Skip to main content

Travel Policy

COVID-19 Travel Protocol Update for Spring 2021 (effective through June 30)

Despite recent progress, and the move to Orange Tier, Santa Clara County continues to experience high rates of COVID-19 transmission, and the danger COVID-19 poses to our community remains substantial. Under the Orange Tier, Santa Clara County has relaxed some restrictions (e.g., lifting mandatory 10-day quarantine for travel outside 150 miles). However, quarantining after travel is still strongly recommended, in alignment with California State’s Travel Advisory.  We outline below the SCU COVID Travel Protocol for Spring 2021 (effective through June 30).

All non-essential university-sponsored domestic and international travel remains suspended

In light of the number of diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., the need to lessen the introduction of new sources of infection, and to comply with the most recent guidance from the California State and Santa Clara County Public Health Departments, the suspension of all non-essential University travel will continue through June 30, 2021. 

The travel suspension includes all domestic and international travel for SCU-sponsored academic and research activities—such as coursework or academic and research conferences—and non-academic activities. University-sponsored is defined as trips organized, led, or financed by the University. 

This protocol will be updated as needed  based on the latest  guidance from the Santa Clara County Public Health Department.

Exceptions for Essential Travel

The Provost or Chief Operating Officer must approve all exceptions for essential travel before any travel arrangements are made.  Limited exceptions will only be granted after considering: (1) whether or not the work can be fulfilled without the requested travel; (2) whether the requested travel can be postponed to a later time; (3) whether the requested travel is directly linked to the University’s core mission of teaching and research; (4) the potential long-term consequences to the University of not undertaking the requested travel; and (5) what the risk level is like at the proposed destination. The University will not pay for, or reimburse expenses for, University-related travel that has not been approved in advance as an exception.

Returning to Campus Following Travel: Quarantine

Depending on the nature of any approved essential travel, there could be testing or quarantine requirements either upon arrival at the destination or upon return, depending on the status of the pandemic at the time of travel. Quarantine-related expenses will be considered a cost of travel and be borne by the department or unit sponsoring the travel.

Before returning to campus after approved essential travel, those traveling will be required to contact Human Resources to determine whether any additional measures may be required to help safeguard our campus community. 

Additionally, all faculty and staff are strongly advised to exercise precautions on any personal travel including wearing face coverings and social distancing. To ensure our community’s well-being, travelers are expected to check County and State guidance in advance of travel and follow the narrower limitations that apply. In many cases, this may mean that travelers commuting by plane might be required  to  quarantine for 14 days upon their return before coming to campus if dictated by the State or County.