Travel during COVID
The University must ensure, so far as practicable, the health and safety of staff, RHD Candidates and Students wishing to undertake travel. This includes having measures in place to eliminate or manage the risks arising from COVID-19.
Travel during COVID requires a specific process of pre-planning and approval - as defined by the Strategic CMRT (Crisis Management and Recovery Team).
All travel approval must go through the Executive-Dean, where applicable, with final approval by the Provost, Chief Operating Officer, or the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International).
As at 28 October 2020:
- Intrastate travel (within state) – permitted, must meet 3 criteria, local approval required.
- Interstate travel (between states) – permitted only after the COVID-Safe Travel Form is approved but not to high risk locations and must meet 3 criteria. Students are to seek approval from their supervisor, seconded by the Provost; a form is being developed for this purpose. A form for staff exists on the staff intranet.
- International travel – Not permitted. Travel by exceptional circumstances only and requires CMRT Approval.
Essential/Critical Travel - Criteria 1
What is ‘Essential/Critical’ travel?
CMRT Strategic has defined what is essential travel for all interstate travel:
Staff and HDR candidates
All staff travel is considered non-essential unless it is mission critical and must be conducted face-to-face.
Travel that is required to preserve the safety of a research subject or activity and cannot be postponed is permitted.
Travel to deliver learning and teaching that is necessary to meet a graduation requirement, cannot be postponed or achieved through an alternative assignment is permitted.
These requirements apply for all interstate locations including those where quarantine requirements do not apply on return to Tasmania or return to NSW.
Professional or educational conferences are defined as non-essential.
Personal travel cannot be incorporated into approved work-related travel.
Travel for academic credit that is necessary to meet a graduation requirement, cannot be postponed or achieved through an alternative assignment is permitted.
DFAT sponsored students returning home permanently after completion of their course at the request of the Australian Government is permitted.
Budgeted Centre Approval - Criteria 2
You need to ensure that the budget centre has the funds available to support the travel prior to making any arrangements. If you are unsure who need to approve the budget for the trip check with your Finance Business Partners.
Risk Mitigation - Criteria 3
The UTAS COVID-Safe Risk Register outlines how the risks of transmission (using the Hierarchy of Control) should be mitigated. This document should be referred to when developing your risk assessment for approval.
COVID-19 presents a risk to travellers from exposure to infectious persons or surfaces contaminated with virus. COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus that may cause serious illness and/or death, particularly in vulnerable people.
The risks of transmission include:
- Person to Person transmission via inhalation or ingesting.
- Droplets from sneeze and cough.
- Droplets from perspiration, saliva body fluids.
- Transmission via contaminated surfaces - touch points (e/g door handles), shared equipment and surfaces transmit Covid-19 when people share equipment or touch same surfaces and then touch face.
- Close personal contact – handshaking, kissing, etc.
- Working within 1.5m proximity e.g. sharing a vehicle/vessel, close contact laboratory work.
- Being in close contact with a confirmed case (>15 minutes face to face or >2 hours in an enclosed room) e.g. while sharing a vehicle / using public transport.
- Sharing utensils for eating or drinking that may be contaminated.
- Emerging evidence is the virus is airborne (transmission via aerosols)
- Elimination: Can the activity be undertaken without the travel? e.g. Zoom meeting.
- Substitution: Can someone in the region who is closer undertake the task?
- Isolation: Travel separately if other risks are not created or increased.
- Engineering: Review Person to person transmission and surface transmission controls in COVID-Safe Risk Register.
- Administrative: – COVID-Safe Travel Risk Assessment Template and Traveller Information Sheet. Ensure Travellers have completed – COVID-Safe Return to Campus Induction or Infection Control Training or induction specific for Travel?
- PPE: Traveller Kit with instructions on how to use it.
Travel – is the mode of transiting from one location to another, and typically includes pre-booking and planning of various elements, such as flights, accommodation, transport between ground locations, driving, and other travel/transit risks that need to be considered/planned. Interstate and International travel require a specific approval process.
Fieldwork is an activity conducted away from our campus-based workplaces and often includes elements of travel as well as other work-related tasks (e.g. research) that must be risk assessed, planned, and approved via various delegation processes.
Example: Travel is getting a person from point A to point B, while Fieldwork is the reason/purpose/activity that requires the travel.
Field trip is an activity conducted away from our campus-based workplaces and often includes elements of travel, as well as …. (how to distinguish differences between field trip and fieldwork, or is field trip a subset of Fieldwork?)
Domestic Travel - Intrastate and Interstate Travel within Australia (and New Zealand if deemed Covid safe)
Intrastate Travel (Domestic) – travel conducted wholly within a single Australian State or Territory (e.g. your home state) (Note that each state and territory may have different risks, restrictions, and travel requirements, and these may change with little warning.)
Interstate Travel (Domestic) – travel conducted between two or more Australian States or Territories, and travel conducted between Australia and New Zealand.
International Travel – Travel conducted between Australia and another country.
Essential Travellers –a person travelling from one state/territory to another and is exempt from quarantine but is required to comply with State Public Health directions during their visit. An Essential Traveller must meet certain criteria to be eligible and must apply to the state/territory government they intend to travel to.