Penn-Affiliated International Travel Notice

January 4, 2022
By Committee on International Travel Risk Assessment (CITRA)

We are providing an update related to Penn-affiliated international travel, given the emergence of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 and its potential impact on travel plans. To confirm, there has been no change to the existing Penn policy regarding international travel and we remain in a restricted travel status. The Committee on International Travel Risk Assessment (CITRA) has no current plans to rescind approval on previously approved petitions for individual or group travel. Should travel policy change, you will be immediately notified.

As you are most likely aware, Omicron has caused a recent surge in COVID cases across the globe and many countries have imposed tighter entry restrictions and stricter social distancing policies. CITRA urges all travelers to closely monitor travel regulations, flight operations and health screening requirements that may impact your upcoming trip. Please check with your airline, local contacts and the Travel Restrictions, Flight Operations and Screening page of the ISOS Pandemic Information site for updated information. Log-in using Penn’s ISOS Member ID 11BSGC000012.

Below are additional reminders for Penn’s international travel population:

  • All Penn-affiliated travelers must be fully vaccinated. It is highly encouraged that you also receive the COVID-19 booster at least two weeks prior to travel. If your travel will extend beyond January 31st, you will be required to get the booster prior to departure or within 30 days of becoming eligible for the booster. Please visit Penn’s Coronavirus website for more information on the vaccination and booster requirement.
  • All Penn-affiliated travelers are required to register their trip in MyTrips. Registration will activate your travel insurance coverage and other emergency resources.
  • Testing positive for COVID while abroad may subject you to a mandated quarantine, missed classes/exams, inability to participate in pre-paid activities and/or inability to return home until you have been cleared by local authorities. 
  • Additional travel restrictions and flight cancellations may occur on short notice and inhibit your ability to return home or get back to campus promptly.  
  • COVID-19 testing is only covered by Penn’s travel insurance when the traveler is symptomatic AND the test is ordered by a local physician. The cost of all other COVID-19 testing is the responsibility of the traveler, including testing after an exposure, pre-travel testing or for mild symptoms not treated by a physician. 
  • Consider purchasing at-home COVID testing kits and taking them with you on your trip, especially if you are traveling to a destination that does not provide easy access to affordable and/or reliable testing. Please Note: not all test kits are accepted by U.S. authorities for re-entry to the U.S. Please read the description carefully if you intend on using the test kit to re-enter the U.S.
  • All costs related to leaving your destination early due to the pandemic will be the responsibility of the traveler. You are urged to purchase refundable/transferable flight tickets.
  • Testing, vaccination and quarantine requirements are changing on a daily basis and specific to each destination. Please maintain a flexible itinerary and monitor current travel advice from reputable sources.
  • Consider packing an additional 2-4 weeks of prescription medication in the event you are quarantined abroad and/or unable to depart promptly due to travel restrictions. 
  • Please make sure your emergency contact information is updated in MyTrips as well as Penn In Touch (student) and Workday (employees).  

Risk tolerance with regards to international travel during the COVID-19 pandemic will vary greatly from person to person. You should feel that you have a thorough understanding of the risks and precautionary measures and that the merit of this international experience outweighs (or is balanced with) the risks. If you have any questions about participating in your Penn-affiliated travel for any reason, speak with your supervisor, program director, or academic advisor. 

For more information on international travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and International SOS Pandemic Information Page (UPenn Member ID: 11BSGC000012). 

If you need travel advice, medical care or security assistance during travel, please contact International SOS directly at +1 215-942-8478 or  

If you have any questions about this message or Penn’s international travel guidance, please contact