International travel changes, effective June 1

April 27, 2021

Dear Cornell Community,

Many of us are eager to begin traveling internationally again. However, this remains difficult due to the ongoing pandemic, as many countries are dealing with severe health-related limitations. At the same time, Cornell is also dealing with the budgetary implications of COVID-19, and all international travel must be approved by relevant supervisors or unit officials.

The current travel policy, which prohibits essential and non-essential international travel on Cornell-related business or research, will remain in effect until May 31. During this time, faculty, staff and graduate and professional students who wish to travel are able to petition for exceptions if their travel plans are deemed essential by their dean.

Beginning June 1, faculty, staff and students – graduate, professional and undergraduate – may petition to travel internationally on essential or non-essential Cornell-related business and research, provided that the financial expenditure has been approved.

All travelers will be required to petition the International Travel Health and Safety office and the International Travel Advisory and Response Team (ITART) so that these teams can evaluate the health and safety aspects of the requested travel. Permission to travel will depend on several factors, including COVID-19 national indicators from the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control, advice from Cornell’s travel risk associates, local conditions, vaccination status of the individual traveling, and their overall travel plan. All approvals are subject to change should conditions change. Undergraduate students will not be permitted to travel to any destination with a CDC COVID-19 notice of 3 or 4 or Department of State travel advisory of 3 or 4.

Please refer to the Pandemic Travel Policy page for details on how to petition for travel. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination can be uploaded to the Daily Check. Registration of international travel in the Cornell travel registry is required for all faculty, staff and students. Successful petitions are automatically included in the travel registry, which will provide users with additional location information, resources and guidance.

No international, Cornell-led programs are permitted to run this summer. Such travel may be permitted in the fall, but all prospective programs must petition ITART for approval. Thank you all for your patience as we continue to monitor conditions. We hope to see travel becoming easier for everyone as the pandemic recedes, and we will update policies accordingly.


Wendy Wolford
Vice Provost for International Affairs