14.18 Coronavirus Travel Authorization

Last Revised Date
Monday, May 24, 2021 - 2:24 pm

Policy Information

Policy Number: 14.18 Effective Date: 08/03/2020
Responsible Unit: Accounts Payable - Travel Last Revised Date: 05/24/2021
Email: fso_travel_pay@fso.arizona.edu Phone: 520-621-9097

Purpose and Summary

In collaboration with the Office of the Provost, Research Innovation & Impact (RII), UA Global, Financial Services, Risk Management and University Senior Leadership, the following guidelines are provided to mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), while the University conducts academic and business travel. International travel requires a UA International Travel registration for review by the International Travel Safety Oversight Committee (ITSOC). Domestic out-of-state travel must be approved by the Department Head/Chair/Director. The following guidelines are designed to assist travelers on navigating business during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The University continues to encourage the use of alternatives for virtual meetings, such as Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, and Go to Meeting.

Scope

This policy applies to all University locations and units, including all University extensions, satellite locations, and off-site campus units, both domestic and international.

Policy

In-State Travel

  1. In-State travel to conduct institutional research or meetings is currently not restricted. Travelers should consider virtual meetings and monitor the Arizona Department of Health for Coronavirus reported outbreaks and follow CDC guidelines while traveling.

Domestic Out-of-State Travel

  1. Domestic out-of-state travel is allowed, with the approval of the traveler’s Department Head/Chair/Director. Travel on behalf of institutional research no longer requires approval from Research Innovation & Impact (RII) and Senior Leadership.
  2. Travelers are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the final dose of their vaccine (second dose for both Pfizer and Moderna, single dose for Johnson & Johnson). Supervisors should not ask about a traveler's vaccination status.
  3. In accordance with CDC guidance for domestic travel, fully vaccinated travelers should:
    1. Continue to follow CDC mask requirements, social distancing, and hand washing guidance.
    2. Are not required to be tested before or after travel unless the travel destination requires testing.
    3. Are not required to self-quarantine upon return from travel.
  4. Unvaccinated travelers should avoid travel unless travel is deemed necessary based on job duties and should follow CDC Guidelines as follows:
    1. Get tested 1-3 days before travel to determine if travel plans should continue.
    2. Continue to follow CDC mask requirements, social distancing, and hand washing guidance.
    3. Get tested 3 – 5 days upon returning from travel AND self-quarantine for 7 days, or 10 days without a test, and must not return to campus during the self-quarantine period.

Supplemental Travel Policy

  1. All travelers should refer to CDC guidance regarding domestic travel safety.
  2. Travelers should understand the associated symptoms of Coronavirus and agree to cancel their travel if they begin to experience symptoms prior to departure.
  3. It is the responsibility of every individual conducting travel on behalf of the University, to ensure they do not begin or continue with their travel if they are experiencing symptoms associated with Coronavirus. For a list of updated Coronavirus symptoms please refer to the CDC website.
  4. Personal travel should not be included with business travel to extend the travel event or should family members be included, to avoid potential spread of the Coronavirus.
  5. University Travel Authorizations are mandatory. Non-compliance may result in the traveler not being reimbursed for expenses, or disciplinary action when placing the University or community at an increased risk during the Coronavirus pandemic.
  6. The presence of University of Arizona in a community should not put that community or our employees at a greater risk. The traveler should evaluate health conditions, hospital capacity, number of reported cases, as well as curfews and potential violence in the area, prior to traveling to any destination.
  7. Travelers who feel pressured due to research commitments may seek guidance from Human Resources or Office of Institutional Equity.

Procedures

Out-of-State Travel for Research

  1. Traveler should document pandemic conditions and restrictions at the research site(s) as well as along the travel routes and attest in writing that they have verified they can conduct the research desired at the time of travel. Should the planned sites be in a substantially different phase of re-opening or a community that is at risk, additional documentation, criteria, and restrictions for travel approval may apply.

Process:

  1. Upon approval by the Department Head/Chair/Director, traveler or business office will initiate and route a Travel Authorization via Adobe Sign prior to travel departure.

Out-of-State Travel for Non-Research

Process:

  1. Traveler should visit the CDC Domestic Travel during COVID-19 website for potential quarantine requirements, or local health department requirements for the travel destination to ensure any health requirements are met.
  2. Upon approval by the Department Head/Chair/Director, traveler or business office will initiate and route a Travel Authorization via Adobe Sign prior to travel departure and include appropriate approvals.

International Travel for Research

  1. COVID-19 has brought about fundamental changes to international travel. Please see the International Travel during COVID-19 and the Department of State's COVID-19 Travel Information page for information about international travel risks and restrictions. Anyone traveling internationally is strongly urged to follow CDC guidance on returning from international travel. Travelers should also be aware that foreign nationals may be barred entry back into the United States. Please see the CDC announcement on travelers prohibited from entry to the U.S. for more information.

Process:

  1. Traveler or delegate registers trip in the University Global Travel Registry and provides necessary information for the evaluation of the trip.
  2. UA Global will compose a travel risk analysis (including Coronavirus portal information and identify high risk location(s) inclusive of the trip) and submit to the Department Head/Chair/Director and to the International Travel Safety Oversight Committee (ITSOC).
  3. The Department Head/Chair/Director will notify UA Global of their decision to approve/deny the trip.
  4. Traveler or business office initiates and routes a Travel Authorization via Adobe Sign prior to travel departure, and provides all documentation for institutional reporting.

International Travel for Non-Research

Process:

  1. Traveler or delegate must register the trip in the University Global Travel Registry.
  2. UA Global will compose a travel risk analysis (including Coronavirus portal information and identify high risk location(s) inclusive of the trip) and submit to the Department Head/Chair/Director and to the International Travel Safety Oversight Committee (ITSOC).
  3. The Department Head/Chair/Director will notify UA Global of their decision to approve/deny the trip.
  4. Upon approval, the traveler or business office initiates and routes a Travel Authorization via Adobe Sign prior to departure and includes approval.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Does this Travel Authorization policy apply to non-University of Arizona Affiliates such as interviewees, vendors, speakers, etc.?
    No, this policy is specific to University employees, DCCs and students requesting approval from their direct supervisor/manager to be away from their duty post. Non-University Affiliates should follow their employer’s guidelines for travel.
     
  2. Does this travel policy apply to students returning to the fall semester?
    No, this policy is to assist employees, Designated Campus Colleagues (DCCs) and student employees traveling on University business during the Coronavirus pandemic. Students returning to campus should follow the COVID-19 Response guidelines.
     
  3. If the traveler neglects to obtain approval to travel during the Coronavirus pandemic, can they still be reimbursed?
    No, it is at the discretion of University Senior Leadership to deny a travel reimbursement if guidelines to mitigate travel during the Coronavirus pandemic are not met by the traveler. An exception memo from the Department Head/Chair/Director providing approval to release the reimbursement is required to be attached to the reimbursement request.
  4. Can an employee be reimbursed travel mileage to travel to/from campus to pick up remote work essentials such as mail, office supplies, etc.?
    No. Travel to and from an employee's duty post are considered commuting to the workplace and remain an unallowable expense. Employee should consider in-person workday(s) to navigate work that cannot be performed remotely and maintain workplace protective measures.
     
  5. If the travel dates change or the travel is cancelled, are there any requirements?
    Yes, the traveler or business office must notify Financial Services via email at fso_travel_pay@fso.arizona.edu with any changes in travel itineraries to ensure University records are maintained. If travel is international, the traveler must also alert University Global Travel of the change and they will update the itinerary in the University Global Travel Registry.
     
  6. Is the business office able to submit the Travel Authorization form prior to receiving Department Head/Chair/Director approval?
    The travel is not considered "authorized" unless fully approved by the Department Head/Chair/Director; therefore, obtaining approval is advisable prior to submitting the Travel Authorization.
  7. Is an employee required to submit a Travel Authorization when engaging in personal travel?
    The University does not require employees to complete a Travel Authorization when traveling on personal business since there is no insurance coverage or expense to the University. The traveler should review sections 5 and 6 of this policy before returning to campus as the University encourages all employees to follow CDC guidelines when conducting personal travel.
     
  8. Can multiple employees travel in one vehicle to conduct University business/research or do we have to drive separately?
    Multiple travelers may travel in a personal/motor pool vehicle and each traveler should follow CDC guidelines. The vehicle should have adequate supplies such as hand sanitizers, facial masks, and disinfectant spray/wipes, to reduce the risk of exposure. Facial masks should be worn while multiple employees are traveling in the same vehicle.
     
  9. Is a Travel Authorization required to attend a virtual conference when expenses will be incurred for the conference fees?
    No, a Travel Authorization is not required since the employee is not traveling 35 miles from their duty post. A Travel Authorization number is not required to pay for or reimburse conference registration fees or other valid expenses. Departments are welcome to utilize the Travel Authorization form if it is beneficial for internal processes. If doing so, please indicate "virtual/expense tracking" in the exception box since there is no actual travel occurring.

Arizona Department of Health Services
Research Innovation & Impact
University of Arizona Global Travel Registry
COVID-19 Travel Advice
Considerations of International Travel
Center for Disease Control and Prevention

* Please note that sections titled Frequently Asked Questions and Related Information are provided solely for the convenience of users and are not part of the official University policy.