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International and domestic University travel updates

NOTE: This was guidance sent out in June for the University community. For the latest travel updates, visit the University’s travel page.

For the past several months, both international and domestic travel for students, faculty and staff has been restricted or strongly discouraged by the University in response to government COVID-19 guidance and for the safety of all University community members. The Coronavirus University Restart Team (CURT) has issued the following approved travel updates that are effective immediately and can help guide plans for the upcoming weeks and months. This guidance is expected to be in place until December 2020.

University-related travel

University-related travel is that which is undertaken for purposes of institutional business/work, research, or study.

Currently, University-related travel, both internationally and domestically (greater than 100 miles from campus), that requires University funding in part or whole continues to be restricted. This decision is a measure of fiscal responsibility during the University’s restart and recovery process and aligns with ongoing illness prevention efforts.

University-related domestic travel that is funded by an outside institution, agency, or organization can resume. For University-related international travel that is externally funded, pre-approval must come from the employee’s Cabinet-level officer, and the traveler needs to consult with the director of global travel risk management to assess potential travel interruptions or border issues.

If a faculty or staff member presents an absolute need for University-related domestic or international travel that requires institutional funding, the request first needs to be reviewed and approved by a Cabinet-level officer, as well as the divisional financial officer prior to travel occurring. Of note, all Education Abroad programs have already been cancelled for the fall 2020 semester.

Additionally, any group travel involving more than four University community members in one vehicle for any distance within the US may involve special risks and requires approval by a Cabinet-level officer.

As a reminder, all planned international University-related travel should be registered with the Office for Global Engagement through the Travel Registry.

Personal travel

There are no current restrictions for personal travel in the U.S. by University employees or students.  However due to various border restrictions on entry and exits, as well as mandatory quarantines in place in certain locales, international travel is discouraged. The CDC also continues to discourage all non-essential international travel. Individuals who do travel internationally should remain at home for 14 days and monitor their health upon their return, per CDC guidelines.  Because of this stay-at-home guidance, international travelers should work with their supervisor to predetermine if they can work from home during these 14 days, or if additional vacation time will need to be taken.

For domestic personal travel, there are no stay-at-home requirements upon returning. All New York state roads, bridges and tunnels are open. However, the CDC still advises that the best way to prevent contracting the illness is to avoid being exposed to it. Because travel increases the chances of getting infected and spreading COVID-19, staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick.

International student travel

For any students traveling internationally back to their home country in the coming weeks, the Office for Global Engagement provides suggested web resources to know if there are restrictions on flight arrivals, mandatory quarantines upon return, or other travel details.

  • Worldcue Trip Planning Tool (Net ID required): Members of the University can access updated, destination-specific intelligence information from our intelligence provider via the Worldcue Planning Tool.
  • International Air Transport Association (IATA): IATA is the trade association for the world’s airlines. They built a webpage to provide access to COVID-19 measures taken by governments as reported to IATA.

Additionally, the University is aware of several travel scams that can easily look like legitimate travel offers, but are in fact fake flights and travel arrangements made through fraudulent agents and websites. Be sure to always use secure airline websites to book travel, and contact the International Services Office for more guidance.


University-related travel for business/work/research/study that requires institutional funding:

  • Domestic (greater than 100 miles from campus): Continues to be restricted
  • International: Continues to be restricted

University-related travel funded by an outside institution, agency, or organization:

  • Domestic: No restrictions
  • International: Requires Cabinet-level pre-approval and 14-day stay at home upon return to U.S.

Personal travel:

  • Domestic: No restrictions
  • International: Discouraged and requires a 14-day stay at home upon return to U.S.
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