Summer International and Domestic College-Sponsored Travel Policies

May 12, 2021

Dear Grinnellians,

Effective May 28, 2021, the current international and domestic college-sponsored travel ban is lifted. Below you will find the updated travel policies and requirements outlined for this summer.

Summer Domestic Travel Policy

Domestic travel is resuming with the following requirements:

  • Students may travel for small events only and must provide their itinerary to the sponsoring department/unit prior to travel. Use of college vehicles will be approved on a case-by-case basis through the Dean of Students for student organization and extracurricular travel, or the Dean of the College for academic purposes.
  • Staff may travel for small events only and will resume pre-pandemic unit-level processes for pre-approval/notification prior to departure.
  • Faculty may travel for small events only and no pre-approval by the Dean of the College is required. Faculty are encouraged to share their itinerary and contact information as preferred/outlined by their department.

Summer 2021 International Travel Policy

Recently the U.S. Department of State updated its travel advisory system. This update has registered approximately 80% of the world’s countries at a Level 4 (do not travel). Before this update, the College used to determine travel risk based on the State Department’s  travel advisory system. The College acknowledges that this shift does not accurately reflect the holistic risks associated with these destinations and therefore an internal risk assessment process has been created to take the place (but with consultation) of the State Department’s warning system.

The College supports the opening of international travel for college-sponsored activities for faculty, students, and staff. When it comes to traveling abroad, risk needs to be acknowledged but should not be a hindrance to having such an experience. International travel is resuming with the following requirements:

Summer Requirements for International Travel

Faculty, staff, and students are permitted to move forward with Grinnell-sponsored international travel after review of locations by the Global Health and Safety Committee by completing the steps outlined below. This policy does not negate or override pre-existing unit-level approval or budget processes for travel.

Summer 2021 International Travel Registration Steps

  1. All staff, faculty, and students who participate in international college-sponsored travel will complete the travel registration form.
    1. You will need to know items such as your dates of travel, location, and emergency contact information, etc.
  2. All submitted travel registrations will be reviewed by the Global Health and Safety Committee.
  3. You will be notified of review results, advisable or not advisable, through email. If travel is not advisable the committee will follow up with next steps.
  4. If travel is advisable
    1. The Institute for Global Engagement will enroll you in international travel insurance through GeoBlue
    2. IGE will register you for Alert Traveler
    3. You are required to register for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)

Travel Indicators to be assessed:

  • Crime and Safety: The Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) crime and safety reports
  • Health conditions and access to healthcare: What are the current health conditions and accessibility to healthcare? (COVID, malaria, TB, etc.)
  • Embassy Support: Are the embassies still operating and able to support students, faculty, and staff in an emergency?
  • Border Restrictions: Are borders open to U.S. citizens and what are the visa restrictions?

COVID International Travel Guidelines:

  • All travelers entering the United States (including U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents) are required to present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within three (3) calendar days of departure, or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days regardless of vaccination status. Current requirements [as of the date this message was sent] can be viewed here.
  • Vaccination requirements vary by country. Travelers should verify prior to travel and arrange for vaccination as necessary.
  • Your destination country may require quarantine upon arrival. Verify requirements and plan travel dates accordingly.

COVID Travel Guidelines and Resources

  • Large conferences and mass gatherings remain restricted.
  • All travelers should utilize masks when around others during travel and at events.
  • All travelers are strongly encouraged to review CDC travel guidelines and local public health warnings or mandates for their destination prior to departure.
  • CDC Domestic Travel
  • CDC Travel Recommendations by Destination
  • CDC Travel – Main Site
  • Travelers are not required to quarantine prior to travel or upon return.
  • Individuals assume the same risk as in any college-sponsored travel.

With great thanks to the many offices and campus partners who have made these welcome preparations for the return of college-sponsored travel,

Anne and Elaine

Anne F. Harris

Elaine Marzluff
Interim Dean of the College
Breid-McFarland Professor of Science


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