COVID-19 Updates for Travelers

See also COVID-19 Education Abroad Info

See Emergencies Abroad News and Announcements

News and Announcements

Updates and information related to travel and the COVID-19 outbreak will be updated here as needed.


Frequently Asked Questions

Does the University of Minnesota have travel restrictions in place due to COVID-19?

On 3/24/20, President Gabel announced the University is extending the prohibition of all non-essential international and domestic travel by faculty, staff, and students for University purposes. (Please note that staff travel between campuses for essential operations is still permitted.) The restrictions cover travel from March 16 through May 31. This prohibition will be re-evaluated no later than April 30. The University is recommending all faculty and staff travelers return from Europe (including the United Kingdom and Ireland) by Friday, March 20.

On 03/15/2020 the University of Minnesota announced it is requiring all students abroad to return immediately to the U.S. This mandate is precipitated by border closings and global airline flight cancellations, which have been quickly changing over the past 48 hours. It is anticipated these changes may make it significantly more difficult for U.S. citizens and/or University students to return to the U.S. in the near future. These actions are going into effect on the order of governments and healthcare systems worldwide in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Students who are affected by this decision (and their emergency contacts) have been notified.

The University of Minnesota has also suspended all education abroad programs for May and Summer session programs starting before July 1, 2020.

If I'm abroad now, can I return home during the dates of the travel restrictions?

Currently, the restrictions cover travel from March 16 through April 30. If you are already abroad, you are allowed to make your return trip home.

Should I register my personal travel with the University's International Travel Registry?

No. The University's International Travel Registry should only be used to record University-purpose international travel. Note: Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories are considered international by University policy.

Should I register my domestic University-purpose travel with the University's International Travel Registry?

No. The University's International Travel Registry should only be used to record University-purpose travel to international destinations. Note: Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories are considered international by University policy.

Should I cancel upcoming international travel plans?

On 3/10/20, President Gabel announced that all non-essential international and domestic travel by faculty, staff, and students for University purposes is prohibited. The restrictions cover travel from March 16 through April 30. This prohibition will be re-evaluated on March 31.

See the U Travel website for information on financial implications and employee travel costs of canceling University purpose travel.

What should I do if I’m abroad now or leaving soon?

Note: On 3/10/20, President Gabel announced that all non-essential international and domestic travel by faculty, staff, and students for University purposes is prohibited. The restrictions cover travel from March 16 through April 30. This prohibition will be re-evaluated on March 31.

On 03/15/2020 the University of Minnesota announced it is requiring all students abroad to return immediately to the U.S. This mandate is precipitated by border closings and global airline flight cancellations, which have been quickly changing over the past 48 hours. It is anticipated these changes may make it significantly more difficult for U.S. citizens and/or University students to return to the U.S. in the near future. These actions are going into effect on the order of governments and healthcare systems worldwide in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Students who are affected by this decision (and their emergency contacts) have been notified.

If you are abroad now or will be traveling for personal purposes, you should:

  • Know that situations and conditions surrounding COVID-19 are dynamic and could change while you are traveling, potentially complicating return logistics.
  • Review the latest from the CDC here.
  • Make sure to provide a family member or friend with destination and contact information.
  • While traveling, take steps to prevent the spread of any respiratory virus by practicing good hygiene, such as regularly washing your hands.
  • Consider enrolling in the U.S. Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country.
  • If you are traveling for University purposes, make sure you are following University policy and register your international travel.

Are there any restrictions on people who return from an affected area?

All returning travelers will be expected to comply with guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health pertaining to returning to their communities.

Does the University’s CISI insurance plan cover losses if I need to cancel my trip?

CISI is an international security evacuation and medical insurance plan and does not provide coverage for trip cancellation or other financial losses (like airline change fees) in the case of a pandemic. CISI will cover medical expenses when an insured becomes ill or has a medical emergency.

Faculty and staff who opted out of CISI coverage because they are covered by Redpoint as a part of their U Plan should visit the Office of Human Resources Redpoint website.

What are University policies and procedures related to employee travel costs and COVID-19?

Costs associated with canceled employee travel will be covered by the University to the extent they are otherwise allowable and not recoverable through other means. Refer to the U Travel website on Employee Travel Costs and COVID-19.