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University-sponsored travel restrictions extended until further notice

August 6, 2020 By Doug Erickson

Updated, March 24, 2021:

The University of Wisconsin–Madison has updated its COVID-19 travel guidelines. Please see the new guidance here.


Due to public health concerns related to COVID-19, all university-sponsored travel outside of Wisconsin or by air within the state remains cancelled until further notice.

These restrictions are in place for all employees, students and registered student organizations (RSOs). The intent is to help limit the spread of the disease among students, faculty, staff and the public.

In limited cases, vice chancellors, academic deans and research center directors may approve air and ground travel outside of Wisconsin and air travel within the state. Travelers on university-related business without approval are subject to personal financial responsibility and potentially individual or group corrective action.

Employees seeking an exception will need to download and complete the Essential Travel Exemption Form. Following division leadership approval, these forms should be submitted to Dan Langer at RSOs seeking an exception should secure approval from the vice chancellor for student affairs at before submitting the form to Dan Langer.

All travel outside of Wisconsin or air travel within the state that has not received an approved exception should be cancelled. For a list of flights that have not yet been cancelled, please contact Rusty Haines, UW Travel Manager, at

In general, ground travel within Wisconsin is allowed and does not need pre-approval. However, individual schools, colleges and divisions can enforce additional restrictions. People who travel regularly as part of their jobs, such as Extension employees, should check with their deans or other unit directors for further guidance.

The university soon will be issuing new guidance on non-essential in-person campus events and meetings. For now, all such gatherings have been cancelled through August 17. In-person meetings of essential personnel may continue but require approval by a vice chancellor or an academic dean and should be limited to no more than 10 people and follow recommended health precautions. Employees should continue to use virtual or alternative formats when possible.