Ohio University COVID-19 Travel Approval Process
Travel, both domestic and international, can increase an individual’s risk of contracting and/or spreading COVID-19. The level of risk varies based on factors such as whether the traveler is vaccinated, the mode of travel, travel activities, the prevalence of COVID-19 in the area(s) visited, and the personal precautions the traveler takes.
Recognizing that the risk/benefit calculation of work-related travel will be unique for every situation, review and approval of work-related domestic travel for Ohio University employees will be handled at the supervisor level, and in keeping with the most up-to-date guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. International travel to countries on the CDC COVID Level 4 list will still require VP approval.
OHIO COVID Operations has prepared a COVID-19 Travel Toolkit for Faculty, Staff and Administrators to help supervisors evaluate common travel scenarios considering CDC guidance, including recommendations of information to gather when considering travel requests.
For units in which travel is part of an individual’s job description, like Admissions and Advancement, supervisors are permitted to collect vaccination status of traveling employees, out of business necessity for the limited purpose of scheduling coverage for those employees who must quarantine (work from home) for up to 10 days post-travel (CDC guidance for unvaccinated individuals). They must store the vaccination status securely with limited access on a need-to-know basis. Supervisors who are unsure whether asking about employee vaccination status is allowable in a particular scenario can contact COVIDoperations@ohio.edu for additional guidance.
CDC travel guidance differs for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals:
Fully vaccinated individuals can travel safely within the U.S. CDC advises that vaccinated travelers wear a mask on all forms of public transportation, follow local recommendations and requirements, and self-monitor after travel. If traveling internationally, the destination country and/or the airline may require a negative COVID-19 test; in order to re-enter the U.S., all air passengers (even if vaccinated) must have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past three months.
Unvaccinated individuals should delay travel until fully vaccinated. If they must travel, they should get a viral test beforehand, wear a mask, avoid crowds, and socially distance. It is recommended that they get another viral test three to five days after travel AND quarantine for a full seven days after travel, or if not tested post-travel, quarantine for 10 days. International travel often requires a test three days before outbound travel; pre-travel testing is required to re-enter the U.S. Upon return, unvaccinated travelers are advised to follow testing and quarantine guidance similar to domestic travel.