidance from the FCDO, all travellers are encouraged to register for updates and alerts from the insurance provider Travel Oracle: Register ( (Policy number RSA1531522).

Traffic light system & insurance cover

If Travel is booked to a UK FCDO country or territory, where there is not a travel advisory (i.e. a “green” area) then cover will apply in full. However, please note any travel disruption claims (such as cancellation and curtailment) are limited to a maximum £50,000 during the policy year because of Covid-19. There is a separate £50,000 annual limit for non-Covid related claims.

If travel is booked to a UK FCDO country/territory whereby the UK FCDO travel advisory is “against all but essential travel” (i.e. an amber zone) or “against all travel (i.e. a red zone) then cover will operate with the exception of Cancellation/Curtailment, Political Evacuation and Crisis Management.

An example of a Political Evacuation would be situations of political unrest and military action in a country. In addition, Crisis Management would involve evacuation of personnel out of this situation.

If a trip is booked at such a time when the FCDO advice is green, but prior to departure or during a trip, changes to amber or red – then claims can be made for the trip cancellation/curtailment as this would be a change in circumstances, out of the traveller's control and unforeseeable.

Emergency Medical Expenses cover applies regardless of travel advisories and includes the costs of emergency treatment for Covid-19 whilst overseas. Pre-existing medical conditions are covered in full. We do not require any notification of any known medical conditions. Travel must not be undertaken against the advice of a medical practitioner. If a traveller contracts Covid-19 whilst on an insured trip, the policy will cover any medical treatment costs incurred.

Self-isolation/quarantine costs

Please note if there are any mandatory self-isolation/quarantine rules upon a traveller arriving at their destination or returning to the UK, then these costs are not covered by the policy and would have to be borne by the traveller.

If a traveller tests positive for Covid-19 whilst on an insured trip and is required to quarantine (even if asymptomatic), then any additional accommodation/travel costs can be considered by the insurance company, provided the trip wasn’t booked against FCDO advice.

Booking tickets & travel advice

Before booking any travel, please check current restrictions and visa requirements. Please also review the guidance for travelling overseas issued by the Queen Mary Health and Safety Directorate. On the website, you will also be able to find guidance for completing risk assessments; including Covid-19 Secure Risk Assessment templates for placements, fieldwork and offsite research activities.

It may be worthwhile taking into consideration the booking of only Flexible and refundable tickets, but learning of any implications Airlines may have for further disruption in their own Cancellation Policies before doing so. RSA strongly recommend seeking any refunds from Airlines and/or Travel Management Companies in the first instance should you need to cancel a trip.

It is advisable when considering travel applications, to review any local/foreign travel and border restrictions, as any delays/cancellations etc. resulting from Third Country conditions could fall under the exclusion of ‘regulations made by any public authority or government or persons with the authority under legislation or licence to make regulations;’.

Insurance Claims

All travel insurance claims should be notified directly to RSA, providing you have registered on TravelCert in advance of your trip – the traveller can liaise directly with RSA using the claims email address: where claims are reviewed and considered. The below will also be needed:

  • A completed travel insurance claim form
  • A letter or email from the host organisation detailing the cancellation of the event
  • Evidence of flight invoice
  • Hotel invoice
  • Travel insurance cover note

Travel policies are subject to change

Please note the information displayed on this page is subject to review and change by Queen Mary University of London.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to evolve and advice changes from sources such as Public Health England and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), Queen Mary may need to change/update its policies in response. Travel policy changes may include but are not limited to further travel restrictions and/or measures such as a travel ban for specific countries or regions.

Student exchange programmes

The Global Opportunities Office and your Queen Mary School have sent out guidance to all students currently participating in overseas programmes and students due to participate in programmes abroad during the 2021/22 academic year.

If you have any questions, please contact or your School Study Abroad Coordinator.

Modern Languages students from the School of Languages, Linguistics and Film should contact