COVID-19 travel information

(Updated:  September 1, 2020)

Travel: Things to keep in mind

This section describes University positions and recommendations regarding travel in light of the spread of COVID-19.  Several of the recommendations below are based on advice from the CDC.

CDC Travel Guidance

  • SPU recommends that all travelers consider recommendations from the CDC before departing for international travel.
  • In light of the spread of COVID-19, the CDC recommends that all travelers avoid nonessential travel.  The CDC may update its recommendations about international travel at any time. For more information see the CDC COVID-19 Information for Travel Webpage.
  • The CDC recommends that you take the following steps when you travel to protect yourself and others from COVID-19:
    • Wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered when in public settings.
    • Avoid close contact by staying at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from anyone who is not from your household.
    • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
    • Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • The CDC recommends that upon return from traveling you take the following steps:
    • When around others, stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people who are not from your household. It is important to do this everywhere, both indoors and outdoors.
    • Wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered when you are outside of your home.
    • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
    • Watch your health: Look for symptoms of COVID-19, and take your temperature if you feel sick.
    • Follow state, territorial, tribal and local recommendations or requirements after travel.

Study abroad

Faculty-Led Programs:  Our Study Abroad Office and faculty leaders are closely monitoring conditions in destination countries, including CDC recommendations for specific geographical areas, and are communicating regularly with their international contacts as they plan for upcoming trips. The Study Abroad Office and SPU faculty members will communicate directly with students in faculty-led programs about whether adjustments will be made to any programs. SPU may wait to make final decisions about whether to cancel or restructure a program until closer to scheduled departure dates for more timely information.

Other Programs:  Students enrolled in other study abroad programs should consult directly with the provider, as providers may make different decisions about their programs and may offer students different options. Students are also encouraged to monitor CDC information about the program country and be in communication with the Study Abroad Office.

Withdrawal:  Students may choose to change their study abroad plans at any time. Students can contact the Study Abroad Office with questions about whether a refund is available in the event of withdrawal or cancellation of a program. Students considering applying for study abroad programs should also consider purchasing trip cancellation insurance, and should pay particular attention to whether the insurance applies to cancellation due to pandemics.

SPU Business Travel

Until further notice, SPU business travel is not permitted unless approved in advance by the Return to Work Decision Group.  SPU employees should not travel to or through any location where the CDC has recommended to avoid nonessential travel.  The CDC’s recommendations regarding international travel are subject to change and should be reviewed periodically in advance of both booking and departure. Additional information can be found on the CDC COVID-19 Information for Travel Webpage.

Personal Travel

SPU recommends that all travelers consider recommendations from the CDC before any travel. While SPU does not control personal travel of SPU employees or students, SPU wants employees and students to be safe and healthy. Some travel could impact an individual’s ability to return to work or studies at SPU.  Please review CDC and state/local travel guidance.

General Travel Advice

Anyone who travels internationally should do the following:

  • Understand and routinely check any travel and border restrictions in transit, at your proposed destination, and upon your return, such as denial of entry or a mandatory quarantine on arrival.
  • Allow additional time for arrival procedures, or when passing through affected area airports, taking into account temperature and health screenings.
  • If you are traveling from COVID-19 affected areas, anticipate more stringent scrutiny and reconfirm the status of flights with your carrier or the airport.
  • Follow all official directives by authorities.
  • Monitor developments through the U.S. State Department and CDC websites.
  • Do not travel if you are sick; travelers who are sick risk being quarantined and having health testing.
  • Register with the U.S. Department of State through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
  • Have alternative plans in place in the event that travel is disrupted (including the possibility of being unable to return to the United States due to quarantines).
  • Older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions are at increased risk for severe disease and should consider postponing nonessential travel.
  • Travelers should avoid contact with sick people and wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Travelers who are sick with fever or cough, or who have trouble breathing, should stay home and call ahead before seeking medical care.

If you are an SPU student or employee and you have traveled recently (in the last two weeks) and you develop symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, please call Health Services at 206-281-2231 for consultation.

Updated Spring Quarter 2020 schedule

Review the updated Spring Quarter 2020 Academic Calendar for the latest on dates and schedules.