Until further notice, travel for professional or educational purposes within Switzerland or abroad is prohibited until 19 April 2020 (inclusive). This ban applies to all EPFL entities.
You may continue to commute from your home to work if absolutely necessary.
All countries in the world have been affected. If you return from a trip to somewhere that the coronavirus has been officially detected, we ask you to remain at home for 14 days. You must inform your supervisor and work from home.
Reimbursement of travel expenses
The spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) is disrupting project-related travel plans, with financial implications. The guidance below explains whether third-party funds cover prepaid costs, what you need to do to claim back those costs, and what to do if you have to cancel a trip.
Reclaiming non-refundable costs from donors if you have to cancel your trip
Do third-party funds cover prepaid, non-refundable travel expenses if the organizer cancels an event or if I cannot travel because of coronavirus?
Yes, as explained in Art. 51 (“Force Majeure”) of the Annotated Model Grant Agreement:
- You must immediately notify the Europe project officer (or the project coordinator if the unit is not coordinating the project) that the event has been canceled or postponed.
- You must quickly put in place all possible measures to limit the damage caused by the cancellation or postponement, including measures to limit related costs (such as requesting a refund from the event organizer or tour operator, or filing an insurance claim), and you must be able to produce evidence of these measures for financial reporting and audit purposes.
- You must notify the project coordinator of all planning-related costs incurred ahead of the event.
Yes, in the following two cases:
- The organizer cancels the event: in this case, keep evidence of the cancellation and send it to the controlling department along with your financial report. The controlling department will submit the evidence via the mySNF portal.
- The event is still going ahead, but it’s taking place in an area that EPFL officially considers to be affected by the coronavirus.
Yes, as long as the costs meet the usual restrictive criteria for travel expenses (i.e. they are included in the budget and relate to people directly involved in the project).
Please keep evidence of the cancellation and send it to the controlling department along with your financial report.
No, US-based donors generally impose strict rules on travel expense eligibility.
Eligibility will depend on the terms of the contract with each donor. Contact the fund management team for more information.
Travel cancellation guidelines
Will I be reimbursed for travel expenses already incurred for a trip or event that has been cancelled?
You should first do what you can to minimize the lost travel expenses, such as by requesting a refund from the organizers or the travel agent, or by taking advantage of any travel insurance you may have.
In any case, you must keep all documentation related to your trip – the initial reservation, the cancelled travel, and the steps you take to obtain a refund.
If you made your reservation through the CWT travel agency at EPFL, you should contact the agency directly at [email protected] before the scheduled departure date. The agency will handle the reimbursement or rebooking request. Please be aware that different airlines have different cancellation and change policies.
If you made your travel reservations through another provider, you are responsible for cancelling or changing your trip and requesting the corresponding reimbursements.
If you paid for your trip using an EPFL credit card (individual or corporate card), you must make the reimbursement request directly.
Holidays and travel for personal reasons
All information can be found on the Human Resources page.
If you have any further questions, please use this form.