Faculty, Staff, and Graduate Students Traveling Abroad
Update on COVID-19 - April 28, 2021
Due to COVID-19, university-related international travel continues to be restricted for faculty, staff, and students. Note that the following guidance is intended for faculty, staff, and graduate students; undergraduate students should proceed through the Education Abroad Office for information. Travelers should carefully follow the instructions below:
- International university-related travel is restricted for travel to CDC Level 3 and 4 countries. Travelers to CDC Level 3 and 4 countries can submit an exception request (outlined below). Travel to CDC Level 1 and 2 countries will no longer require an exceptional approval process.
- Travelers to CDC Level 1 and 2 countries are urged to consult to COVID-19 Travel Request Exception Checklists along with additional guidance as applicable, e.g., for research involving fieldwork and human subjects.
- All university-related international travel remains subject to normal business practice approvals and must be registered through the UMass Travel Registry. All travelers, regardless of destination, are strongly advised to be fully vaccinated before travel.
- All travelers will be required to comply with Massachusetts and Campus public health policies upon their return.
- Please note that International Emergency Travel Insurance coverage provided by UMass (see below) does not cover evacuation or other accommodations due to disruption to travel plans resulting from a pandemic. Coverage does include medical expenses resulting from the treatment of COVID-19, but does not extend to losses for travel and accommodation expenses. Travelers should consider purchasing additional Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) insurance.
Exceptional Approval Process
Exceptional Approval Request Process for International Travel to CDC Level 3 and 4 countries:
Requests for university-related international travel to CDC Level 3 and 4 countries require exceptional case-by-case approval. Exceptions for faculty, staff, or student travel will require a recommendation from the dean and approval from the provost. All exception requests must address the topics in the COVID-19 Travel Request Exception Checklists along with additional guidance as applicable, e.g., for research involving fieldwork and human subjects. Deans should send their recommendations concerning exceptions to Kalpen Trivedi, associate provost for international programs, at ktrivedi[at]umass[dot]edu. IPO will review the exception request and notify the traveler if their request is approved after appropriate consultation with campus leadership.
Resources for International Travel:
International Emergency Travel Insurance Coverage
Here is a link to the insurance brochure. UMass students, faculty and staff traveling abroad on university-related travel are covered by the International Emergency Travel Insurance Policy purchased by the UMass system. This coverage is intended to provide the first line of service and protection to the university’s travelers but prior to traveling, employees should still contact their personal health insurance company to make certain they understand what additional coverage they may need and to maintain their primary insurance coverage.
Obtaining a Visa for Foreign Travel
Visas are required for travel to many countries. Even countries where U.S. citizens may not normally require a visa, the purpose of travel and length of proposed stay may trigger a visa requirement. IPO cannot provide advice for individual travellers (unless you are a student on one of our approved study abroad programs or exchanges), however we have created these visa guidelines for general reference only.
Export Control Compliance
It is the responsibility of all campus community members to be familiar with and adhere to U.S. export controls. Export controls are laws and regulations that regulate and restrict the release of controlled items, such as critical technologies and equipment, technical data, software, and chemical and biological materials, and information and services to foreign nationals and foreign countries for reasons of national security and foreign policy. Export controls apply to all activities – not just sponsored research projects. If you have questions about the application of export controls to your travel, please contact the Office of Research Compliance at (413) 545-5283 or visit the Export Control website.
UMass Travel Clinic
University Health Services (UHS) has a full service Travel Clinic and offers care to UMass faculty and staff, along with their spouses, domestic partners and/or dependents. The UMass Travel Clinic can help you learn about specific health needs for your destination as well as administer the vaccinations you might need depending on your destination. Appointments are required and you should be seen at least four weeks before you leave. Before making an appointment, consult your health insurance plan for coverage information. Some insurers may require a referral from your primary care provider.
Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) Registration
Faculty and staff are encouraged to register their travel with the US Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. STEP is a free service to allow US citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Travelers receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in their destination country and registration helps the US Embassy contact you in an emergency. Please note: non-US citizens cannot register their travel but can subscribe to country-specific alerts and messages.
University Preferred Travel Agencies
When traveling on university business, UMass encourages travelers to book through one of the University's preferred travel agencies (Egencia and the Travel Collaborative), and to use their contracted airlines whenever possible. By utilizing their preferred agencies, travelers have access to discounted fares from negotiated contracts and the university will be better positioned to negotiate deeper discounts in the future.
US Department of State Travel Advisories and Alerts
Please see the US Department of State website for more information.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Travel Health Notices
CDC Travel notices are designed to inform travelers and clinicians about current health issues related to specific destinations. These issues may arise from disease outbreaks, special events or gatherings, natural disasters, or other conditions that may affect travelers’ health. You can review the travel notices on the CDC Travel Health Notices website and you can review country specific information by selecting your country of travel here.