To ensure the health and safety of Cornell’s campus and our surrounding community, faculty, staff, students and visitors must abide by the university’s travel and visitor policy.

Questions about visiting students on campus? Please see Housing & Dining for more information.

Student Travel

Cornell students living in the greater Ithaca area are expected to remain in the region until the time when they return to their permanent residence for the remainder of the fall semester. In-person instruction concludes Nov. 24, after which students will complete the semester virtually. Students who must travel outside of the greater Ithaca area due to exceptional circumstances (e.g., a family emergency) must follow all New York state and Cornell requirements prior to leaving and upon returning to the Ithaca and Cornell communities. In addition to quarantine restrictions for visitors arriving from states on the New York travel advisory, the state is also strongly discouraging any nonessential travel to select neighboring states where infection rates are rising. Travel outside the area must be submitted using the form on the Daily Check.

Due to ongoing travel, health and safety concerns, all undergraduate students are prohibited from traveling for Cornell-related research or scholarship until further notice. This extends to spring 2021 study abroad opportunities, including virtual programs. Once conditions allow for students to safely and effectively participate in programming abroad, students who applied for study abroad in spring 2021 will be contacted about submitting a new application for the next available term. Graduate and professional students may submit a petition to travel domestically or internationally for essential purposes by first contacting their School or College regarding the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Faculty & Staff Travel

Business Travel

Non-essential business travel is prohibited. Essential business travel requires approval by the appropriate college dean, vice president or vice provost, and plans must follow existing university policies governing travel.

Travel outside New York state, regardless of the mode of transportation, may be subject to governmental quarantine restrictions upon return to the Ithaca area. Employees must anticipate the need for testing and time away from campus and will be required to work remotely, or take paid or unpaid leave during the quarantine period.

For guidance and policy on when essential international travel may resume, for whom, and the process to seek approval, please visit the International Travel Guidelines, Policy, and Recommendations page. For questions or support regarding international travel, contact International Travel Health and Safety.

Personal Travel

Personal travel that presents increased risk of virus transmission is strongly discouraged.

All members of the Cornell community are expected to follow all travel guidelines put forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Department of State, New York state, or the local Department of Health. Employees who travel internationally for personal reasons will be expected to follow CDC guidance upon their return.

New York State Mandatory Quarantine for Travelers

Travel restrictions have been established by an executive order from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, requiring individuals traveling from states of high virus prevalence to quarantine for 14 days upon entry into New York state.

Standing Committee on Travel and Visitors

Exceptions to the COVID-19 Travel and Visitor Policy (including more- and less-restrictive measures) for any reason (including for specific subsets of staff and faculty in a particular college or unit) will be considered by request to the Standing Committee on Travel and Visitors. Such requests can be made after they have been endorsed by the appropriate college dean, vice president or vice provost. 

Committee members include Kevin Hallock, Dean of the SC Johnson College of Business; Rick Burgess, Vice President for Facilities and Campus Services; Gary Koretzky, Vice Provost for Academic Integration;  Mary Opperman, Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer; Madelyn Wessel, University Counsel & Secretary of the Corporation; and Wendy Wolford, Vice Provost for International Affairs.