Travel During a Pandemic
CDC issues different types of notices for international travelers. They describe both levels of risk for the traveler and recommended preventive measures to take at each level of risk.
- Travel Health Precaution: CDC does NOT recommend against travel to the area. A travel health precaution is notification by CDC that a disease outbreak of significance is occurring in a widespread geographic area. The risk for the individual traveler is thought to be increased in defined settings or associated with specific risk factors (e.g., transmission in a health-care or hospital setting where ill patients are being cared for).
- Travel Health Warning: CDC recommends against nonessential travel to the area. A travel health warning is a notification by CDC that a widespread, serious outbreak of a disease of public health concern is expanding outside the area or populations that were initially affected. CDC recommends against nonessential travel to the area because the risk for the traveler is considered to be high (i.e., the risk is increased because of evidence of transmission outside defined settings and/or inadequate containment). Additional preventive measures may be recommended, depending on the circumstances (e.g., travelers may be requested to monitor their health for a certain period after their return; arriving passengers may be screened at ports of entry).
Information about travel alerts and advisories may be found at www.cdc.gov/travel. Please check this Web site for the latest travel information before making your arrangements.
Guidelines for Travel to a Country with a Travel Health Precaution
University funding may be used for University-sponsored or supported programs or business, in accordance with University policies, but the University strongly advises that non-essential travel be deferred to affected countries under a travel health precaution.
All University-sponsored or affiliated study abroad program assignments for affected countries with a travel alert are routinely monitored. Should it be determined that students may not participate in such programs, the University will assist with alternative arrangements to facilitate students being able to fulfill any academic requirements associated with such travel or programs.
Guidelines for Travel to a Country with a Travel Health Warning
The University will not provide funding for, nor may University funding be used to support, travel to countries with a travel health warning for University sponsored programs or business. This also applies to individual or group travel or other related expenses, including funding for research or study in the countries under a travel health warning and any other scholarship related or staff related travel with or without students.
All University sponsored or affiliated study abroad program assignments for countries with a travel health warning shall undergo immediate review. Should it be determined that students may not participate in such programs, the University will assist with alternative arrangements to facilitate students being able to fulfill any academic requirements associated with such travel or programs.
All non-essential and elective travel to affected countries should be deferred. Elective travel will not be covered under applicable University insurance policies relating to actions or work within the scope of employment.
General Guidelines Relating to Travel to and from Affected Countries
The University urges faculty, students and staff to become informed about the infectious disease responsible for the pandemic and its symptoms, and to consult the CDC travel notices and local health conditions before traveling to an affected country. The University or your insurer may not be able to evacuate you from an affected country, and if you become infected with the disease, you may be forced to obtain medical treatment in the affected country. Further, your return to the United States may be delayed. Regarding air travel, the University community should expect that the following comprehensive activities may take place to prevent importation and spread of a pandemic from travel passengers arriving in the U.S. from pandemic regions:
- Pre-embarkation screening of persons traveling from affected areas to defer travel for those with symptoms or signs or exposure to known infectious patients in the past 10 days.
- Assessment by health authorities of ill persons aboard arriving flights from a pandemic area to ensure that ill passengers are isolated and evaluated promptly upon arrival and that appropriate follow-up of other passengers occurs, as necessary.
- Distribution of health alert notices to travelers arriving in the United States from pandemic areas to notify them of the importance of monitoring their health closely for a period of 10 days following departure, and for persons who develop symptoms consistent with the outbreak, the need to promptly seek medical evaluation.
- Rapid detection and isolation of persons in the United States who have traveled from a pandemic area and have symptoms compatible with the infectious disease within 10 days of arrival.
Faculty, students, staff and visitors who travel to or from an affected country or who come in close contact with people from affected countries should closely monitor their health for 10 days upon their return to the United States. If such individuals are symptomatic within that time frame, they should seek prompt medical attention. The University reserves the right to conduct a screening, by telephone or in person, for signs and symptoms of infection or to require a written certification that such a screening was performed by a personal physician. The University also may impose additional requirements in its sole discretion.
Tracking of Students and Staff Traveling or Working Abroad
The University’s Office of International Programs maintains a database of all students studying overseas and should have a communications plan and emergency plan for each student. In addition, all University departments shall develop and maintain a database of graduate students, faculty and staff studying or working abroad and shall have a communications plan for each.