- Global Travel Policy
Global Travel Policy
Duke Global Travel Policy – COVID-19 ADDENDUM
Effective March 10, 2020 and updated July 1, 2020.
Please note that the July 1st COVID-19 Addendum below, which was initially in effect until August 10th, has been extended to November 24, 2020. This said, we anticipate offering an update to this addendum prior to that as the academic year begins and as the local, national and international aspects of the pandemic change. You are encouraged to check this webpage periodically or sign up to receive Duke Travel Policy updates via email in order to stay abreast of these changes. (Click here to add your name to the listserv for updates.)
This is a COVID 19 Addendum to the Duke Global Travel Policy. (See the full travel policy by scrolling to it following this addendum text.) In short, this Addendum:
- Incorporates the March 10, 2020 “COVID-19 Travel Suspension” into the overall Duke Global Travel Policy.
- Establishes criteria by which the existing exception for “Essential Travel” by individuals travelling with Duke Support is evaluated under the COVID-19 Travel Suspension. Note: At present, undergraduate students are not eligible for the Essential Travel exception.
- Permits travel without approval where the individual starts at and returns to the same location in the same day and does so in full compliance with all applicable COVID-19 regulations regarding personal health and safety.
- Establishes a procedure by which Duke will determine if proposed travel qualifies as Essential Travel
- In addition to international travel, requires those traveling domestically with “Duke Support” to register in the Duke Travel Registry.
- Specifies the function of the Global Travel Advisory Committee (“GTAC”) in the implementation of the COVID-19 Travel Suspension.
If you have questions about or need assistance with following the procedure set forth in this Addendum, please contact Christy Parish, the Duke Travel Policy Administrator, at email@example.com.
- COVID-19 Travel Suspension
On March 10, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Duke University suspended all Duke supported travel, both international and domestic (“COVID-19 Travel Suspension”), unless it was essential travel. The intent of the COVID-19 Travel Suspension, as reflected in its application since March 10, 2020, is to suspend all travel with “Duke Support” as that term is defined in the Duke Global Travel Policy:
As used in this Policy, the term “Duke Support” means financial and logistical support, academic approval, granting of credit for activity or work completed based on the travel, mentorship or any kind of material role for Duke in the travel.
The COVID-19 Travel Suspension is in effect until November 24, 2020. It can be shortened, extended or adjusted at any time as the situation warrants, considering local, national and international health and public safety trends. Duke advises those contemplating travel after November 24 to have strong contingency plans in the event that the COVID-19 Travel Suspension is extended.
- Essential Travel Criteria
As of July 1, 2020, Duke will permit individuals travelling with Duke Support (except undergraduate students) to seek approval for Essential Travel. The criteria for evaluating whether travel is essential include, without limit:
- The degree to which, absent the travel, a significant university program, function or a grant-funded research program will be permanently unable to proceed, or will be significantly impeded in proceeding on a timely basis.
- The degree to which, absent the travel, a faculty member or graduate/professional student will be permanently unable to proceed with, or will be significantly impeded in proceeding on a timely basis with, important research, a career trajectory or an advanced degree program.
- The travel is related to vital COVID-19 relief efforts.
- Whether remote activity is realistic or a viable option.
- Whether the travel can be delayed or revised without significant financial cost.
Health and Safety Factors
- The length of the travel and number of locations.
- The prevalence and trends of COVID 19 in the areas of travel using the Johns Hopkins dashboard or other sources. (See COVID-19 Dashboard of Johns Hopkins University.)
- The options that can be deployed to mitigate risks of contagion to the traveler and others, including without limit, pre-travel preparation, restrictions on modes of travel, use of recommended safety procedures such as use of masks, hand-washing and physical distancing.
NOTE: Travel to attend a professional or educational conference, seminar, or workshop is not considered “Essential Travel.”
- “Local” Travel Permitted Without Authorization
As of July 1, 2020, Duke will permit Duke Support for travel without approval where the individual starts and returns to the same location in the same one day in an Enterprise Rental car rented using the Duke corporate account, a Duke owned vehicle, or if more practical, a personal vehicle, and does so in full compliance with all applicable COVID-19 regulations regarding personal health and safety.
- Process for Seeking Approval
To seek approval for Essential Travel, in sufficient time to allow for a decision and then planning for any approved travel:
- Faculty member, staff member or graduate/professional student must obtain written support for the proposed travel from the individual within Duke who has overall responsibility for the faculty member, staff member or graduate/professional student (“Top-Level Manager”) and if not the same person, must also obtain the written support of the individual within Duke who has overall responsibility for the program area supported by the travel (also a “Top-Level Manager”). Examples of Top-Level Managers include Deans of a college, Directors of Institutes, or the top person in an administrative unit. The request and a decision to support the request should be grounded in the Essential Travel Criteria set forth in Section 3.
- Requests for written support from a Top-Level Manager should include, without limit, assessments of the travel under the Essential Travel Criteria (Section 3) as well as a detailed day by day travel itinerary, including dates, means of travel, locations of lodging.
NOTE: In the interest of efficiency and collaboration, faculty members, staff members, graduate/professional student administrators in the chain of command and Top-Level Administrators are:
- Encouraged to reach out to GTAC, by contacting Christy Parrish, the Travel Policy Administrator, for discussions in advance of submitting a request for approval.
- Encouraged to get input from Duke Student Health and EOHW, but in order to reduce the burden on those very busy units, individuals must initiate the contract through Christy Parrish, the Travel Policy Administrator.
- Top-Level Managers can seek input on a decision from GTAC, through its COVID-19 Committee (see below). As appropriate, GTAC will coordinate with Duke Student Health and the Duke Office of Employee Occupational Health and Wellness (“EOHW”).
Top-level Managers will decide whether to approve the proposed travel as Essential Travel considering the Essential Travel Criteria. Top-Level Managers should consider conditioning approval in any manner to promote health and safety, including without limit, requiring:
- Pre-travel preparation
- Limiting the travel
- Mitigation strategies while travelling, including without limiting, a requirement to follow CDC guidelines for mitigating risks of exposure.
- If traveling out of the United States, a requirement to look up and fully understand, before travel, the rules and regulations for entry into foreign countries, including any obligations to quarantine before departure or upon arrival.
- Post travel steps such as self-monitoring, testing and possible quarantine.
- Signing an acknowledgement of risk before traveling
- Signing a waiver and release of claims before traveling.
NOTE: Top-Level Managers should issue decisions to the Traveler in writing (email is acceptable) that incorporates the request and notes any conditions, and provide a copy of the decision to GTAC’s COVID-19 Committee prior to the traveler’s departure. This can be done either by attaching a copy of the written approval to the traveler’s entry in the Registry by sending an electronic copy to Christy Parrish, Duke’s Travel Policy Administrator.
- Duke Travel Registry
Faculty, staff and graduate/professional students must register all travel with Duke Support, domestic or international, in the Duke Travel Registry at https://travel.duke.edu/registry. This represents a significant increase in the use of the Travel Registry and permits Duke to try to assist those traveling in the event of changed circumstances.
- Global Travel Advisory Committee – COVID-19 Sub-Committee
There is hereby established a COVID-19 Subcommittee to the Global Travel Advisory Committee (“GTAC”). The GTAC Executive Committee, in consultation with the Provost or her designee(s), will appoint members to the COVID-19 Subcommittee. The COVID-19 Subcommittee:
- At the request of a Top-Level Manager, will provide guidance as to whether travel is Essential Travel considering the Essential Travel Criteria (as applicable).
- At the request of a Top-Level Manager, will assess the safety and risk profile of a particular destination given the change in political, economic and health environs that may have changed due to the impact of the pandemic.
- Maintain a record of all approvals by Top Level Managers for Essential Travel.
Duke Global Travel Policy
Effective 01-December-2018, amended 01-July-2020 (see COVID 19 Addendum above)
Duke is committed to planning for and promoting the health, safety and security of students, faculty and staff when they travel outside of the United States with Duke Support. As used in this Policy, the term “Duke Support” means financial and logistical support, academic approval, granting of credit for activity or work completed based on the travel, mentorship or any kind of material role for Duke in the travel.
This Policy is administered by the Duke University Provost with the active advice and support of the Duke University Global Travel Advisory Committee (“GTAC”).
Duke maintains the Duke Travel Registry, a Travel Registry where:
- Duke Students – undergraduate, graduate, and professional – are required to register travel outside of the United States with Duke Support before departing, providing travel dates, locations, emergency contact, and personal contact information while abroad; and
- Duke Faculty Members and Staff Members are strongly encouraged to register travel outside of the United States, particularly when traveling to a location on the Duke “Restricted Regions List.”
The information in the Duke Travel Registry allows Duke to find an individual in the event it becomes necessary, including for example in the event of a natural disaster in a particular location that poses a significant threat to the health, safety and welfare of individuals. Information entered in the Duke Travel Registry is considered confidential and utilized only in the event of an emergency.
If a Duke Student, Faculty Member or Staff Member does not register at the Duke Travel Registry:
- Duke might not be able to determine that the individual is in a region in the event of an emergency, and therefore, may not be able to offer emergency health or evacuation assistance.
- Duke might not be able to verify insurance coverage were a traveler to engage a provider for assistance due to illness, injury or other type of personal emergency while outside the United States.
Restricted Regions List
The Duke Provost maintains a Restricted Regions List (“RRL”) which identifies areas outside the United States where the health, safety and security of travelers may be at elevated risk. GTAC advises the Provost on changes to the RRL
Undergraduate Students – Solo Travel
Duke Undergraduate Students are required to register travel outside of the United States with Duke Support at the Duke Travel Registry prior to departure.
If an Undergraduate Student wants to use Duke Support to travel to a location on the RRL, the Student must seek and obtain the permission of the Provost at least thirty (30) days prior to the planned departure date and, ideally, before committing Duke resources to the travel (e.g., booking flights). A student who is contemplating such a request must contact the Duke Travel Policy Administrator for assistance to seek approval from the Provost. The undergraduate student (guided by the Travel Policy Administrator) must file a petition with the GTAC that includes the following:
(A) The dates of travel and all location(s) the Student plans to visit, highlighting locations on the RRL.
(B) The activities the Student will be involved in at each location
(C) The Name and contact information organization(s) that might support the Student and an explanation of the support the organization will provide
(D) A statement from the student describing how the travel is beneficial, educationally or otherwise, and why the benefits warrant the risks of traveling to a location on the RRL. This statement should include consideration of alternative ways to obtain the same or similar benefits at another location that does not appear on the RRL, and any experience or knowledge the Student has that might help to mitigate risks while in the restricted region.
(D) Any supporting documentation or statements from others, including supporting organizations, supporters in the restricted region, Parents or Legal Guardians, or those who might be responsible for the Student’s safety while in the restricted region.
If the Provost approves the travel, Duke will condition it on the Student and a Parent or Legal Guardian signing a waiver and release and submitting it to the Travel Policy Administrator. The waiver and release may contain conditions and restrictions on when, where and how the Student will travel, and will inform the Student and Parent or Legal Guardian if the U.S. State Department has advised against travel to the region.
If an undergraduate Student using Duke Support fails to follow this Policy, the Provost may require the Student to return home at the expense of the Student, and may deny the application of academic credit or recognition of work completed based on the travel.
Undergraduate Students – travel planned by a Faculty sponsor
In instances where a Faculty sponsor desires to include for Undergraduate Students travel to a location on the RRL the sponsoring Faculty Member must seek permission from the Provost using the above Petition process at least thirty (30) days prior to the time the course or program is offered in written or online materials.
If Faculty sponsor fails to comply with this Policy, the Provost may compel the Faculty Member to bring the Students home at the expense of the Faculty Member’s department or unit.
Duke Graduate/Professional Students are required to register travel outside of the United States with Duke Support at the Duke Travel Registry prior to departure.
Duke encourages Graduate/Professional Students to weigh with care the benefits and risks of travel to a location on the RRL. Duke Support may be provided for such travel only if (a) the Graduate/Professional Student has registered the travel plans with the Duke Travel Registry in advance of travel; (b) the Graduate/Professional Student (and Parent or Legal Guardian, if the Student is under 21) has signed a waiver and release and submitted it to the Travel Policy Administrator. The applicable waiver and release will inform the Graduate/Professional Student if the U.S. State Department has advised against travel to the region.
If a Graduate/Professional Student fails to comply with this Policy, the Provost may compel the Student to return home at the expense of the Graduate/Professional Student, and may deny the application of academic credit or recognition of work completed based on the travel.
Duke will not require Faculty Members or Staff Members to travel to a location listed on the RRL unless travel to the location is included within the employee’s offer letter or job description. All other Duke Faculty Members and Staff Members are encouraged to weigh with care the benefits and risks of travel with Duke Support to a location on the RRL and may decline to travel to the location. Duke encourages Faculty Members and Staff Members who travel to register in the Duke Travel Registry in advance of travel, particularly if traveling to a location on the RRL.
Undergraduate Students: If the safety or security situation of a location on the RRL changes between the time a Petition is granted and the date an Undergraduate Student begins the travel, the Provost may revoke the approval or may require the Student and the Student’s Parent or Legal Guardian to sign a supplemental waiver reflecting the changed environment.
If Duke adds a region to the RRL while an Undergraduate Student is in the region, the Provost may require the Undergraduate Student to return early from the travel or to adjust the trip and move to a safer location.
Graduate/Professional Students: If Duke adds a region to the RRL while a Graduate/ Professional Student is in the region, the Provost will condition the Student’s continued stay at the existing location on the Student signing a waiver and release and submitting it to the Travel Policy Administrator or move to a safer (unrestricted) location. If a Student does not meet the requirement, the Provost may require the Graduate/Professional Student to return early at the Student’s expense.
Faculty and Staff: If a region is added to the RRL while a Faculty Member or Staff Member is in a newly added region, or if the safety or security situation in a location on the RRL changes after travel to the location on the RRL, the Provost may give the faculty or staff member the option to return early from the travel or to adjust the trip and move to a safer location. In addition, the faculty/staff may return from the assignment at the earliest possible safe opportunity.
Where a Duke Student, Faculty Member or Staff Member has to leave a location early due to safety or security concerns, including when travel has occurred in violation of this Policy, Duke will provide advice and logistical support in the departure.
Questions? Contact Christy Parrish, Travel Policy Administrator.