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May 12, 2021

Dear Members of the Rutgers Community:

We are seeing positive signs in our region that the COVID-19 pandemic may be slowly easing, and the continuing vaccine roll-out will ensure protection of Rutgers faculty, staff, and students. Given the non-uniform and dynamic nature of the spread of the pandemic, however, it is too soon to let down our guard. The health, safety, and well-being of Rutgers students and employees are of paramount importance. For that reason, Rutgers will generally continue its broad restriction on both foreign and domestic travel for University purposes, while allowing limited travel that is explicitly approved as an exception via a waiver process. 

The restriction includes domestic travel for University purposes outside of the New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, and Connecticut region. The additional materials listed below provide links for a process that must be followed by all faculty, students, and staff who wish to travel on Rutgers business, whether Rutgers-, grant-, or self-funded. Please also review the University’s most recent guidance on travel, which is designed to reduce the risk that faculty, staff, and students will contract the virus through domestic and international travel. The guidance below supplements the University’s international travel advisory, issued on September 22, 2020.

GUIDELINES HIGHLIGHTS

·       The documentation included in this email will be maintained on the Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs (EVPAA) website on the Travel Guidance page, under the Initiatives tab.

·       All domestic and international travel for University purposes is generally prohibited until further notice, except when explicit preapproval is obtained via the waiver process shared here. Travel for personal reasons and reimbursed personally is not regulated by this guideline.

·       Travel for research, academic, and non-academic purposes that are mission-critical may be permissible if conditions enable safe travel, and if this permission is granted as an exception. This includes any travel where an individual will have a role in a Rutgers-affiliated capacity, regardless of funding source. Exceptions will require preapproval from a series of departments and offices. Please consult the flow-chart of the decision process, which for research and academic travel includes approval from the Funding Source Business Office, Department Chair, Dean/Center Director, and Chancellor/Provost, or Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs; and for non-academic travel includes approval from the Funding Source Business Office, Immediate Supervisor, and Chancellor/Provost or Executive/Senior Vice President for the respective unit.

·       A Travel Advisory Process has been instituted to monitor this travel exception process, and to develop further policies and guidelines in this area.

·       Any travel that is not approved or not booked with a Rutgers-approved travel agency will not be considered Rutgers-sponsored business and will not be reimbursed.

·       All international travel must be registered through the University’s Risk Management and Insurance department after receiving exception approval, prior to travel.

·       All travelers returning from international travel or from a state on the New Jersey Travel Advisory List must self-quarantine as described in the State guidelines upon return and prior to having a physical presence on any Rutgers campus.  Current State quarantine guidelines can be found at https://covid19.nj.gov/faqs/nj-information/travel-and-transportation/are-there-travel-restrictions-to-or-from-new-jersey.  Additionally, travelers must have a negative COVID-19 test result prior to returning to campus, following the State testing and quarantining guidelines.  This requirement is codified in the University’s International Travel Advisory (updated on September 22, 2020).

As we look forward to the possibilities of returning to travel beyond the current restrictions, your understanding, compliance, and support of each other during this period is greatly appreciated.

If you have questions, please contact travelauth@rutgers.edu.

With best wishes for a safe and productive year ahead,

Prabhas V. Moghe, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer

J. Michael Gower, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Additional Materials:

1.     Guidelines for International and Domestic Travel Approval during the Time of COVID-19

2.     Academic and Non-Academic Travel Process Flowcharts

3.     Travel Approval Checklists

4.     FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions