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Travel Guidelines

Guidelines for University-related and personal travel

Latest travel guidance for faculty, staff, and students

July 8, 2020 | 11:51 am

Travel guidance for faculty, staff, and students

Updated September 22, 2020

Travel remains complex due to various federal and NYS travel restrictions and quarantines. Those who do travel internationally or to U.S. states that fall under NYS travel advisories should plan to quarantine for 14 days after their return and should monitor their health. There are, however, exceptions to the 14-day quarantine requirement, most notably for essential employees at the University. (See New York State travel advisory below.)

With all travel, University faculty, staff, and students are expected to follow all relevant social-distancing policies, adhere to standards and travel advisories set by New York State and the CDC, and meet any additional restrictions required by the state and local jurisdiction to which they are traveling.

University-related travel

Through at least December 2020, the University continues to restrict University-related domestic (greater than 100 miles from campus, or travel that requires an overnight stay) and international travel (business/work/research/study). This is primarily a measure of fiscal responsibility during the University’s restart and recovery process, and it aligns with ongoing illness prevention efforts and NYS and CDC guidelines. University-related travel that is considered essential may resume with approval by a cabinet-level officer and after consultation with the director of global travel risk management (when international or domestic).

To submit a request for essential travel, log into Workday (NetID required), search “Spend Authorization”, and complete the application. This will route essential travel requests to the appropriate approvers. Additional information is available on the Business Expense and Travel Reimbursement website.

Personal travel

While the University does not impose restrictions for personal travel undertaken by University employees within the U.S. or abroad, individual travelers and their managers should be aware that U.S. and international travel remains complex due to various national and state border restrictions and quarantines. Therefore, travel should be undertaken with caution and with an awareness of these risks and possible restrictions. (See New York State travel advisory below.)

Student travel

Students attending classes from Rochester should plan to remain in Rochester (within 100 miles) for the duration of the fall semester. If students must depart Rochester mid-semester, they should plan to remain away from campus for 14 days after their return and should monitor their health.

The University has suspended programs abroad for the fall semester, and University-related student travel away from the Rochester area will be prohibited in order to limit movement to and from campus and the Rochester area for the fall semester. Exceptions may be granted in limited circumstances by the relevant Dean, and notification of any undergraduate exceptions should be made to the Provost’s office prior to travel taking place.

New York State travel advisory

New York State provides an updated list of states from which travelers coming back into New York need to quarantine for 14 days upon return.

Faculty and staff traveling to campus from the affected states are required to self-quarantine at home for 14 days (the exception being essential employees, see below). Travelers need to confirm with their manager or department head the ability to work from home during this required quarantine. If unable to work from home and the travel was for vacation purposes, the quarantine time will be unpaid leave, according to New York State. If the travel was University-related (work/business) and there is no ability to work from home, the quarantine time is considered paid sick leave. All of this new guidance requires advance communication between an employee and manager to pre-determine the plan for returning. For full HR policy guidance, see

Essential employees who have traveled to one of these states with a high incidence of COVID-19 must adhere to stay-at-home quarantine procedures but are also able to continue reporting to work when not in self-quarantine. These employees additionally need to take a COVID-19 test within 24 hours of their return to New York. The University has generally considered essential staff as those who work in areas including health care, public safety, facilities, dining services, residential life, and in some research facilities who were approved to restart or who are responsible for continuing operations at the University. If you believe you are an essential employee and are traveling to and from one of the affected states, please speak with your manager or department head about your obligations. (Medical Center essential health care workers should view this guidance.) HR Business Partners are also available to assist.

topics: July 2020, Travel,
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