Skip to content
Health and Safety

Updated travel guidance for the University community

Updated April 9, 2021

The Coronavirus University Restart Team (CURT) has updated the guidance for travel, effective April 1, 2021. These guidelines are changing as circumstances of the pandemic improve and additional New York State guidance is distributed, but will be reviewed at the end of the spring semester.

Broadly, all University travelers—students, faculty and staff—regardless of destination or origin, are required to follow the current New York State travel requirements. Currently, New York state strongly encourages domestic travelers to quarantine upon their return, but quarantining is no longer a state requirement after April 1, and there is no longer a list of restricted states—contiguous or non-contiguous. However, domestic travelers do still need to complete New York State’s Traveler Health Form and should also follow all the requirements of the state they are traveling to.

All international travel—with the exception of ground travel to and from Canada—does still require a quarantine and completion of the Traveler Health Form under current New York State guidelines.  We anticipate these guidelines may be updated in response to recent CDC guidance related to vaccinated travelers, so we suggest monitoring the state rules for updates. Everyone traveling internationally—either during or after the spring semester—should review the entry requirements of the destination and considerations for an intended return to the US. For instance, some countries now require evidence of a negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival. If your visa has expired, your return trip could be delayed as many US Consular offices remain closed or with limited services available (look up visa wait times by location). Additionally, travelers from certain areas are subject to US entry restrictions, which can change with little notice (see State Department’s summary of coronavirus travel proclamations and national interest exceptions). The decision to travel internationally always carries some risk and is more complex during the COVID-19 pandemic. Undergraduate students on visas sponsored by the University should contact the International Services Office (ISO) prior to travel to secure any needed travel authorizations for visa purposes.

Find additional guidance relevant to you below.

Faculty, staff, postdocs, and graduate students

University business travel, whether University-funded or grant-funded, must follow standard University Business Travel processes. See the Business Expense and Travel Reimbursement (BETR) website for more information.

For international travel requests, whether University-funded or grant-funded, a risk consultation provided by the Office for Global Engagement is required. Completion of the Workday Spend Authorization prior to travel will route essential travel requests to the appropriate individuals. Additional information is available on the Business Expense and Travel Reimbursement website. Additionally, for University-funded international travel, pre-approval from a Cabinet-level officer is required.

If COVID testing is required in order to travel, and the travel was approved as essential, the cost of testing may be reimbursed as a valid University business expense. For University-funded travel, quarantine time is considered paid sick leave if there is no ability to work from home.

Faculty, staff, post docs, and graduate students traveling should closely follow New York State’s travel guidance before making travel plans, and should be mindful of the current testing and quarantine requirements for returning to Rochester. If unable to work from home during a quarantine and the travel was for personal/vacation purposes, the quarantine time will be unpaid leave, according to New York State. For full HR policy guidance, see this University policy.

Undergraduate students

Undergraduate students attending classes and/or residing on campus need to remain in Rochester (within 100 miles) for the duration of the in-person spring semester. If an undergraduate student needs to depart campus outside of the 100-mile radius, they must appeal directly to their dean for permission to leave.

Medical Center

For travel guidance specific to Medical Center faculty and staff involved in patient care, see this URMC website.

Return to the top of the page