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Travel guidelines and plans

As of March 5, 2021 (originally posted June 30, 2020; updated Oct. 8, 2020; and Feb. 26, 2021) 

The Path Forward Travel Working Group was charged with developing criteria to resume professional travel and student travel, both international and domestic, from a health and safety as well as budgetary perspective. In addition, the group created a system and process for approving, registering and monitoring travel. The goal was to develop a set of criteria and protocols with health and safety as a top priority, and to create a clear, easy to use and transparent system. Student, faculty and staff, individual and group travel are all included in this plan. 

Assumptions

  • This plan applies only to any University-funded, University-supported, University-sponsored, or professional travel. Commuting from your home out-of-state is not considered travel for the purpose of this plan. Student travel, individual or group, that involves credit or meets a program requirement is included.  
  • Travel is defined as any trip that is by plane, or "out-of-town" and overnight. 
  • Travelers should follow the CDC guidelines for testing and/or quarantining upon return from travel. (Travelers who have been vaccinated may follow the guidelines listed here.) Reductions to the self-quarantine may be granted on a case-by-case basis based on health and safety circumstances. Local off-campus activities where physical distancing and face coverings are not possible also may be subject to these guidelines.  
  • Due to the changing landscape with COVID-19, travel in the U.S. and internationally requires a new level of review and ongoing monitoring. In addition, group travel requires additional planning and protocols.
  • Travel during the semester should be minimized to reduce the risk of bringing COVID-19 to campus. 
  • A centralized system for travel will assist the University in providing the best health and safety support to travelers, and improve fiscal stewardship of travel spending.
  • The University used the Terra Dotta platform to create the Integrated Travel System (ITS) to centrally apply for and approve travel beginning fall 2020. Options Travel will continue to serve as the University travel agency. Information on the ITS can be found here.
  • Guidance from International SOS, U.S. Department of State, Ohio Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other globally-recognized organizations helped shape this plan.
  • The definitions of essential and nonessential travel are summarized below.
  • This plan aligns with current high-risk travel guidelines. It will remain in effect until further notice and will be updated each semester and as appropriate.  

Travel plan 

  1. All international travel during and for the entire 2020-2021 academic year (fall, spring and summer) is suspended. This includes individual and group travel for students, faculty and staff. 
  2. Essential international travel by individual faculty, staff or students may be permitted during the semester with an approved high-risk travel waiver application and if the traveler is able to fulfill all job/study obligations while abroad, even for an unexpectedly extended period, and while meeting CDC guidelines for testing and quarantine upon returning to the United States. Reductions to the self-quarantine may be granted on a case-by-case basis based on health and safety circumstances.
  3. International travel for the entire semester (e.g., study abroad, co-op, sabbaticals in another location) may, in limited cases, be permitted with an approved high-risk travel waiver application. Travelers must not come to campus at any point during the semester. 
  4. Essential domestic travel is permitted during the semester if travelers are able to do so relatively safely and work/study remotely, if necessary, without contact with other UD employees/students, after returning from the travel and before returning to work/study on campus. Reductions to the self-quarantine may be granted on a case-by-case basis based on health and safety circumstances. 
  5. All non-essential domestic travel during the semester will be suspended as long as the Ohio Department of Health recommends colleges and universities limit travel to reduce the risk of spread on campus or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention advises against all travel to stop the spread. Under limited circumstances, travel that can be done relatively safely may be approved through a travel application. 
  6. Domestic travel for the entire semester (e.g., education away, co-op, sabbaticals in another location) may be permitted.  Travelers should complete a travel application and not intend to come to campus at any point during the semester.
  7. Travelers must be able to comply with all guidelines and restrictions of the destination and return locations (e.g., quarantine upon arrival, negative COVID test).
  8. All returning travelers will be expected to follow CDC guidelines for testing and/or quarantining upon return from travel and work/study remotely, without contact with other UD employees or students, before returning to campus. Reductions to the self-quarantine may be granted on a case-by-case basis based on health and safety circumstances.
  9. All travel must be pre-approved through a new centralized process before any travel reservations can be made. The UD integrated travel system for University travel, individual or group, can be found here. All travel should be approved in the system prior to making travel plans. Since travel is currently limited to essential only due to COVID-19 and budget restrictions, travelers are encouraged to contact travel@udayton.edu with any questions. When normal travel resumes, trainings and additional information for campus will be made available. UDRI staff who are traveling should continue to work directly with the UDRI travel coordinator.
  10. Conditions will continue to be monitored and modifications made, as appropriate.

Review Points

Impacts Programs for*

Early March 2021

Summer 2021

June 2021

Fall semester 2021

October 2021

Spring semester 2022

*Decisions may be made earlier depending on circumstances and timelines for planning specific programs. 

  1. Assessment of travel locations includes the following factors and sources:

Factors

  • UD expectations around physical distancing and mask wearing (traveler and host)
  • Mode of transportation
  • Accommodations
  • Lengthy exposure to large groups, Number of people at gatherings or events
  • Entry restrictions, quarantine requirements
  • Local travel restrictions within area
  • Interests of host community/partner
  • UD campus COVID rates
  • Trends in local/national/international COVID variants and transmission rates
  • Local healthcare capacity, including hospitals testing and vaccination

Sources

  1. All faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to refrain from high risk, non-essential personal travel. If faculty or staff have plans for personal travel, they are encouraged to use this checklist to assess risk and discuss plans with their supervisor. Employees may be asked to work remotely upon return following CDC guidelines for testing and/or quarantining upon return from travel. For employees who cannot work remotely, they may obtain a COVID-19 viral test (antigen or PCR) three to five days after travel and shorten their quarantine to seven days with a negative test. If the employee does not obtain a COVID-19 viral test, then the quarantine remains at 10 days. The employee shall submit the test result to bschwartz1@udayton.edu prior to returning to work. Fully vaccinated persons shall follow current CDC guidance. Reductions to the self-quarantine may be granted on a case-by-case basis based on health and safety circumstances. The CDC offers the following helpful advice:
    1. safely meeting basic household needs within your local community
    2. safe and low risk holiday celebrations and gatherings
    3. considerations for events and gatherings,  
    4. travel during COVID-19 and testing and/or quarantining upon return from travel

Please consult these resources as you consider your personal decisions. If you have concerns about personal activities that may put others on campus at risk, please discuss these with your supervisor or contact Human Resources at hr@udayton.edu. Students and parents with questions can email pathforward@udayton.edu.

  1. All travelers should follow the on-campus guidelines for face coverings and physical distancing while traveling. 
  2. The high-risk travel waiver process has been updated to reflect concerns due to COVID-19. The revised waiver request can be found here 

Summer 2021 Travel Guidelines (new) 

Type

Domestic 

International (1)

Essential

Individual Travel Permitted (4)


Group travel requires special review of program plans (4)

Group Travel Suspended


Individual Travel Suspended; could be considered with approved high-risk travel waiver (2, 3)

Non-Essential

Group Travel Suspended (5)


Individual travel may be permitted on a case-by-case with travel application approval (5, 6)

Group Travel Suspended


Individual travel could be considered with approved high-risk travel waiver (very limited) (3)

Summary chart - Spring 2021 

Type

Time Frame

Domestic

International

Essential

During semester

Permitted with approved risk mitigation plan  (4)

Suspended; could be considered with approved high-risk travel waiver (1, 2)

Entire semester

Permitted (6)

Suspended; could be considered with approved high-risk travel waiver (1, 3)

Non-Essential

During semester

Suspended; could be considered with approved high-risk travel waiver (very limited) (5)

Suspended (1) 

Entire semester

Permitted (6)

Suspended; could be considered with approved high-risk travel waiver (1, 3)

Numbers reference the plan point above that includes additional details

In all cases where travel is approved during the semester, the traveler must comply with the plan regarding completing work/study remotely before they can return to campus. Reductions to the self-quarantine may be granted on a case-by-case basis based on health and safety circumstances.  

When travel is permitted with a high-risk travel waiver, it is from a health and safety lens. Budgetary approval must also be sought and granted from the Unit.  

Essential vs. nonessential travel 

Below is an overview of descriptions of essential versus non-essential travel for faculty, staff and students. Much travel is important and has value which is not intended to be reflected here. 

Essential

Non-Essential

Considerations

Faculty

  • Preserve the safety or integrity of a research subject, or results of research activity and cannot be postponed
  • Required to further mission critical teaching and research
  • Travel to attend professional or educational conferences
  • Travel to conduct research that can be postponed
  • Travel to activities that can be conducted virtually
  • Presentations at a conference essential for T&P
  • Certifications required for their role and it is the only option
  • Financial implications for the institution
  • Reputation implications for the institution
  • Contractual obligations
  • Scope and scale, number of participants

Staff

  • Mission critical, time sensitive and cannot be postponed
  • When not traveling will cause harm to the operations or the fiscal status of the university.
  • Professional development
  • Attending a conference, presenting at a conference
  • Travel to activities that can be conducted virtually
  • Certifications required for their role and it is the only option
  • Contractual obligations
  • Financial implications for the institution
  • Reputation implications for the institution
  • Recruitment for essential roles that can not be done virtually 
  • Scope and scale, number of participants

Graduate student

  • Travel that is necessary to meet a graduation requirement, and cannot be postponed or achieved through other means
  • Professional development
  • Attending a conference, presenting at a conference
  • Travel to activities that can be conducted virtually
  • Timing within program
  • Impact on overall academic experience
  • Scope and scale, number of participants

Undergraduate

  • Very exceptional cases (high-risk travel waiver required)
  • Travel for academic credit that is necessary to meet a graduation requirement, cannot be postponed or achieved through an alternative assignment
  • All other educational travel
  • All Student Org Travel
  • Timing within program
  • Impact on overall academic experience 
  • Contractual obligations (e.g. Athletics)
  • Scope and scale, number of participants