Travel Guidance

Updated January 24, 2023

UC Office of the President Travel Advisory: The U.S. State Department has issued a Level 4 — Do Not Travel Warning for Ukraine due to the conflict. As a result, and out of concern for the well-being and safety of the UC community, we are directing all members of the UC community to avoid all travel to Ukraine at this time. Additionally, travel to neighboring countries should be carefully evaluated. 


Testing Requirement Updates 

UCSF updated its policy on testing for COVID-19 within 10 days of on-site work or study following travel. Here are the highlights:

Testing after any domestic travel greater than 100 miles from your home 

  • No requirements or recommendations 

Testing after international travel -- strongly recommended for all individuals

  • One test taken within 24 hours of entering a UCSF facility (before or during the first day onsite). A second test taken 3-5 days following the first test. A Color or PCR test is preferred, although a home antigen test is acceptable. See details on home antigen testing below. 

Home Antigen testing documentation requirements: If home antigen testing is used to meet the testing requirements, the following steps are required: 

  • Photos of the negative test result that includes your name and date of birth must be emailed to [email protected] prior to entry. 
  • You can send one photo or two separate photos. 
  • To capture this information in a photo, consider writing your name/date of birth on a piece of paper and placing the test result(s) on the paper. 
  • BCH Oakland employees must send negative test results to [email protected]

International UCSF-sponsored travel requires approval for UCSF-sponsored work or study. 

  • For faculty, staff, post-docs, residents and fellows:
    • The new approval form must be signed and attached to your reimbursement request through MyExpense. 
    • Approval is now done at the level of the Departmental Chair or the Institute Director or their designees. Details available below in the Approvals section. 
    • Travel criteria have changed and now relate to staffing issues. 
  • For students:
    • International UCSF-sponsored travel is now re-opening. Details available below in the Approvals section.

Complete the Digital Screener for up-to-date guidance on post-travel requirements, and to learn if you need COVID Hotline clearance to return to campus. 

New Hires to UCSF

See full details on UCSF International Travel Requirements Table below.

New hires to UCSF who are coming on-site within 10 days of international travel are strongly recommended to test for COVID. One test taken within 24 hours of entering a UCSF facility (before or during the first day onsite). A second test taken 3-5 days following the first test. A Color or PCR test is preferred, although a home antigen test is acceptable. See details on home antigen testing above.

  • Regardless of vaccination status, anyone periodically onsite needs clearance and must contact the [email protected] for guidance.
  • If you are a new hire traveling from outside of California to begin your appointment at UCSF and are unclear about the arrival instructions you have received, please contact the COVID Response Team at (415) 514-7328

Employees and Learners

Vaccination Definition

Please review the UCSF Vaccination page for updated information on required vaccinations. 

  • A: COMPLETED an initial FDA- or WHO-approved two-dose vaccination series > 5 months ago (or one-dose J&J > 2 months ago) and you have RECEIVED at least one booster. 
  • B: COMPLETED an initial FDA- or WHO-approved two-dose vaccination series < 5 months ago (or one-dose J&J < 2 months ago), and > 14 days since you completed your vaccination series (i.e., NOT YET booster eligible) 
  • If you have questions about booster eligibility, see this CDC link. If you have been treated for COVID with prescription medications or have questions about vaccines, see this CDC link or contact the UCSF vaccination team ([email protected]). 

Allowable Travel for Faculty, Staff, Post-Docs, Residents and Fellows

International UCSF-sponsored travel requires approval. Travel to other states and U.S. territories does not. 

  • Allowable Travel Defined: Travel that is compatible with staffing requirements in the event that travelers abroad are affected by COVID or travel delays. Specifically, after the third requester seeks approval for the same international site/meeting, the approver must consider the staffing/operational impact of the requesters’ concurrent travel.
  • Faculty, Staff, Post-doc, Resident, Fellow, and Independent Contractor Approvers: Approval for university-sponsored international travel may only be provided by the appropriate Departmental Chair or Institutional Director or their designees. Research-project staff, including postdoctoral scholars, and independent contractors must have essential approval requests submitted by the UCSF principal investigator or chief administrator of the project. Note: names and email addresses for these approvers are on the International Travel Approval & Resources form linked from the Required Travel Approval section below. 
  • Administrative Office Staff Approvers: Approval for university-sponsored international travel may only be provided by leadership based on the offices where the requesters are assigned: Offices of the Chancellor, University Development and Alumni Relations, Communications, Community & Government Relations, Diversity and Outreach, Legal Affairs, Science Policy & Strategy, and Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer; Offices of Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost, UCSF Health CEO; and the Senior Vice Chancellor Finance & Administration. Note: names and email addresses for these approvers are on the International Travel Approval & Resources form linked from the Required Travel Approval section below. 

Allowable Travel for Students

International UCSF-sponsored travel requires approval. Travel to other states and U.S. territories does not. 

  • Defined as travel for UCSF-sponsored clinical work, research, or conferences that are approved by the designated individual at IGHS or the Schools or the Graduate Division.
  • Students’ approvers: Approvers are listed on each of the two Student International Travel Approval forms, which are used for low-risk or high-risk travel. 
    • Low-Risk Destinations are defined as those with a U.S. Department of State Security Rating of 1 or 2, and Worldcue Trip Planner Overall Security Rating of 1-4. High-Risk Destinations are defined as those with a U.S. Department of State Security Rating of 3 or 4, and/or a Worldcue Trip Planner Overall Security Rating of 5.
    • High-risk destinations, as before the pandemic, will continue to require approval at the dean/designate level. Note: high-risk destinations are rarely approved.
    • Low-risk destinations will require approval by defined individuals selected by each school, IGHS, or the Graduate Division, according to program involvement by the student.
  • Requirements for interstate trainee work (incoming and outgoing)—the UCSF program must ensure

Travel Approval and Reimbursement

Approval must be requested before travel, as described below. If unusual circumstances make pre-trip approval impossible, the traveler should submit the appropriate travel approval form linked below to the appropriate approver. Note: a post-travel request may not be approved.

  • All travel
    • ​Follow CDC guidelines and consider carefully the risks and costs of travel for the travelers and the travel location. Check destination and airline requirements.
  • Travel within California or to another state for UCSF-sponsored work or study  

    ​Faculty, Staff, Post-Docs, Residents, and Fellows

    The Requester should complete the International Travel Approval & Resources Form. ​If you have not heard about your approval within 10 days after your request, please email the approver, and include these details: dates of trip, location of trip, your designation (faculty, staff, post-doc, resident, or fellow).

    Students

    Requirements After International Travel

    See the UCSF Travel Requirements Table below for further details.

    Traveler Categories

    All employees and students who live or work in California can use the following table which summarizes pre- and post-travel requirements. If you are unsure whether you are required to be on site, please consult your supervisor.

    • Regardless of vaccination status: no forms are needed for travel approval or reimbursement. 
    • Includes travel to/from a U.S. territory such as American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Travel to another state includes the islands of Hawaii.
    • Travel to another country for UCSF-sponsored work or study
      •  Regardless of vaccination status, faculty, staff, post-docs, residents and fellows must fill out the International Travel Approval and Resources Form. See below.
      • Students refer to the international travel approval process below.
    1. After the requester completes the form, he/she sends it to the approver (listed on page 3 of the form) as an attachment to an email. Please write “Travel Approval Request” in the email subject line. 
    2. The Approver receives and reviews the Request. Based on operational and staffing considerations, the Approver accepts or does not accept the Request, and signs and dates the form. The Approver sends a copy of this form to the requester and keeps another copy in his/her files. The requester must make sure he/she has selected the correct approver, since requests may be rejected if they are sent to the wrong approver. 
    3. The student should complete the appropriate form according to the risk rating of their destination: the Student International Travel Approval Form – Low Risk or the Student International Travel Approval Form – High Risk. ​If you have not heard about your approval within 10 days after your request, please notify Travis Pentz, and include these details: Dates of trip, location of trip, your designation (Student), and to whom the Travel Request was submitted. 
    4. The student must attach and email the form to the correct approver listed on the Student International Travel Approval Forms. Broader approval may be granted for multiple travel events for an individual traveler in one identified country at the discretion of the Approver and within a clearly defined period of time, and according to the laws and regulations of that country.
    5. The Approver receives and reviews the Request. Based on the travel itinerary and justification, the Approver accepts or does not accept the Request, and signs and dates the form. For high-risk destinations, approvers may require an additional risk evaluation before making a decision, and they will notify the International Study & Travel Risk Manager, who will contact the student for a brief interview. 
    6. Each approver must keep a copy of all requests (whether approved or not) in case of emergency, and must also email a copy back to the student who takes the form abroad in case of emergency. 
    7. If the approval form is returned to you without a signature and without an explanation, please reach out to the approver to understand the issue. 
    8. Monitor and record any COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days, beginning on the first day after arrival. This includes taking your temperature twice daily (if you have been exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case), and monitoring symptoms using the COVID Symptoms form.
    9. Complete the Digital Screener even if it will deny entry. For employees and learners, this guides next steps and sends a message to the COVID Response Team, which will contact the employees and learners if entry is denied. Quarantine while awaiting this contact. Repeat the Digital Screener if symptoms arise or you test positive.
    10. Quarantine after travel if appropriate, individuals should remain in their hotel or residence for up to 10 days, mask and stay 6 feet away from people with whom they did not travel, wash hands frequently, and only go out for essential activities like obtaining food, medical care or individual outdoor exercise.
    11. Complete the testing if required by the Digital Screener.
    • Individuals returning to UCSF onsite work within 10 days following any international travel are strongly recommended to take and submit a Color or PCR test (preferred) or a home antigen test within 24 hours of entering a UCSF facility (before or during first day onsite). A second COVID-19 test is strongly recommended 3 to 5 days following the first UCSF test.
    1. Get further information if you have additional questions about issues like returning to campus, a positive COVID test, high-risk travel or high-risk exposure.

UCSF International Travel Requirements

UCSF International Travel Requirements Table

 

 

Before Travel

Travel Approval required

Students: Use Pandemic Travel Approval form - low risk or high risk

All others: Use the International Travel Approval & Resources Form

Check destination requirements*

Yes

 

 

 

After Travel

COVID-19 Testing**

 

Strongly recommended: First test within 24 hours of entering UCSF facility (before or during first day onsite). Second test required 3-5 days after first test. 

 

Recommended: UCSF Color or PCR (preferred) test or home antigen test. 

COVID-19 Quarantine

Immediate return to on-site work if asymptomatic with no known exposure 

 

No home quarantine unless symptomatic and COVID-19 test is positive 

  Symptoms Monitoring

Monitor for 14 days

See monitoring information in section above (Requirements After Travel)

  COVID-19 Response Team review before onsite return to work/learn. Take the Daily Screener for guidance.

Complete the Digital Screener for up-to-date guidance on post-travel requirements, and to learn if you need COVID Hotline clearance to return to campus. 

  Contact if COVID-19 questions

UCSF SF & Fresno Employees & Students: COVID-19 Response Team: (415) 514-7328

BCH Oakland Employees: (510) 428-3620; option 4.

US Domestic Destination requirements and International Destination requirements. Also, check with your airline regarding boarding requirements.

** COVID-19 test: UCSF accepts only PCR/LAMP/NAAT, and the rapid antigen test (see top of page for guidance on antigen test submission). 

If You Need Travel Assistance

Before travel, please visit the UCSF Risk Management Travel webpage for more information on the travel benefits available through Chubb-AXA for UC-related business travel (e.g., rotations, research, meetings, consultancies, etc.).

During travel, country borders may close and flights may be limited. If you face challenges when attempting to obtain flights to the U.S., please read the following guidance:

  • Members of the UCSF community who are currently abroad and intent on traveling to the United States are urged to work with their airlines to update travel arrangements. 
  • UCSF travelers who are stranded and cannot get a flight to the U.S. AND who are traveling on UC-related business (e.g., rotations, research, meetings, consultancies, etc.) can contact Chubb-AXA Global Assistance (see below), however, evacuations cannot be guaranteed and depend on local circumstances, individual illness requirements, and governmental orders.
  • UCSF travelers on personal travel or vacation who are US citizens, and who cannot obtain a flight back to the US, should contact American Citizen Services (ACS). Lawful permanent residents (LPRs, or "green card holders") are included in emergency evacuations when there is the capability to do so.
  • For country-specific information, travelers need to contact the local ACS at the Embassy or Consulate nearest to them. Get Embassy and Consulate information abroad.
  • Check current US border restrictions before you attempt to return to the United States. Check current international border restrictions where you were located abroad before travel.