The University of Utah, in cooperation with U of U Health professionals, continues to monitor pandemic conditions and trends in anticipation of a soft return to more normal work and academic experiences for campus faculty, staff and students. As part of this effort, we are beginning to define criteria and design guidelines that would outline a safe return to some forms of travel in the months after current restrictions expire.
Virtual business and association conferences will likely continue to be offered in a virtual format in the coming year to limit large gatherings, and the University suggests avoiding large in-person meetings until vaccinations have been administered to a large portion of the population, transmission levels are low enough to ensure safety, and health professionals approve more travel.
Prepare for re-opening travel
The Travel Department is working to prepare our campus for a return to business travel by closing down all Legacy system trips, issuing Travel Cards (similar to the PCard program) to Departmental Travel Arrangers (to be used initially for Guest/Recruit travel), and to provide refresher training for the UTravel Concur travel system. Please advise Travel Arrangers to stay up to date with these efforts by following the Travel Tidbits news blog.
The June 30, 2021 travel restriction applies to all business travel, including travel related to bringing guests to campus. This travel restriction applies to ALL faculty and staff travel, all university-coordinated student travel and all guest/recruit travel.
Current exception procedures remain in effect through the June 30, 2021 restriction date.
Approved exceptions to this restriction must adhere to all the following procedures:
Requesting department must prepare a memo describing reasons travel is necessary at this time and measures to be taken to address safety for the traveler and those who will be in contact with the traveler during and following the trip.
The memo must be approved by one of the following individuals:
- Main Campus Academic Affairs: Sarah Projansky, associate vice president for faculty, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Main Campus Staff: Wendy Peterson, deputy chief HR director, email@example.com
- U of U Health Academics: Dayle Benson, chief of staff for Clinical Affairs, firstname.lastname@example.org
- U of U Health Hospitals and Clinics Staff: Sarah Sherer, senior human resources director, email@example.com An exception will require final approval by the cognizant vice president. Exceptions must be fully approved and attached to an approved UTravel Concur Request at least one week prior to the start date of travel.
In-state travel considerations
We encourage our campus community to be informed about the transmission level assigned to different counties by the state when traveling on university-related business within Utah. We encourage students, staff and faculty to limit travel when a high transmission level is in place and to follow all health protocols, including wearing a face covering, when travel is necessary. We also recommend traveling with one person/household per vehicle.
We continue to encourage you, when considering your personal travel choices, to follow travel advisories issued by your local and state authorities. If you choose to travel, you may be restricted from returning to work depending upon the specifics of your circumstances. There are things you can do to minimize health risks to yourself and others, such as quarantining before traveling to visit high-risk individuals and checking your health status by monitoring your temperature and other symptoms of COVID-19. There are now a number of commercially available coronavirus test kits that can be used to assess your status.
NOTE: Upon return, ALL individuals are expected to complete and submit a “Returning Traveler Self-Reporting Form” following the instructions linked here.
If you have questions regarding this restriction or exception procedures, please fill out the ASK US form.