COVID-19 Travel FAQ
Kent State University’s reopening committees continue to work for a safe environment on our campuses. As Flashes take care of Flashes, it is our duty to limit the chances of getting and spreading COVID-19 to each other through healthy lifestyle promotion and safety awareness. This includes reducing the amount of travel to and from campuses, which reduces the potential spread of the virus.
With that, the reopening committee has provided temporary guidelines related to university-sponsored travel during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Christopherson Business Travel offers a dedicated COVID-19 Travel website: https://www.cbtravel.com/information-about-covid-19/
Guidelines for university-related travel are described in Administrative Policy 7-02.8. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the following additional guidelines are in place:
- Where possible, university-related travel should be replaced by a remote event/meeting and only conducted if required and critical for the job position. In evaluating the necessity of travel, employees are asked to use good judgment.
- If it is necessary to conduct university travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, employees are expected to adhere to the Flashes Safe Seven principles throughout the duration of the travel.
- Any travel should adhere to CDC and state guidelines, including expectations for quarantine following travel. Travel should not be conducted to locations (state, county, country) with a stay-at-home order.
- Faculty and staff travel related to research, creative activities or professional development is allowed if funded through external sources, faculty incentive accounts or faculty startup accounts.
- Any university travel is subject to supervisor review and approval.
STUDENT GROUP TRAVEL
Access guidelines and expectations related to student group travel.
For students, employees and visitors, it is important to note that Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has announced a travel advisory for all individuals coming into Ohio from states reporting positive COVID-19 testing rates of 15% or higher. Anyone traveling from these states to Ohio is advised to self-quarantine for 14 days. The Ohio Department of Health is also recommending against travel to these states with high positivity.
As of Sept. 18, any travel out of state and beyond must be reported to the COVID Response Team prior to departure. This requirement was initiated because of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s Sept. 17 announcement of Portage County’s COVID-19 Risk Level 3 Red status. The Kent Campus resides in Portage County, and as such, must adhere to the state's guidelines for counties at a COVID-19 Risk Level 3 status.
KENT STATE GUIDELINES
Kent State requires university community members to contact the COVID Response Team in certain instances. Please get familiar with Kent State's COVID-19 reporting guidelines.
I HANDLE THE BUDGET FOR MY DEPARTMENT. HOW DO I ADDRESS TRAVEL CANCELLATIONS?
The first step is to ensure that the traveler has exhausted all measures to obtain a refund or credit/voucher toward a future trip. If the traveler receives a refund and the traveler has been reimbursed (i.e., airline tickets, first night’s hotel deposit, etc.) by the university, then the traveler owes the university. Please seek reimbursement from the traveler.
If the traveler receives a refund and the traveler has not been reimbursed, there is nothing else you need to do.
Please note that most airlines are providing transferable vouchers if the travel was canceled, but this differs greatly by the airline and the circumstances related to the travel cancellations. Most if not all hotels will refund for the first night’s deposit.
If your traveler used one of the university’s preferred travel providers, the agency will work with you and provide information on unused vouchers. One of the advantages to using one of the university’s preferred travel providers is the support provided with cancellations and the visibility to unused tickets/vouchers.
If the traveler receives a voucher or credit toward a future trip and the original purchase was not through one of the university’s preferred travel providers, you will need to keep track of it to determine if there could be a use for a future trip either for that traveler or another traveler within your department (if it is a transferable voucher). Currently, airlines are allowing for transferability with some future vouchers. Please keep in mind, there is an expiration date on the airline vouchers.
If the traveler receives a voucher and has not yet been reimbursed, the traveler should seek reimbursement and ensure use on a future trip. If the traveler has been reimbursed, the voucher still needs to be tracked for future use.
If the purchase was made via a department P-card, the same steps apply with respect to receiving and tracking a voucher for future trips.