Travel

Updated 7/7/2021

Travel Guidelines in response to COVID-19

Domestic Travel

Domestic travel for business or study no longer requires exceptions by deans or vice presidents. Per the Handbook of Business Procedures, a created and approved RTA (Request for Travel Authorization) is still required.

Domestic travel also no longer requires the use of a UT Contracted travel agency or UT’s online booking tool Concur, unless required by your department. However, the use of a UT contracted travel agency is still highly recommended due to the many benefits and 24-hour customer support provided by the agencies. All travel, regardless of booking method, should still be the best value for university funds. Travelers using online tools other than Concur should include the following statement on their purchase invoice submitted to the Accounting and Financial Management for reimbursement: Online selection is the best value as consistent with institutional priorities.

Business travel by unvaccinated personnel is currently optional but not recommended consistent with CDC guidance.

Fully vaccinated individuals returning from domestic travel may return to in-person work immediately.

Unvaccinated travelers, following CDC guidance for domestic travel, get tested for COVID-19 with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND refrain from returning to the office for 7 days from the date of arrival, following a negative COVID test 3-5 days after their return. If the traveler does not wish to get tested, they should stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days. Students and employees can access testing for free through the UT Proactive Community Testing program.

International Travel

Current UT System policy states that all international travel must be essential and is considered High Risk through December 31, 2021. All countries are currently included in the “restricted regions” list. Therefore, all university-related international travel requests (business, educational, medical, research, presentations, conferences, competitions, etc.) for summer and fall 2021 must be reviewed and approved by the International Oversight Committee (IOC). UT Austin’s policy and the link for applying for international travel permission under the Restricted Regions policy is available on the Texas Global website. Restricted Regions requests require Dean/VP and Chair approval. For more information on the steps to obtain approval for international travel, follow the International Travel Process.

When possible, all faculty, staff, and colleges, schools, and units (CSUs) are highly encouraged to submit their request to travel abroad at least 4-6 weeks prior to departure to allow the IOC sufficient time to review and assess risk. Travel arrangements (airfare, lodging, etc.) may be made without Dean or VP approval prior to submitting the Restricted Regions request to the IOC.  International travel will no longer require use of a UT Contracted travel agency or UT’s online booking tool Concur.

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires all air passengers entering the United States (including U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents) to present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within three calendar days of departure or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days. For more information on CDC international travel guidance, visit the International Travel During COVID-19 web page.

Travelers fully vaccinated against COVID-19 who receive a waiver to travel abroad and are returning from international destinations may return to in-person work immediately. Following CDC guidance for international travel, testing 3-5 days upon return is recommended regardless of vaccination status. Students and employees can access testing for free through the UT Proactive Community Testing program.

Unvaccinated personnel, following CDC guidance for international travel, get tested for COVID-19 with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND refrain from returning to the office for 7 days from the date of arrival, following a negative COVID test 3-5 days after their return. If the traveler does not wish to get tested, they should stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days. Students and employees can access testing for free through the UT Proactive Community Testing program.

All Faculty and Staff Travelers

As a reminder, the university may not require individuals to receive a COVID-19 vaccine nor inquire about an individual’s vaccine status, other than healthcare professionals in order to provide appropriate care or for the purposes of contact tracing. Read more on the Protect Texas Together website and associated FAQs.

Employees traveling before Sept. 30, 2021 may be eligible for leave provisions under the American Rescue Plan Act. Employees should discuss leave options with their human resources representative. Any employee who thinks they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should report to the Occupational Health Program (OHP). Students should report to University Health Services (UHS).

Visitors to Campus

Visitors/researchers/scholars wishing to travel to campus from abroad will need to seek approval from the corresponding college/school’s Dean or Vice President. All visitors will be subject to the same quarantine provisions as UT Austin approved travelers returning from abroad.

All international visiting delegations coordinated by Texas Global are suspended through August 31, 2021.