Guidance on international travel during the 2021–2022 winter recess

UW–Madison students and employees should be aware that the university continues to closely monitor evolving conditions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reports of the newly identified Omicron variant have made global travel conditions even more uncertain. Many countries have restricted entry by air and ground due to this news, while awaiting more definitive information on the variant’s risks.

We strongly encourage UW–Madison students, faculty, and staff to reconsider non-essential personal or business travel outside of the United States unless you have the flexibility to remain in place at your destination for the foreseeable future without impact on personal and professional obligations. Travel may be interrupted by rapidly declared restrictions and require quarantine and rebooked commercial airline tickets at great personal expense. You may be unable to reenter the United States in time to begin the spring semester as planned.

Global travel restrictions are likely to change in the coming weeks, so you are highly encouraged to monitor conditions and guidance both before and throughout any travel. Each U.S. embassy website offers a COVID-19 page, and this is a strong starting place to access updated information. Although each embassy’s webpage is specific to traveling U.S. citizens and permanent residents, it will provide good information for others as well. Reviewing the destination country’s foreign ministry website and reviewing its many COVID-19 related links is also highly advised.

Remember, most international health and medical insurance policies, including UW–Madison’s own CISI policy, do NOT cover security evacuation due to epidemic or pandemic disease, unless the enrolled traveler is seriously ill and requires medical evacuation. Under CISI, all medical benefits due to disease or injury remain intact.

UW–Madison continues to actively monitor the potential impact of the Omicron variant on our community as well as that of the COVID-19 pandemic more generally.