Updates regarding Brown-sponsored summer travel

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Updates regarding Brown-sponsored summer travel


Shankar Prasad




June 25, 2020

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Although the response to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has decreased the spread of the virus in many regions, the potential health risks associated with travel within the U.S. and internationally continue. Brown’s Global Travel Risk Assessment Committee (GTRAC) continues to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on international and domestic travel, and both the CDC and the U.S. Department of State maintain their strictest travel advisory levels for global travel.

For these reasons, Brown is extending its travel restriction for all University-sponsored international and domestic travel through August 14. The health of our community is paramount, and we appreciate continued compliance with this updated policy.

As a reminder, the restriction on all University-sponsored international and domestic travel applies to all students, faculty and staff and includes all for-credit and non-credit travel such as summer study abroad (including Brown and non-Brown programs), internships/fellowships, research, business travel such as conferences and meetings, and any other activities that involve University-administered funds. These travel restrictions also apply to externally supported travel arising from or associated with employment at Brown. The University continues to strongly discourage personal travel as well.

We do recognize that not all University work, including vital research, can be conducted remotely. Under certain circumstances, if travel is confirmed as “essential,” the University will use discretion to determine whether this essential travel affiliated with Brown may be permitted. The review process will include an assessment by the GTRAC and approval by the traveler’s relevant senior administrator and the provost. For travel to be deemed essential, it must include at least one of the following conditions:

-- essential or time-sensitive research, defined as either non-deferrable or mission-critical research;

-- directly related to research of or support for the COVID-19 response;

--and/or mission-critical business within the U.S. or overseas that cannot be carried out through remote means or postponed.

Essential travel considerations do not apply to undergraduate, graduate or medical students; therefore, no exceptions to the travel restriction will be granted for students. Faculty or staff who wish to submit a travel plan for review may do so online via this form:


Please note that plans must be approved before any travel expenses are incurred.

If your essential travel is approved by your senior administrator and the provost, please be mindful that you also must comply with the guidance posted on the Rhode Island Department of Health website that pertains to those returning to Rhode Island from travel outside of the state either from abroad or domestically:


Finally, please note that this travel restriction is subject to change in accordance with shifts in government-mandated travel restrictions and nationwide health and safety conditions. Should the federal travel advisory levels downgrade and if global travel restrictions are subsequently relaxed to indicate that broader travel with precautions may resume, the University will reassess its policy at that time.

Shankar Prasad
Deputy Provost for Global Engagement and Strategic Initiatives


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