International Studies & Programs

Home > Travel During COVID-19 Pandemic > Domestic Travel

Domestic Travel

All non-essential domestic travel is suspended indefinitely. If travel is essential, the traveler must submit a waiver for review at least three weeks before departure.


Waiver Request Process

Individuals with essential domestic travel may apply for a travel waiver. For some MSU employees, domestic travel is a regular part of their job responsibilities; therefore, blanket domestic travel waivers are possible.

Major Administrative Units (MAUs) are responsible for reviewing waiver requests and determining if travel may proceed. MAUs must consider the essential nature of the travel and whether remote alternatives are possible. MAUs must also consider whether the proposed travel meets minimum health and safety measures. 

A domestic travel waiver form is available for download below. A single waiver may be submitted for group travel if all travelers have the same travel details. 

Completed waivers should be submitted to the appropriate unit administrator. College Deans/unit administrators are responsible for determining who has approval authority within their unit. 

This procedure applies to all students, faculty, and staff. All travelers should carefully review COVID-19 Travel Health Resources before submitting a waiver.

For MSU faculty and staff who reside internationally, MSU’s domestic travel review process applies for any travel taking place within the country of residence, noting that the more stringent health and safety requirements (MSU and U.S. versus country of residence) will prevail.


side-by-side_midwest-landscape (1).jpgDomestic Travel Waiver Form

Submit this travel waiver form to the relevant MAU administrator at least three weeks before your intended departure date.


Guidance for MAUs Evaluating Waiver Requests

When evaluating domestic travel waiver requests, Major Administrative Units (MAUs) must evaluate whether the travel plans meet the minimum health and safety measures described below. We do not recommend approving any waivers that can't satisfy the relevant minimum standards.

Travelers and MAUs are also encouraged to use these additional travel health and safety resources.

Examples of Permitted Travel

MAUs are responsible for evaluating what they consider essential travel according to programmatic priorities and budgetary implications. Remote alternatives should be considered first. 

 Below is a list of examples of the kinds of activities that could be considered essential travel. This is not an exhaustive list but is intended as guidance.

Faculty and staff

  • maintaining critical functions
  • COVID-related research and work
  • essential research to fulfill grant obligations
  • timely or seasonal and critical research
  • Extension and Advancement work travel
  • teaching/essential work at MSU satellite locations
  • long-distance commuters
  • essential small meetings/events with mitigation measures

Graduate and professional students

  • essential research to fulfill grant obligations
  • timely or seasonal and critical research
  • travel necessary for degree completion/academic continuity
  • COVID-related research and work, teaching at MSU satellite locations
  • long-distance commuters
  • essential small meetings/events with mitigation measures
  • study away
  • research assistantship
  • excursions embedded in academic courses

Undergraduate students

  • study away
  • internships
  • research assistantship
  • excursions related to academic courses (all with strong mitigation measures) 

Student groups

  • alternative break
  • community-engaged learning
  • Registered Student Organization travel (RSO advisor may approve in lieu of MAU)

 

 

Minimum Health and Safety Measures

  1. Travelers should assess their suitability for travel by reviewing public health guidance, reviewing COVID-19 spread at destination, and discussing travel plans with their primary care physician.

  2. Traveler abides by all local restrictions at destination(s).

  3. Travel should involve the fewest staff needed to complete the activity while assuring employee safety.

  4. Air travel and public transportation is permitted if physical distancing is maintained. Travel by car preferred (private vehicle, rented/Motor Pool vehicle, taxi/rideshare permitted so long as physical distancing maintained).

  5. Travel by car preferred when reasonable.

  6. Maintain physical distancing during travel and at worksite(s).

  7. Travel with food/water to avoid unnecessary stops. If necessary, obtain food from places that allow physical distancing (drive-through, take-away).

  8. Traveler must participate in health screening before and after travel.

  9. Carry hand sanitizer and disinfectant to sanitize hands and frequently touched surfaces/equipment. Note that TSA is permitting 12 oz bottles of hand sanitizer on flights.

  10. Wear a mask or cloth face covering in enclosed spaces or if near other people. This includes during a flight when a mask should only be removed to eat or drink.

  11. Wear PPE is applicable to setting (e.g. health care worker).

  12. Traveler must follow all TSA and airline health and safety requirements and may refuse to board a flight if they feel unsafe.

  13. No one can be required to travel as part of their job duties or academic coursework.

  14. Alternate assignments should be provided to any student who does not want to travel as part of an academic course.

  15. Faculty/staff are responsible for enforcing health and safety measures when traveling with students.

Pre-Travel Health Screening

Travelers should assess their suitability for travel by reviewing public health guidance, reviewing COVID-19 spread at destination (travel to "orange" and "red" states is strongly discouraged), and discussing travel plans with their primary care physician.

Traveler must complete health screening before they arrive at their work location and then each subsequent day of travel if applicable.


Return to Campus/Regular Worksite Health Protocols

Please follow the guidance below when returning to work from essential, approved domestic travel. Do not travel to campus or your regular worksite if you feel sick.

More university guidance for faculty and staff

Returning to Campus From Within Michigan

Traveler must complete Spartan Health Screening before return to campus or regular worksite.

Returning to Campus from Outside Michigan

Follow MSU's health protocol for incoming domestic travelers. Then, complete the Spartan Health Screening before returning to your regular worksite.

Returning to a Location Outside Michigan

Follow local public health guidelines (state and local). At a minimum, traveler must complete Spartan Health Screening before return to their MSU worksite.


Domestic Travel Framework 

(you are welcome to download this PDF as a reference tool, but please check this website frequently as new guidance may be published)