Rutgers has taken the following steps regarding university-related travel:
- All Rutgers-led study abroad programs are suspended for spring and summer.
- All Rutgers-led international spring break programs were canceled.
- All students in third-party study abroad programs were strongly encouraged to return.
- All Rutgers-sponsored international travel, with the exception of emergency travel, is suspended.
- Any member of our community returning from an area designated Level 3 by the CDC is required to self-isolate for 14 days before returning to campus.
Domestic Travel Guidance
All Rutgers-sponsored domestic travel is not recommended until further notice. We strongly recommend that all members of the Rutgers community – faculty, staff and students – reconsider any upcoming domestic travel, especially to areas where there has been a significant incidence of COVID-19.
We further recommend that should you feel a need for domestic Rutgers-related travel, that you consult with your immediate supervisor regarding the appropriateness of the travel and to determine if any alternatives to travel might be effective.
All of the travel recommendations listed above apply to university business including, but not limited to, teaching, study abroad, conferences, presentations, internships, research, recruiting, and athletic competitions.
Governor’s Directive on Travel – The March 5, 2020, directive issued by Acting New Jersey Governor Sheila Oliver regarding domestic and international travel by state employees does not apply to Rutgers employees.
Health Care Faculty, Staff, and Students Guidance
Those faculty, staff, and students who interact directly with patients, in all Rutgers schools, are directed to:
- Cease all domestic business-related travel, including travel to Philadelphia and New York City, for any and all Rutgers sponsored activities; however, this ban does not prohibit travel needed to provide patient care
- These travel limits are in addition to the university’s limitations on international travel
- Not attend meetings on or off campus with more than 15 people
- Cancel in-person group meetings that are not related to patient care
For spring break, we strongly encouraged all community members to carefully consider their travel plans—domestic and international—especially to areas where there had been a significant incidence of COVID-19.
U.S. citizens traveling abroad could register their plans with the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) – this free service enables the embassy to notify travelers of safety conditions at their destination and quickly contact them in an emergency. All Rutgers community members—but especially those without U.S. citizenship—should be mindful of potential government-imposed travel restrictions as they consider travel outside of the United States, as there may be restrictions on returning to the U.S. Further, the U.S. State Department has stated that U.S. citizens should not rely on government repatriation efforts if they are under potential risk of quarantine by local authorities. Although we are working to provide solutions to our community members who have been impacted by the global emergency, we cannot guarantee accommodations for disrupted academic programs and work.
All Rutgers-led or Rutgers-operated study aboard programs have been canceled for spring and summer 2020.
Students in partner university or other third-party programs were urged to consider ending participation in those programs and returning home as soon as practical. While we are making this strong recommendation, please know that the final decision on participation in those programs is up to the affected students and their families.
We want to assure everyone that:
- Rutgers Global Study Abroad and Rutgers Student Health offices have been in contact with students whose studies were interrupted by the travel restrictions. Support was made available to anyone affected by these restrictions by contacting Rutgers Global Study Abroad at 848-932-7787.
- We are working to address any academic issues that arise for the 200 students involved in international study abroad programs. Academic departments and Rutgers Global Study Abroad will work closely with the affected students to offer options to maintain academic progress.
- We will announce a decision regarding study abroad programs currently planned for the fall semester in the coming weeks—summer study abroad is canceled.
Please know that Rutgers University does not make the decision to recommend leaving a program location lightly. Our top priorities are to take necessary steps to ensure your personal health and safety and your academic success.
Travel Arrangements: For those sought assistance to depart, we coordinated with STA Travel to help students with booking flights to return home. Accessing this option was available by calling the sales team directly at 800-781-4040. Students were directed to identify themselves as a Rutgers University student studying abroad and representatives at STA Travel could provide assistance.
Although Rutgers University strongly recommended that students make plans to depart, the final decision rested with students and their guardians. Those who wished to remain in-country despite this strong recommendation were directed to contact email@example.com.
Academics: We understand that departing your country of study may affect your academic plans at Rutgers. The academic options and recommendations will vary by program and student. If you have further questions related to credits, please contact Assistant Dean for Curriculum Integration Dr. Fang Du at firstname.lastname@example.org and your Rutgers home school and department. Please note that in order to make this transition, there may be paperwork you will be required to fill out with your host institution prior to your departure.
Students Returning from COVID-19 Affected Areas & Self-Isolation Period: The CDC has provided guidance suggesting that persons returning from affected areas should self-isolate at home for 14 days. Once the 14-day period is complete and no symptoms are present, returning to campus is permitted. Specific health-related questions can be directed to Rutgers Student Health at 848-932-7402.
Employees Returning from COVID-19 Affected Areas: Employees returning from a CDC restricted location, or were exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19, please contact the Occupational Health office below before returning to work.
Occupational Health Offices by location:
- Rutgers–New Brunswick, Rutgers–Newark, and Rutgers–Camden: 848-932-8254
- Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) Newark: 973-972-2900
- RBHS New Brunswick/Piscataway: 848-445-0123 ext. 2
- Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Faculty and Staff: 732-235-6559
Housing: For students continuing their studies and coming from countries that do not require self-isolation, Rutgers University may be able to assist in finding appropriate on-campus housing where possible. Housing cannot be guaranteed. Please contact email@example.com for housing related questions.
Financial Implications: Rutgers Global is working to limit unanticipated financial burdens. We are sensitive to the impact this has on students and any financial aid already offered. We will be working with the students in each program to address any financial concerns related to a potential return home. Further details will be coming in future correspondence. For questions please contact our finance team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Academic Matters: We are working across the university to assist our students who are or may be affected by this situation and who have concerns related to coursework and finances.
Employee Financial Considerations for Travel Cancellations
All Rutgers-sponsored international travel is suspended and domestic travel is not recommended until further notice. If you have any booked travel arrangements, please adhere to the following guidelines to cancel your travel plans.
Airline Reservations Booked through a Travel Agency
- Contact the booking travel agency to cancel the reservations.
Airline Reservations Paid for with Personal Funds/University Travel Card
- Cancel the reservation via phone through the agency/airline. Typically, after a reservation is canceled, you will have up to one year from the date the ticket was issued to use the credit from the canceled ticket (minus the change fee). Please confirm the cancellation policy directly with the airline.
- Submit a completed and approved Cancelled Trip Notification Form to email@example.com. Once approved by University Procurement Services, the form must be attached to the expense report for reimbursement along with the trip itinerary, proof of payment, and proof of cancellation.
Hotel and Conference Registrations
- Contact the hotel and/or conference host directly to request cancellations and refunds. Refund checks should be made payable to “Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey” and submitted with the Cancelled Trip Notification Form to the address on the form.
Please review the Cancellation Tracking Matrix and submit any documentation related to cancelled trips to University Procurement Services for tracking of residual funds and notifications of available credits for future travel. If you have questions, please contact the Procurement Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
During these challenging times we also need to be sensitive and respectful in supporting other members of our community. Please remember that support and guidance services are always available to those in need through CAPS or UBHC. Additionally, students who have witnessed an act of bias should alert your school’s academic program administrator or student affairs coordinator so that we may formally investigate the incident.
Please know that the health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff are our highest concern, and we will keep you informed as developments evolve.