Coronavirus temporary travel guidelines

Temporary travel guidelines and approval processes were issued in response to the recent coronavirus announcement from President Drake.

Effective immediately and until further notice, all university-sponsored international travel is suspended. This includes new travel as well as any currently booked trips between now and April 20.

University-sponsored domestic air travel will be limited to business essential travel and will be approved on an as-needed basis. This includes new travel as well as any currently booked trips between now and April 20.

Business essential travel is defined as travel that is absolutely necessary to the mission of the university, can only be completed by the traveler’s physical presence and does not create an unacceptable health hazard. Conference attendance and presentations are not generally considered essential travel.

Travelers who believe their request is essential must be resubmitted and approved by the senior leader in your area: the deans for each College; the Senior Vice President/Vice President for each Support Unit and the Chancellor for the Wexner Medical Center.

Updated Travel Process

Effective March 10, 2020, all new and current eTravel requests will workflow through the Travel Office, who will administer the approval process.

To manage this process, the following temporary adjustments of approval levels will be applied:

  1. All current College/Unit approvers who typically are responsible for reviewing and validating travel on behalf of their College/Unit will be relegated in the eTravel system to a Level 1 approval level.
  2. The Travel Office will administer the approval process and be designated a Level 2 approver in the system in order to support the executive Level 2 approvers. Level 2 approvers will be the Chancellor for the Wexner Medical Center, the Deans for each college and the Senior Vice President/Vice President for each Support Unit.

Cancellation Procedures for Upcoming Travel

Business travel currently scheduled and approved through April 20, 2020, should be canceled. Travelers who believe their trip to be essential will need to resubmit their request through eTravel for reapproval. Cancellation is the responsibility of the traveler or their designee.

To cancel scheduled travel, please work with the various vendors in the same manner that the trip was booked/purchased.

For example:

  • Contact the conference organizer. They should give you direction on how to obtain a refund of your conference fees. They would also be able to cancel your hotel if booked through the conference registration process.
  • Contact the hotel to cancel your reservation.
  • Contact the university travel management agency, Corporate Travel Planners (CTP). CTP will advise if the airline has issued a cancellation waiver for your destination. Most waivers only cover the change fee and for a specific date range. If there is not a cancellation waiver, your unused airline ticket will go into your travel profile, within Concur, for future use. All airline change fees will be assessed once you use the ticket. Airline tickets are valid for one year from the date of issue.
  • If you are part of a group or Athletic travel, work with your department to understand the actions the department is taking to manage the group travel as a package.

It is recommended that travelers document the results of their cancellation efforts in eTravel.

The Travel Office recommends researching insurance policies before investing in trip cancellation insurance. Most policies do not cover epidemics and pandemic events as an insurable event.

For questions related specifically to travel, please contact the University Travel Office at For all other questions or concerns related to coronavirus, please contact or visit the website for updates.