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Updates to university travel for employees, guests, students and registered student organizations

May 24, 2021

August 24, 2021 – This message has been updated to reflect the latest campus policy on masking and vehicle capacity,

Significant changes have been made to UW–Madison sponsored travel policy for employees, guests, graduate students, undergraduates, and Registered Student Organizations (RSOs). Campus will continue to monitor and adjust the travel policy as necessary.

University-Sponsored Domestic Travel Ban Lifted

The travel ban on university-sponsored domestic travel – defined as travel within the contiguous United States as well as Alaska and Hawaii – was lifted on May 26, 2021. However, employees, guests, graduate students, and undergraduates traveling domestically for business purposes should follow the campus existing travel policy guidance.  The Concur online travel booking function is also available for self-booking of domestic air, lodging, and car rental.

All domestic travel should follow current campus health protocols as well as  CDC Domestic Travel Guidance.  It is recommended that individuals delay university-sponsored domestic travel until fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

All individuals are required to wear a face covering when driving or riding with others, regardless of vaccination status in compliance with the chancellor’s order on masks.

International Travel Remains Restricted

All employee, guest, graduate student, and undergraduate international travel remains restricted. In limited cases, academic deans, vice chancellors and research directors may approve essential international travel. Essential activities are those that: support, further or execute the organization’s mission; cannot be rescheduled effectively; will result in the loss of significant external financial grant or award if not executed; and/or are not available and cannot be accomplished online or by other alternative means.

Employees seeking an exception will need to download and complete an Essential Travel Exemption Form. Once the Essential Travel Exemption Form has been approved by division leadership, it should be submitted to Dan Langer at dan.langer@wisc.edu

For any approved international travel, all air passengers coming into the U.S. must follow CDC International Travel Guidance.  If not otherwise required, it is recommended that individuals delay university-sponsored international travel until fully vaccinated.

In addition, regardless of whether student international travel is approved by division leadership as essential, students must still comply with the UW–Madison International Travel Policy. The International Travel Policy applies to students of all levels and programs of study – undergraduate, graduate, and professional.  Students are precluded from travel to any location that remains under a U.S. Department of State level 3 or 4 travel advisory or a CDC warning notice level 3. The International Travel Policy offers a process by which waivers can be requested if risks can be mitigated effectively. See the UW–Madison International Safety and Security website’s “policies and standards” tab for more information about the policy and waiver process.

International travelers on university-related business without approval are subject to personal financial responsibility and potentially individual or group corrective action.

Registered Student Organizations (RSOs)

The travel ban on Registered Student Organization (RSO) domestic travel was lifted on May 26, 2021. All domestic travel should follow current campus health protocols as well as  CDC Domestic Travel Guidance. It is recommended that individuals delay travel until fully vaccinated for COVID-19. All individuals are required to wear a face covering when driving or riding with others, regardless of vaccination status in compliance with the chancellor’s order on masks.

In addition to the restrictions on international travel enumerated above, RSOs traveling internationally are required to obtain approval from Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (or designee). Requests will be facilitated by the Center for Leadership & Involvement and should be submitted at least 45 calendar days in advance via this form. Additional health protocols may be applied to such travel.