Working Together to Protect our Community and Advance our Academic Mission


Returning From Travel

Members of the University community should abide by the City of Chicago’s Emergency Travel Order, which was revised on January 15, 2021 to identify states with varying levels of risk. Travel to states marked orange requires either a quarantine period or a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 72 hours before returning to Chicago. Returning from a state marked yellow does not require a quarantine or pre-arrival test, but face coverings and social distancing are still required by the city. Please consult the full travel order for more details.

Exceptions to this order apply for “essential workers,” as designated by the federal government, if the travel is for work. Requirements for essential workers include:

  • Avoiding any non-essential interactions until the quarantine period has ended. Limiting activities in Chicago to work-related activities and functions that directly support their work-related activities and avoiding public spaces as much as possible, especially extended periods in public, large congregate settings, and contact with strangers.
  • Monitoring temperature and signs of symptoms of COVID-19, wearing a face covering when in public, maintaining social distance, and cleaning and disinfecting workspaces.

Students who commute to school from designated states are exempted from the Order but should follow the same guidance that applies to essential workers traveling for work purposes.

Effective January 26, 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is requiring all air passengers entering the United States to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test. Passengers are required to get a viral test within three days before their flight to the U.S. departs, and provide written documentation of their laboratory test result to the airline. Passengers who have had lab-confirmed COVID-19 within the past three months can travel to the U.S. if they present the approved positive test result and a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or public health official stating the customer has been cleared for travel. For more information, see the CDC’s order and related press release.

Travelers should take precautions following international travel. If you traveled to a high-risk location or participated in high-risk activities, you should stay home per the recommendation of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and CDC.

University Sponsored Travel

The University is continuing the suspension of University-sponsored international and domestic travel until further notice due to COVID-19. In addition, non-essential personal travel is strongly discouraged. Any member of the University community who chooses to travel must follow local guidelines for quarantining and other COVID-19 measures at the destination and upon their return to Chicago.

Graduate students, faculty, OAAs, postdoctoral researchers, and staff members may request an exception to the suspension of University-sponsored travel. Exceptions will be granted only in limited, compelling circumstances. Requests for exception should be submitted to the department chair or unit supervisor and are subject to approval by the Dean or Officer and by a committee the Provost has charged with reviewing such requests. Graduate students, faculty, OAAs, postdoctoral researchers, and staff members should contact their Dean or Officer for more information if they think an exception may be warranted. If the Dean or Officer agrees an exception may be warranted, requesters should then complete and submit the Request for Travel Exception During Pandemic form which includes a travel risk acknowledgment, as well as more details about the criteria used to evaluate requests.

If you have been exposed to or test positive for COVID-19, promptly report to, even if you have not been on campus.