Coronavirus travel guidelines extended to June 30, 2021

Following the public health guidance of local, state and federal officials, Ohio State has extended the domestic and international travel restrictions to June 30, 2021.

To expand upon previous decisions made in March and June of 2020, any travel that has been scheduled through June 30, 2021 (without existing exemption approval) must be canceled. Exemption processes and elevated approvals related to travel restrictions are available under specific circumstances. Travel that has already been approved through the exemption process does not require additional approval.

We will continue to monitor guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and others. Further, the university will periodically reassess the opportunity for travel as appropriate to public health. Details of the restrictions include:

  • These restrictions apply to university-sponsored travel (via flight, train or vehicle) for students, faculty, staff, guests and recruits.
  • All international and domestic travel (including driving within the state of Ohio) must be canceled, and the exemption process detailed below will be limited to business essential travel and will be approved on a case-by-case basis.
  • Business essential travel is defined as travel that is absolutely necessary to the mission of the university, cannot be conducted via virtual platforms, and does not create an unacceptable health hazard. Conference attendance and presentations are not generally considered essential travel.

New Exception Process

The comprehensive exception process encompasses the reduction of health & physical hazard and risk exposure, alignment with the Safe Campus and Scientific Advisory Subgroup as part of the COVID-19 Task Force, and assurances of stewardship of financial resources and business continuity. Exemption processes and elevated approvals related to travel restrictions under specific circumstances are summarized below.

  • Travel that was approved through the Exemption Process with a T# issued in the eTravel System between 6/30/20 and 12/31/20 will not require reapproval but may need to be entered in Workday.
    • If already approved through the exemption process, documentation demonstrating exemption approval (e.g., Travel Request form) should be attached to the Spend Authorization in Workday
  • Travel that is requested prior to January 7, 2021, must be directed to the Travel Office for appropriate system considerations.
  • Travel that is requested after January 7, 2021, through Workday will follow this process:
    • Traveler completes the Spend Authorization in Workday in advance of the travel departure date. If the traveler is traveling to an international location, they are required to complete an attestation form. There is a form for faculty and staff and a separate form for students.
    • Travel exemption must be reviewed and approved by the Senior Fiscal Officer for business essential criteria and is within the college/unit's approved budget. The process is outlined in the Administrative Resource Center
    • A rolling review will be conducted by the Travel Office and Risk Management in advance of travel departure date to identify any risk and provide advisements for canceling the trip or relevant quarantine or testing requirements upon return.
    • Travelers will be required to follow all applicable post-trip requirements determined by the CDC and the State of Ohio for both leisure and business travel relevant at the time of their travel to their specific destination.
  • Travel for summer education abroad programs managed by the Office of International Affairs will be assessed for viability.
    • The university will determine by January 29, 2021, if faculty-led programs with May start dates are viable. Third-party provider, direct enroll and faculty-led programs with later summer start dates will be determined no later than March 15, 2021. See the Office of International Affairs website for more information.

Cancellation Guidelines

  • Contact Travel Agency, Airline, Hotel and Conference hosts
  • Document cancellation status in eTravel (work with your College/VP Service Center or Fiscal Officer)
  • Review Travel FAQs for further guidance
  • Contact the Travel Office for additional assistance
  • CDC Travel Guidelines