University Sponsored Travel
The University has revised its COVID-19 travel restriction, effective June 15, 2021, to allow for greater responsibility in units to assess travel requests by faculty, other academic appointees, postdoctoral researchers, staff, students, and visitors to campus (e.g., for recruitment) to account for improved conditions in many parts of the United States and internationally. All University-supported travel still requires review and approval by the appropriate authority named in the updated policy. The updated policy also provides new guidance on what constitutes University-supported travel.
Approval of the Pandemic Travel Review Committee (PTRC), a committee the Provost charged with reviewing such requests, is no longer required for domestic travel. For foreign travel, advance approval from the PTRC is still required for any travel to countries with U.S. State Department Level 3 or Level 4 travel advisories, and for all foreign travel by students in the College.
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.
The most recent University COVID-19 Travel Policy Update can be found here.
Graduate students, faculty, OAAs, postdoctoral researchers, and staff members may request approval of University-supported travel. Approval may be granted based on an evaluation of the factors identified in the policy. Requests should be submitted to the department chair or unit supervisor and are subject to approval by the Dean or Officer or their designee, and for certain international travel only, by PTRC. Graduate students, faculty, OAAs, postdoctoral researchers, and staff members should complete and submit the Request for Travel Exception During Pandemic form, which includes a travel risk acknowledgment, and contact their unit’s designated Travel Reviewer for more information. Each person requesting approval of travel must submit their own completed, signed form.
The most recent Request for Travel Exemption During Pandemic form can be found here.
Returning From Travel
Members of the University community should abide by the City of Chicago’s Emergency Travel Order to identify states with varying levels of risk. Requirements for quarantine, testing, masking, and social distance may apply based on where individuals travel to/from and on vaccination status. Please consult the full travel order for more details.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released guidance for travelers who have been fully vaccinated. According to the CDC guidance for domestic travel, individuals who are fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine can travel within the United States and do not need to get tested before or after travel unless their destination requires and do not need to self-quarantine. This is consistent with the City of Chicago’s Emergency Travel Order. The CDC has also issued guidance for international travel.
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 continue to take precautions following international travel even if fully vaccinated; note that recommendations concerning those precautions (testing, quarantine, etc.) have been in flux. Please refer to the CDC for appropriate guidance at the time of your travel. Even vaccinated individuals can occasionally catch COVID-19, and international travel increases the risk of importing new variants, so please take extra care regardless of vaccination status and be sure to get tested if you develop any symptoms of COVID. Unvaccinated individuals should avoid nonessential international travel and must follow testing and quarantine rules based on your itinerary.