Travel Guidance

The information on this page is directed to UCSF faculty, staff and learners and Benioff Children's Hospitals faculty. For patient information, visit UCSF Health’s COVID-19 Information for Patients & Visitors or COVID-19 Vaccines at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals websites.

Updated November 9, 2023

UKRAINE UPDATE: 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.  

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA: UC Office of the President Travel Advisory: Due to escalating security risk within the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region, all non-essential travel to this region should be avoided for the foreseeable future. Any travel determined to be essential needs to be thoroughly evaluated prior to departure. Risk Advisory and Insurance Services is available to support the evaluation of travel and provide guidance to travelers. More information can be found in the UCOP announcement.

Travel Updates 

Travel Approvals  

For faculty, staff, post-docs, residents and fellows who travel internationally, a required Attestation Form (regarding registration for free UC international travel insurance) is replacing the International Travel Approval and Resources Form: 

  • The International Travel Insurance Attestation Form must be filled out and signed only by the traveler, and attached to the traveler’s travel reimbursement request through MyExpense.  
  • If the International Travel Insurance Attestation Form is not attached to a MyExpense reimbursement request, the departmental or administrative-office approver of MyExpense requests may refuse the reimbursement. 
  • If the traveler was not aware of this new policy or has a reason for not submitting the International Travel Insurance Attestation Form, the traveler can contact the designated departmental or administrative-office approver of MyExpense requests, to see if reimbursement is still possible.
  • Details are available in the International Travel Requirements for Faculty, Staff, Post-Docs, Residents and Fellows section below.

For students, there are no changes in international travel approvals.

All travelers should:

  • Follow CDC guidelines and consider carefully the risks and costs of travel for the travelers and the travel location. Check destination, airline requirements and possible U.S. re-entry requirements. 
  • Complete the Digital Screener for up-to-date guidance on any COVID-related exposure or illness requirements, and to learn if you need Occupational Health Service (OHS) clearance to return to campus.  

COVID-19 Testing After Domestic or International Travel

There are no requirements or recommendations.

New Hires to UCSF

  • Regardless of vaccination status, anyone who is 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, contact the COVID Response Team at (415) 514-7328.

Travel Requirements: Quick Links for Employees and Learners

International Travel Requirements for Faculty, Staff, Post-docs, Residents and Fellows

  • International UCSF-sponsored travel no longer requires approval. Instead, faculty, staff, post-docs residents and fellows must sign and attach the International Travel Insurance Attestation Form to any request for MyExpense travel reimbursement.
  • NOTE: Travelers are automatically registered for UC International Travel Insurance if they make travel arrangements through the UC travel program, known as Connexxus or ConnexUC. Travelers who book through SWABIZ (Southwest Airlines) or who arrange their travel reservations outside Connexxus or ConnexUC, must register through UC Away at this quick link.
  • If unusual circumstances make it impossible for the traveler to submit the International Travel Insurance Attestation Form with their request for MyExpense reimbursement, the traveler should work with their departmental or administrative-office reimbursement approver to see if reimbursement can go forward. A post-travel request may not be approved.
  • Travel to other states and U.S. territories does not require approval or the International Travel Insurance Attestation Form. 

International Travel Requirements for Students

  • International UCSF-sponsored travel still requires approval. Travel to other states and U.S. territories does not. 
  • Allowable Travel Defined: Travel for UCSF-sponsored clinical work, research or conferences that are approved by the designated individual at UCSF's Institute for Global Health Sciences (IGHS), School of Dentistry, School of Medicine; School of Nursing, School of Pharmacy, or the Graduate Division. 
  • Approvers for Students: 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 to 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. 
    • If a destination is considered high-risk according to travel risk ratings of the governments of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and/or the United Kingdom, a high-risk travel form and related processes may be required by the approver, even if the US DOS and UC Trip Planner ratings are low-risk.
    • 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 of UCSF's four schools, the Graduate Division or IGHS, according to program involvement by the student.

Required Travel Approval Process for Students

  • 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, notify Travis Pentz, and include these details: Dates of trip, location of trip, your designation (Student), and to whom the Travel Request was submitted.   
  • 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.  
  • 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.   
  • Each approver must keep a copy of all requests (whether approved or not) in case of emergency. A copy of all High-Risk forms, both approved and denied, should be emailed to Travis Pentz.
  • The approver sends a signed approved copy back to the student, who takes the document abroad to use the links in case of emergency. The approver must also email an unapproved copy back to the student without a signature and with or without an explanation.
  • If the approval form is returned to the student without a signature and without an explanation, the student should reach out to the approver to understand the issue. 

Requirements After International Travel

  1. Monitor and record any symptoms of COVID-like or acute illnesses for 14 days, beginning on the first day after arrival if you have any symptoms or have been exposed to someone who is ill. This includes taking your temperature and monitoring symptoms.
  2. Do not to return to campus if you are sick with fever, cough, gastrointestinal or other symptoms of infection, particularly after international travel or during a pandemic surge.
  3. Complete the Digital Screener if you acquired COVID infection or been exposed within 10 days of returning to onsite.   
  4. Quarantine after travel if appropriate due to COVID or other infectious illness. 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.  
  5. Get further information if you have additional questions about issues like returning to campus, a positive COVID test or high-risk exposure.
  • UCSF San Francisco and Fresno employees and learners can call the COVID Response Team at  (415) 514-7328.  
  • BCH Oakland employees should check with Employee Health: x3620 or send an email to [email protected].  
  • To get a COVID test, visit the Digital Screener for information or call the COVID Hotline at (415) 514-7328
  • If you have any issues obtaining rapid antigen tests for return to work or school, check with Occupational Health Services or Student Health and Counseling Services. 

If You Need Travel Assistance

Before travel, visit the UCSF Risk Advisory Travel webpage for information on the travel benefits available through Chubb-AXA for UC-related business travel (e.g., rotations, research, meetings, consultancies, conferences, 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., read the following guidance:  

  • Members of the UCSF community who are currently abroad and intent on traveling to the U.S. 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, conferences, 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 U.S. citizens, and who cannot obtain a flight back to the U.S., should contact the 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.