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Travel Petitions

Travel Health and Safety Petitions

International Travel Advisory and Response Team (ITART) petitions are triggered by rules built into the Travel Registry. If your travel requires a petition, the Travel Registry will prompt you for additional information about, and a rationale for, your elevated risk travel plans. Travel restrictions are designed by traveler type and destination. 

  • Carefully read the help text as the requirement to answer can differ for different travelers.  Your answers to the petition questions will be saved with the rest of your registration after hitting "save" at the bottom of the form and they cannot be edited.

  • If possible, petitions should be filed between four to six weeks prior to departure. Conditions around the world change rapidly and understanding the current situation is important in your planning. We understand that you may need to plan for travel much further in advance; ITART may grant conditional approvals ahead of the typical four weeks before departure review, based on conditions at that time. These conditional approvals are subject to reassessment. If conditions remain safe, approvals will stand. You will only be notified if there is a change in the decision.

  • For details on how petitions are evaluated, please review the travel considerations table below.

Once Your Travel is Approved

If your travel plans receive ITART approval, you may book travel in accordance with any contingencies outlined in the approval letter.

  • ITART may rescind approval due to changes in the health and security environment at any time and with no responsibility for financial loss. Any travel right now risks last-minute cancellation. Both you and your sponsoring unit should take this risk into consideration.
  • Seek out and follow all health and safety guidelines while traveling, including relevant social-distancing policies. You must adhere to any restrictions or safeguards required by the local jurisdiction to which you are traveling. It is your responsibility to be aware of these requirements.

Returning from Travel

You may have been exposed to COVID-19 on your travels. You may feel well and not have symptoms, but you can still be infected and spread the virus to others, posing a risk for 14 days after you travel. For this reason, Cornell strongly recommends anyone planning a return to campus after international travel get tested with a viral test three to five days after travel. Please refer to CDC guidance on the additional precautions Cornell expects you to take upon your return.


ITART Considerations

ITART assesses a variety of factors associated with the proposed travel, including your vaccination status. The following presents key factors to consider before submitting a petition. This list should not be considered comprehensive, as every proposed travel is unique and more information may be requested.

Elements considered for ITART approval

Travel Considerations

Notes on ITART Evaluation

International SOS advisories
Cornell's travel assistance provider, International SOS (ISOS), provides detailed destination-specific information on medical and security infrastructures and current travel recommendations.

Outside of the pandemic, ITART risk ratings are Cornell's primary marker for elevated-risk travel.
ITART will utilize International SOS ratings to evaluate the proposed travel
Department of State Advisories
U.S. Department of State issues destination-specific travel advisories on a scale of 1–4.
ITART will consult this information and consider any relevant information in light of the itinerary provided.
CDC Travel Notices
CDC has implemented a 4-tier COVID rating system for all countries based on case incident rates and a number of other factors.
ITART will consult with this information and consider any relevant information in light of the itinerary provided. Travel to Level 4 countries is reserved for only the rarest of cases.
Cornell-Imposed Restrictions/Regulations
Cornell reserves the right to impose its own regulations and restrictions on travel.

If Cornell sees a need to impose additional restrictions or regulations to fulfill its duty of care, these will be considered in ITART's recommendations or decision.

"Stay Home" Restrictions
Stay home or curfew requirements in the host destination may impact the success of the proposed travel.
ITART will consider these factors in its recommendations or decision.
Quarantine and Testing Upon Return
Depending on their itinerary, activities abroad, and person-to-person contact, travelers must be willing and able to self-isolate upon return if advised to do so by Cornell or New York State. Travelers should consult the daily check website upon return.
In the event a traveler is returning to the Ithaca area there may be implications regarding quarantining and testing. ITART will obtain additional information from the traveler as needed.
Host Country Quarantine
Countries around the world have varying quarantine requirements for arriving foreign nationals and citizens.
ITART will evaluate how such conditions may impact a traveler's planned itinerary.
Entrance Restrictions
Restrictions on reentry into the U.S. and on entry to the host country vary and change based on citizenship and travel itinerary.
ITART will evaluate how such restrictions may impact the proposed travel and what precautions should be considered.
Pre-Departure Orientation  Online pre-departure orientation to the fundamentals of international travel and resources available to travelers has been developed by IHSS. Completion of the course is required of all students who receive ITART approval. Completion is not required of faculty, but they may find the material useful.

Travel is Registered

All students, faculty, and staff engaging in international travel on Cornell business must register in the Cornell Travel Registry. The ITART petition is incorporated into the registry and approved travel can be considered registered. Travel that is not approved will be removed from the travel registry.
Commercial Flight Options
A reduction or elimination of commercial flight options to or from a country is a primary strategy employed to slow the spread of COVID-19.
ITART will consider the trends and forecasting of flight availability to and from the proposed destination in its recommendations or decision.
Planned Itinerary
Where one is planning to find accommodation, how one is planning to commute, with whom one has established relationships, and the activities planned during one's travel all contribute to the risk analysis of the proposed itinerary.
ITART will consider these factors in its recommendations or decision.

COVID-19 Considerations

Case/Death/Hospitalization Rate
Data on the case numbers, death rates, and forecasting models can indicate the risk associated with visiting a destination at a given time.
ITART will analyze these data, considering the itinerary provided.
Testing
A host country's capacity to or requirement for testing may have an impact on the proposed travel.
ITART will analyze the situation in the host country to determine any impact on the traveler.

Traveler is COVID-19 Negative

We bear a responsibility to do all that we can to protect the host country and not introduce more virus or tax their healthcare system. Travelers are expected to self-monitor for symptoms 14-days before departure, take precautions against infection, and cancel travel should they become symptomatic or test positive for the virus. 
Traveler's Vaccination Status Travelers should be aware that institutions, airlines, and the U.S. or foreign governments may establish their own safety protocols, may require evidence of vaccination upon entry into the country, and may not consider medical or religious exemptions. Additionally, we know that vaccination is key to a more healthy experience abroad. ITART will consider the traveler's vaccination status in relation to their destination and overall travel plan.

Traveler Considerations

Risk Awareness and Mitigation Measures

Using the information provided in the petition, ITART will evaluate if the traveler is aware of all risks (pandemic related and otherwise) associated with the specific travel as proposed. ITART will then evaluate the traveler's plan to mitigate those risks. If there is a perceived gap in either of these factors, ITART may require additional research to be done or provide additional resources as appropriate.

Familiarity with Destination

A traveler's familiarity with a destination, its cultures, resources, language, etc. are important factors in their ability to self-manage a crisis or incident abroad.
ITART will consider the frequency of visits to the proposed destination and language preparedness in its recommendations or decision.

Acceptance of Responsibility

Travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. Cornell’s ability to assist travelers abroad during a second wave or due to border closures, local shut down of businesses or hotels, or entry/exit bans is limited. Travelers must be prepared to remain abroad indefinitely and understand that doing so could impact their employment or academic momentum.  Individuals who choose to petition for travel authorization must understand that travel at this time is particularly risky and be willing to assume responsibility for such risks.

Short-Term Study Abroad Programming

If your unit is interested in running new or pre-existing short-term faculty-led programming, there is an expectation that those headed to destinations that would require an individual to petition, be reviewed and approved by ITART. This type of programming presents many unique challenges during the pandemic requiring significant planning and investment. Please reach out to intlsafety@cornell.edu if this is of interest or point others with interest to ITHS, and a time to talk through the logistics will be set up.