Domestic Travel: Updated Guidance for Approval of Travel

As you will have noted from earlier correspondence this week, any UC domestic travel outside Christchurch now requires SLT approval before it can proceed. This arrangement will continue while the country is operating under the Red traffic light setting.  Under the Guiding Principles for Staff and Student Travel issued late last year, the main criteria for determining whether or not travel would be approved by an SLT member was its criticality, i.e., how essential it was to support UC teaching, learning and research. 

With the Omicron variant now circulating in the community, the goalposts have shifted again and the determining factors for whether or not proposed travel should proceed are now primarily around health risk for staff, students, whanau, the UC community, and our region. The risks are accentuated by such variables as air travel, public transport, location of business (numbers of people at, for example, a meeting or workshop/conference), and the spread of Omicron in the travel destination (at least in the early phase while there is limited spread). Consideration should also be given to the impacts on a traveller’s personal circumstances (health, family situation) and work commitments once travel has been concluded, should the traveller subsequently test positive or be identified as a close contact who needs to isolate. 

Please note that current Government guidance re isolation periods  will place pressure on the ability of many to work or study as usual, if tested positive or identified as a contact.  As at 26 January 2022, the guidance is as follows:

  • Tested Positive:
     – Isolate at home for at least 14 days, including 72 hours symptom free.
     – Guidance re medical support during this period is available on the Covid-19 website
  • Identified as Close Contact:
     – Stay home and self-isolate from others for 10 days from your last contact with the case  (this may be extended to 14 days if another household member subsequently tests positive.
     – Get a test for Covid-19 straight away, on day 5, and on day 8 after your last contact with the case
     – Get another test straight away if you develop Covid-19 symptoms.
  • Identified as Secondary Contact
     – Stay at home until the Close Contact returns a negative day 5 test result
     – If the Close Contact develops symptoms after the day 5 negative test, stay home again until a further negative test result is returned
     – If symptoms develop, get a test
     – Stay home until you get a negative test and it has been 24 hours without symptoms.

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