Faculty COVID Travel Guidance

Faculty Travel: Acknowledgment of Risk

The College is permitting faculty to use College funds for travel to support research and professional work beginning June 5, 2021. Faculty requesting to use College funds for travel acknowledge that they are freely and voluntarily choosing to travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that they assume the increased risks associated with travel during this period. Faculty are responsible for educating themselves about COVID-related conditions and requirements at their destination(s), as well as requirements for return. Additional College funding will not be provided to compensate for losses incurred as a consequence of the pandemic (such as cancellation, trip interruption, delay, or required quarantines). Faculty should plan travel and budget accordingly. Approval of use of College funds for travel does not indicate that the itinerary has been reviewed for potential risk, and faculty remain responsible in all cases for individually assessing and mitigating risk when planning research and professional travel. Given the evolving nature of the pandemic, the College may adjust this travel policy at any time.

The College expects faculty to keep the following in mind when considering possible travel plans:

  • We highly recommend that all faculty receive their booster shots as soon as possible, and certainly before the beginning of the spring semester.  Even once fully vaccinated, you should continue to follow CDC guidance as much as possible during travel. 
  • We continue to encourage attendance at virtual conferences wherever possible. Not only are virtual conferences safer in terms of the pandemic, but they have definite advantages from the viewpoint of both environmental and economic sustainability. 
  • Please align domestic travel plans with state and federal travel safety guidelines as well as Wellesley College health & safety guidelines, including testing and quarantine upon your return, if applicable. Please be sure to check the travel restrictions at your destination as well as here in Massachusetts.
  • If you are making plans to travel internationally, please be aware that some countries are implementing new requirements for testing on arrival and quarantine and take note of the new requirement to obtain a negative test within one day before returning to the United States.  Also, non-U.S. citizens who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged not to travel outside the U.S., as returning may be problematic under CDC guidelines.
  • If you travel internationally, you must abide by all CDC travel recommendations for your destination, as well as Wellesley College health & safety guidelines, including quarantine and testing when you return. If you travel internationally, please complete the travel tracker and abide by all CDC travel recommendations for your destination, as well as Wellesley College health & safety guidelines, including quarantine and testing when you return.

If you are planning to travel abroad during the holidays and teach in the spring, you should plan to return to the U.S. at least one week before classes begin on January 24. Unexpected travel delays, illness, isolation periods, and quarantines could extend your trip longer than you expect, and we expect faculty to be available to teach in person by the first day of classes.