Travel Guidance

University-affiliated Travel

As COVID-19 conditions continue to improve, travel guidelines have been updated.

International Travel

Because the severity of COVID-19 conditions still vary internationally, foreign travel remains restricted.

In accordance with UNC System Office guidance, University-affiliated travel outside of the United States has been prohibited since last year. Exceptions for international travel may be granted only by the Chancellor or Provost, as detailed on UNC Global’s website. Under the advisement of our infectious disease experts, Carolina has issued new guidance on the increased risks of travel.

Risk-benefit considerations currently call for an extremely restrictive UNC-Chapel Hill travel policy, for the reasons outlined below:

  • COVID-19 and recent variants reported in the United Kingdom, Brazil and South Africa are spreading rapidly with unpredictable morbidity and mortality;
  • Travelers who become ill with COVID-19 or another illness may not be able to access health care and certainly not the level of care available in North Carolina;
  • Dynamic quarantine rules and travel restrictions may limit or prevent return to the United States for travelers who fall ill, or who simply wish to return;
  • UNC-Chapel Hill travelers who require medical care may compete with in-country residents, unfortunately challenging equitable use of resources; and
  • While vaccines may prove sufficiently effective to allow travel in the future, the benefits and durability of the current vaccines are not known and should not be used to ensure resistance to COVID-19, especially where variants have been detected.

In addition to these considerations, limiting travel and interactions is one of the best ways to stop the spread of the virus between communities.

International travel will be approved only in truly exceptional cases. This will be re-evaluated routinely as the situation evolves.

Domestic Travel (travel within the State of North Carolina and the United States)

COVID-19 restrictions on university related domestic travel previously issued by the UNC System Office are rescinded. Students and employees should continue to follow the latest CDC guidance on domestic travel:

  • The CDC recommends that domestic travel should be delayed until you are fully vaccinated.
  • If you are not fully vaccinated, the CDC recommends:
    • Wear a face covering
    • Get tested for COVID-19 1-3 days prior to your trip and within 3-5 days upon return
    • Self-quarantining for 7 full days after travel (10 days if not tested upon return)