The UK National Agency and the European Commission are closely monitoring information regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
As of 23 March, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is strongly advising all UK residents currently travelling abroad to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available.
Guidance already in place from 17 March also advises British nationals against all but essential international travel.
The latest government advice states that if you currently have active Erasmus+ or European Solidarity Corps exchanges you should arrange for all UK participants to return. You will need to take account of the fast-moving situation and plan accordingly, including the fact there are currently fewer commercial flights available.
If UK students currently overseas for longer periods are considering returning to the UK, for example those studying full degrees, they should also do so while commercial routes are still available. Participants abroad must follow the advice of local authorities and the latest FCO travel advice.
If you are currently on a placement, please contact your provider to discuss arrangements as soon as possible.
Keep Mobility Tool+ updated
For project co-ordinators, please note we are awaiting further guidance from the European Commission on how best to process Force Majeure on Mobility Tool+. In the meantime, please ensure you update the additional comments section only with the actual end date of mobilities.
'Force Majeure' clause
We are aware that travel to and from the UK will have to be postponed or cancelled, and participants will have to return early. Any such changes to Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps activities that require an amendment to project contracts is sometimes because of a situation beyond their control – Force Majeure. The Coronavirus is deemed to be a force majeure, however any changes to an Erasmus+ or European Solidarity Corps contract will need to be approved by the UK National Agency. Please see our FAQs for more information.
Due to the Coronavirus outbreak some Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps activities may need to be delayed, and it will be possible in some cases to extend project contracts. Please see our FAQs for more information.
Latest updates from other National Agencies
The UK National Agency will continue to monitor the situation as to whether destination areas can be considered safe, in accordance with FCO advice.
Most National Agencies have informed us that their Government or health authorities have temporarily suspended certain Erasmus+ mobilities or closed their schools and universities, with limited incoming and outgoing cross-border travel in the next few weeks.
Latest updates from the European Commission
The European Commission has published information in the form of Frequently Asked Questions aimed at both participants and beneficiaries of the Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps programmes. For projects funded by the UK National Agency these should be read in conjunction with our Frequently Asked Questions which provide further guidance on what steps you need to take in cases where there is a change to your project, and if necessary the related contract.
For participants who are able to continue their mobility placement through virtual learning or other virtual activities it is important that you have the approval of your UK sending organisation to do so. It may be that in some cases it is not possible to continue placements virtually and unused funding may need to be reimbursed.
Organisations should maintain regular contact between participants, sending, hosting and co-ordinating organisations, and check the latest FCO advice on travelling. If your Erasmus+ or European Solidarity Corps activities involve travel to or transit through affected regions, or you are hosting participants from those regions, please contact the helplines available on our contact us webpage.
Please note: This news item was first published on 26 February 2020. It was last updated on 14 April 2020. We are regularly updating the webpage as more information becomes available.