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Frequently Asked Questions | Domestic & International Travel

Published August 10, 2020

Q:  Is domestic travel by car for University business permitted under the University’s current COVID-19 Return Plans?
A:
  There is no prohibition on domestic car travel for University business based on COVID-19.  Employees and students should follow the typical process for requesting approval for travel. 

Q:  Are there tips for mitigating COVID-19 risks during domestic car travel?
A:
  Yes.  While there are no guarantees that these steps will prevent COVID-19, these steps will reduce the risk of infection generally:

General Travel Guidance from the CDC:

Driving Tips

  • Take extra masks and hand sanitizer
  • Limit passengers to household members, or mask in the vehicle if passengers include non-household members
  • Wear a mask when you leave your vehicle
  • Practice social distancing of at least 6 feet when you leave your vehicle
  • Use drive-through or curbside pick-up service for meals, choose restaurants with outdoor seating, or pack your own meals
  • Pay for gas at the pump, when possible
  • Hand sanitize after fueling and/or entering a building
  • Seek restrooms that are not common travel stops or those at less crowded locations

Q: Is domestic or international air travel for University business permitted under the University’s current COVID-19 Return Plans?
A:
 Domestic and international air travel for University business are prohibited if it is considered mission critical – that is, necessary to the ongoing operations of the University’s core academic, research, or operations functions.  If travel is mission critical, that means if the travel doesn’t occur as scheduled, the University’s ability to meet is core academic, research, or operations functions is significantly impaired.

Q: If I believe domestic or international air travel for University business is mission critical, how do I get the travel approved?
A:
  Individuals who believe domestic or international air travel is mission critical must first contact their department chair or director for approval and then obtain approval from their dean or vice president, who will consider factors such as time sensitivity, travel advisories, impact on competitive edge, and actions of peer institutions, and then make a recommendation to the Senior Vice President and Provost on their campus.

Q:  Are there tips for mitigating the risk of COVID-19 on a domestic or international flight?
A:
  Yes.  While there are no guarantees that these steps will prevent COVID-19, these steps will reduce the risk of infection generally:

Flight Tips:

  • Take extra masks and carry travel-size hand sanitizer
  • Wear a mask during travel status – in cabs, shuttles, airports, airplanes
  • Practice social distancing of at least 6 feet during travel status
  • Hand sanitize after touching tray tables, seat arms, seatbelt buckles, and entertainment system controls or wipe these items with bleach wipes if sanitizer is not available

Q:  If I travel domestically or internationally by car or air for approved University business, do I still have to complete the online COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool?
A:
  No.  You do not have to complete the online COVID-19 Screening and Reporting Tool solely on the basis of travel.

Q:  If I travel domestically or internationally by car or by air for University business, is there an automatic isolation period?
A:
  No.  There is not an automatic isolation period solely on the basis of car or air travel. 

Q: Does that change if my trip is for personal purposes rather than for University business?
A:
  No, the answer is the same.

Q:  Can my supervisor require me to travel domestically or internationally by air for University business?
A:
  We are currently asking supervisors to leave air travel at the employee’s discretion.

Q:  Does COVID-19 change how we make domestic or international travel arrangements?
A:
 Employees and students who have received approval for domestic or international travel should follow the typical process for requesting approval for travel and travel arrangements.  Information about travel advisories is available on the CDC and State Department websites.

Q: What if I become sick while on the trip?
A:
 Please consult your primary care physician or seek local medical care based on your health needs. When you are ready to return to campus, complete the online Screening and Reporting Tool before your first day back on campus if your symptoms are consistent with COVID-19.

Q: What if I become sick after returning from the trip?
A: 
Please consult your primary care physician or seek local medical care based on your health needs. Also, anytime you have COVID-19 symptoms, you need to complete the online Screening and Reporting Tool – regardless of whether you’ve been on a trip.