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William & Mary Travel Policies for Spring 2021

Summary

COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread widely throughout the United States and in countries around the world. William & Mary’s overarching guidance remains to work from home wherever that is possible, and to obey strict University guidelines in the conduct of any other assigned duty. Strict limitations on university travel, both domestic and international, continue to be warranted. In order to protect the health of the university and greater Williamsburg community, non-essential William & Mary travel has been suspended until conditions change.

Full Description
W&M leadership recognizes that in a limited number of cases, University travel may be essential.  Accordingly, the following memo details the exceptions that will be considered and the processes for review of requests for such exceptions. In all cases, overnight travelers will be required to self-quarantine for at least 5 days and/or to obtain two negative tests for COVID-19 upon return to Williamsburg as a condition of approval for travel and for reentering the W&M campus prior to or during spring 2021.

There will be no approval for faculty, graduate students, or staff attending professional meetings in person; the guidance below only relates to faculty, graduate students, or staff performing research or essential university work that requires in-person presence.
Faculty and Graduate Student Travel

Domestic Grant- and Contract-funded Travel: Some travel may be required for the timely completion of deliverables set out in formal W&M grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts. Requests to authorize domestic travel related to ongoing grants and contracts will be considered by the Office of Sponsored Programs (Williamsburg/Gloucester campuses) in collaboration with members of the Emergency Management Team, wherever that is necessary, and approved on a case-by-case basis. Requests to authorize international travel related to ongoing grants and contracts will be considered by both the Office of Sponsored Programs and the International Travel Review Committee (ITRC).

Other Domestic Academic Travel: Some travel may be vital to the research and teaching of faculty members and graduate students working on domestic themes. Wherever possible, faculty and graduate students should explore alternative ways to carry out domestic research and teaching projects using distance technology or locally-available sources and data. In exceptional cases, requests to authorize domestic travel by faculty and graduate students should be submitted to the Dean for review. In Arts & Sciences, such requests should be made to the Travel Review Committee, which will review them according to clear criteria from the Centers for Disease Control, as well as factors such as the academic necessity of travel at this time, the public health environment in the destination U.S location, and the preparation of the traveler for limiting the health and safety risks of such travel. All decisions by the TRC will be made in conjunction with relevant faculty experts.

International Academic Travel: Some travel abroad may be vital to the research and teaching of faculty members and graduate students working on global themes. Wherever possible, faculty and graduate students should explore alternative ways to carry out global research and teaching projects using distance technology or locally-available sources and data. In exceptional cases, requests to authorize international travel by Arts & Sciences faculty and graduate students should be submitted to the Travel Review Committee, which will review them according to clear criteria from the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of State, as well as factors such as the academic necessity of travel at this time, the public health environment in the destination country or countries, and the preparation of the traveler for limiting the health and safety risks of such travel. As is always the case under the university’s international travel policy, TRC decisions about international travel will be made in conjunction with relevant faculty experts. For international travel by faculty and graduate students outside of A&S, requests should be submitted to the ITRC.

Staff Travel

Recognizing the need to travel in delivering essential academic, research and business services – and that such travel can be done safely – authorization for W&M staff travel may be requested through the relevant Dean for faculty and staff working in one of the five schools, and for all others through the appropriate Cabinet members, under the following conditions:

  • The travel is determined to be essential and cannot be completed effectively through Zoom or some other remote method.
  • Proposed international staff travel will be vetted by the International Travel Review Committee (ITRC).
  • Domestic staff is only for day trips, unless necessary for the completion of grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements, in which case requests for staff travel will be considered by the Office of Sponsored Programs (Williamsburg/Gloucester campuses). Exceptions for overnight staff travel require explicit approval of the relevant Cabinet member.
  • Local day trips are by personal or W&M vehicle only.  No airline, train, bus, taxi, shuttle or rideshare travel is permitted.
  • Meals and interactions with others should be limited on day trips to light meals and refreshments (coffee, etc.), preferably outdoors, and while upholding public health behaviors appropriate to the setting.
  • The traveler will work remotely for a period of five days after the travel to mitigate the potential for virus spread.  The five-day period will provide the employee time to assess whether they are experiencing any COVID- related symptoms prior to returning to campus.

Staff travelers must submit a pre-approval request through Chrome River for all travel, including day trips and meals. Pre-approval will be routed to the appropriate dean or other Cabinet member. Delegates may not approve on behalf of the Cabinet member.

Undergraduate Student Travel

Undergraduate Student Travel within U.S.: Domestic undergraduate student travel continues to be suspended during spring semester. Exceptions for student athletes must be approved by Interim Athletics Director Jeremy Martin.

Study Abroad Travel: In line with the W&M International Travel Policy, given the current CDC and Department of State Travel Alerts, all spring 2021 study abroad or other essential undergraduate international travel requires approval by the Travel Review Committee. As in fall 2020, limited exceptions will be considered by the Travel Review Committee to accommodate international students with no way of returning to Williamsburg at this time, and other students with exceptional reasons for undertaking study abroad this spring and considerable in-country support.

We hope this policy is clear and helpful as we continue to phase into operating under pandemic conditions. If you have additional questions, please email the COVID-19 Response Team at COVIDResponse@wm.edu.

Help Document:
This guide  approvals are required and the documentation that is required for each of the scenarios in the new travel guidelines. Interim Travel Guidelines