Travel Guidelines

Updated April 8, 2021

Travel has been identified as a significant risk for exposure to COVID-19 and the university continues to strongly discourage unnecessary travel for students, faculty and staff for the duration of this public health crisis. At this time, based on progress in the national COVID-19 vaccination initiative, public health experts have identified certain circumstances in which the risk of travel is lessened. The university has modified its policy on travel to align with this evolving public health guidance. 

As of April 2, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) changed its travel guidance for fully vaccinated individuals and Connecticut has adopted the CDC guidance. Subject to local requirements of a traveler’s destination, the CDC advises that fully vaccinated travelers do not need to be tested before or after domestic travel, and do not need to quarantine upon arrival from domestic and international travel.

People are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or 2 weeks after the single dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine. Fully vaccinated travelers should still follow CDC’s recommendations for traveling safely including mask wearing, social distancing and washing hands or using hand sanitizer.

Whether engaging in personal or university sponsored travel, the following are the university’s current travel requirements for faculty, staff and students authorized to be on campus.

Yale community members who travel outside Connecticut and do not intend to be on campus should follow Connecticut’s travel advisory.

University requirements and Connecticut guidance may change further as public health and safety circumstances continue to evolve.

Obtaining Approval for or Providing Notification of Travel for Faculty, Staff, and Students Authorized to Be On Campus

In order to obtain approval for or to provide notification of travel, faculty, staff, and students who have been vaccinated other than through the Yale Health program should record their vaccination status here.

Faculty, Staff, and Students – University Sponsored Travel

The university will now allow university sponsored travel for fully vaccinated faculty, staff, and students subject to obtaining approvals required under existing university policies and processes.

Faculty, staff and students who wish to engage in university sponsored travel for the purpose of research must obtain the approval of the Off-Campus Research and Fieldwork Committee.

Undergraduate Students

Enrolled in residence undergraduate students (those who are authorized to be on campus) are required to obtain permission from the Yale College Health and Safety Leader (HSL) or the HSL’s designee to travel outside of Connecticut.

To request permission to travel, undergraduate students must use the following travel form:

Graduate and Professional Students

Enrolled in residence graduate and professional students (those who are authorized to be on campus) are required to notify their school’s Health and Safety Leader (HSL) prior to travel outside of Connecticut. To notify an HSL of travel, students must use the following travel forms:

Staff Members

Staff members working on campus who are traveling outside of Connecticut for any reason, must inform their supervisor of the date they will return and confirm they were either fully vaccinated prior to travel or, if not fully vaccinated, have complied with the testing and quarantine requirements as provided below prior to returning to campus. Staff traveling for personal reasons will use paid time off (or go unpaid) during this travel quarantine period.

Yale’s Requirements for Being on Campus After Travel Outside of Connecticut

Fully Vaccinated Travelers

As of April 9, 2021, Yale will no longer require fully vaccinated faculty, staff, and students to test or quarantine upon arrival in Connecticut from domestic travel prior to coming to campus. For fully vaccinated faculty, staff, and students coming from outside the United States, consistent with CDC guidance and the state advisory, Yale requires testing 3-5 days after travel and isolation if that test is positive prior to coming to campus.

Travelers Who Are Not Fully Vaccinated

Yale is continuing to require the following measures for all faculty, staff, and students who are not fully vaccinated prior to travel in order to arrive on or return to the Yale campus from outside of Connecticut:

  • Anyone having traveled outside of Connecticut in any state or country who intends or is required to be on campus within 14 days of their arrival in Connecticut must either:
    • Quarantine for 10 days OR
    • Obtain a test on their first full day in Connecticut (day #1) and a second test no sooner than four days later (day #5) and quarantine in their residence until negative results are received for both tests. Individuals may leave this travel quarantine for their required tests and then return promptly to quarantine. If both tests are negative, the individual may access campus; and, if the individual is not participating in the university’s mandatory testing program, they are strongly encouraged to participate in voluntary testing for at least one more week. Go to Yale’s Screening Program to schedule a test.
  • Healthcare workers, including health professional students, should consult their practice locations regarding travel related testing and quarantine requirements which may differ from those of the university.
  • These requirements also apply to visitors who are approved to come to campus.
  • Individuals traveling to campus for medical care or who will be on campus for less than 24 hours are exempted from these requirements but should follow state and CDC guidance.

United States Travel Restrictions and Quarantine Requirements for International Travelers

Effective January 26, 2021, all air passengers arriving to the US from another country are required to get tested for COVID-19 no more than 3 days before their flight departs and to provide proof of the negative result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding the flight.

This rule applies regardless of vaccination status. For more information on this requirement, see the CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions.

Faculty, staff, and students who are foreign nationals traveling from the European Schengen area, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Brazil, China and Iran are prohibited from traveling to the United States, subject to certain exceptions. This includes travelers transiting through one of these countries. Please consult the Centers for Disease Control and the State Department for additional information and exceptions.

All travelers entering the U.S. at one of the New York airports will need to complete the Traveler Health Form and present it at the port of entry. If you are traveling directly to Connecticut from the airport, you may do so; if you are planning to spend time in New York, please refer to the New York State COVID-19 Travel Advisory website. If you are entering the U.S. at other locations, please check the requirements of that state (New JerseyMassachusettsRhode Island).

All international faculty, staff and students coming or returning to the Yale campus from another country must comply with the Yale travel policy as described above for fully vaccinated and not fully vaccinated travelers.

Travel Planning Resources

It is important to plan carefully for any travel.  International travel is still restricted by most countries and those allowing entry by foreign citizens often impose mandatory quarantine requirements that sometimes include paying a substantial bond.  Frequently shifting lockdown rules, limited or canceled flights, and overburdened health systems pose added risks.  This effectively means that there are very few countries that are both low risk and possible to enter.  Helpful resources may be found at the links below. 

Travelers should in all cases register travel plans using Yale’s registry ISOS Travel Tracker to speed contact in the event of an emergency.