COVID-19 travel and visitor policy

July 23, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

As we proceed with plans to reactivate campus, the university has implemented a travel and visitor policy.

We all have a critical role to play in avoiding high-risk travel—whether for university business or personal reasons—and reducing the possibility of coronavirus transmission within our campus and surrounding community. Examples of high-risk travel include visits to areas with high incidences of coronavirus or using public modes of transit, such as planes, trains, subways, ships and other closed environments.

This policy applies to faculty and staff, as well as visitors to campus, which may include alumni and parents and friends of students. Please read the full guidelines (pdf) closely, while noting the following key points:

  • All travel (business and personal) should adhere to state, federal and international laws and guidelines. Those who undergo high-risk travel should plan to quarantine for 14 days and to undergo COVID-19 testing upon their return to the Ithaca area.
  • Essential business travel requires approval by the appropriate college dean, vice president or vice provost, and plans must follow current Cornell policies governing travel. Non-essential business travel is prohibited.
  • Personal travel that presents increased risk of virus transmission is strongly discouraged.
  • 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 the duration of the fall semester, campus visitors are prohibited from entering any campus facility, including residence halls. Only approved current students, staff or faculty, essential vendors (such as food and delivery workers or construction and service providers), or individuals approved, in writing, by the provost or appropriate dean, vice president or their delegate, may access campus facilities.
  • Everyone is required to follow Cornell's guidelines for face coverings and physical distancing at all times.

Thank you for observing these guidelines, which will help to ensure a safe, healthy campus environment for us all.


Michael Kotlikoff

Mary Opperman
Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer