COVID-19 Related Travel Guidelines and Procedures

Due to COVID-19, all domestic and international Penn-affiliated travel is currently suspended.

Penn has developed a travel criteria matrix to help Penn travelers understand if they are able to travel.  Depending on the severity of the pandemic at the destination and on the traveler’s role within the University (faculty, staff, post-doc, graduate or undergraduate student), the traveler may need to apply for authorization to travel.  Please note that this guidance pertains to all domestic and international Penn-affiliated travel with an overnight stay.  Day trips that do not involve an overnight stay do not require authorization to travel or registration of travel. 

The table below outlines the criteria that will be used to categorize each country and its associated travel stage.  In order to find out how a particular country is categorized using Penn’s travel criteria below, please refer to the CDC risk level and US Department of State travel advisory level for that country. 

Criteria to return to Domestic and International Penn-affiliated Travel
Current Status
Suspended

Icon of red flag to symbolize the suspended phase for travelSUSPENDED TRAVEL STATUS

Threat Very High
CDC Notice^ CDC 3
Dept. of State Country Advisory^ Level 4
Penn Travel: Faculty/Staff/Postdocs Not authorized* (Petitions considered)
Penn Travel: Grad Students Not authorized (PhD students who have advanced to candidacy may submit a petition.*)
Penn Travel: Undergraduate Students Not authorized
COVID-19 Liability Form Signed Yes, if petition approved
Travel Registered Yes, if petition approved
Required to book through Concur** Yes, if Penn-paid or self-paid

^CTRA and other petition review committees reserve the right to use different criteria, other than the CDC and State Department highest risk ratings, to assess actual conditions on the ground.

*Petition procedures for Faculty, Staff and Postdocs

**Use Concur in order to book your travel through Penn’s approved TMC. Contact Travel Services for questions on travel bookings.

Restricted Status

Icon of blue flag to symbolize the phase 1 for travelRESTRICTED TRAVEL STATUS

Threat High
CDC Notice^ CDC 2
Dept. of State Country Advisory^ Level 3
Penn Travel: Faculty/Staff/Postdocs Not authorized* (Petitions considered)
Penn Travel: Grad Students Not authorized* (Petitions considered)
Penn Travel: Undergraduate Students Not authorized* (Petitions considered)
COVID-19 Liability Form Signed Yes, if petition approved
Travel Registered Yes, if petition approved
Required to book through Concur** Yes, if Penn-paid or self-paid

^CTRA and other petition review committees reserve the right to use different criteria, other than the CDC and State Department highest risk ratings, to assess actual conditions on the ground.

*Petition Procedures

**Use Concur in order to book your travel through Penn’s approved TMC. Contact Travel Services for questions on travel bookings.

Limited Status

Icon of orange flag to symbolize the phase 2 for travelLIMITED TRAVEL STATUS

Threat Moderate
CDC Notice^ CDC 1
Dept. of State Country Advisory^ Level 3
Penn Travel: Faculty/Staff/Postdocs Authorized
Penn Travel: Grad Students Authorized
Penn Travel: Undergraduate Students Not authorized* (Petitions considered)
COVID-19 Liability Form Signed Yes
Travel Registered Yes
Required to book through Concur** Yes, if Penn-paid or self-paid

^CTRA and other petition review committees reserve the right to use different criteria, other than the CDC and State Department highest risk ratings, to assess actual conditions on the ground.

*Undergraduate Petition Procedures

**Use Concur in order to book your travel through Penn’s approved TMC. Contact Travel Services for questions on travel bookings.

Normal Status

Icon of green flag to symbolize the phase 3 for travelLIMITED TRAVEL STATUS

Threat Low
CDC Notice^ CDC 1
Dept. of State Country Advisory^ Level 1 or 2
Penn Travel: Faculty/Staff/Postdocs Authorized
Penn Travel: Grad Students Authorized
Penn Travel: Undergraduate Students Authorized (if destination is not otherwise elevated risk)
COVID-19 Liability Form Signed No
Travel Registered Yes, students; strongly recommended for faculty/employees
Required to book through Concur** Strongly recommended

^CTRA and other petition review committees reserve the right to use different criteria, other than the CDC and State Department highest risk ratings, to assess actual conditions on the ground.

**Use Concur in order to book your travel through Penn’s approved TMC. Contact Travel Services for questions on travel bookings.

Petition Procedures

Petitions for essential travel will be considered depending on destination risk and your role at the university. 

Visit: Travel Petition Procedures

Important Aspects of the 4 Categories of Risk:
  • Each individual country, including the United States, will fall into a particular category of risk which will change over time.

  • This temporary travel guidance is for both international & domestic, Penn-affiliated travel.

  • This temporary travel guidance impacts Penn-affiliated trips only, not personal travel or commuting.

  • This temporary guidance impacts travel with an overnight stay only, not day trips. 

  • Faculty, staff and students who are authorized to travel to destinations in the red, blue or orange status will be required to register their trip in MyTrips.

  • Faculty, staff and students who are authorized to travel to destinations in the red, blue or orange status will be required to use Concur in order to book your travel through Penn’s approved TMCContact Travel Services for questions on travel bookings.

  • If your destination location is in the “Suspended” (red) status, bus and train travel is not recommended. When feasible, please use a personal car, rental car or Lyft.

If you have any questions regarding the Penn's travel guidance, please contact travelsafety@pobox.upenn.edu

For more information visit our COVID-19 Travel Guidelines FAQs