Travel Policies

Throughout the pandemic, Brown has assessed health, safety and security challenges across the world and updated its decisions on travel policy based on guidance from government and health agencies.

Since January 2020, Brown has continually monitored domestic and international travel risk and safety related to the COVID-19 pandemic informed by various travel advisories and public health authorities. These include, but are not limited to the U.S. Department of State (DOS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), International SOS, the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and other states’ health agencies, as well as Brown faculty and staff regional experts.

Brown continues to update its travel policies in light of the increased COVID-19 vaccination rates in the U.S. and the growing international availability of COVID-19 vaccines. Brown encourages all travelers on domestic and international travel to exercise caution and abide by relevant local and country health guidance. The current guidance outlined below relies on current public health information and may be revised as global travel advisories and conditions evolve and prompt shifts in Brown’s operations and protocols.

Undergraduate students should also visit:

Travel-related Guidance for Students

University-Sponsored International Travel

As of July 15, 2021, Brown has returned to its previously established policy for High-Risk and Restricted University-sponsored international travel, which is defined as travel outside the United States or outside U.S. territories. A summary of the policy is provided below, and more information about Brown’s international travel policy is available on the International Travel Risk Management website

  • Students: All students may travel to countries rated as U.S. DOS Level 1 or 2, and/or CDC Level 1, and/or CDC COVID-19 Level 1 and Level 2 as part of University-sponsored travel. No undergraduate, graduate or medical student will be permitted to conduct University-sponsored travel to any country that is categorized as Restricted Travel (U.S. DOS Level 4, or CDC Level 3, or CDC COVID-19 Level 4, and/or extreme security risk). Any undergraduate, graduate or medical student wishing to travel to a High-Risk Travel (U.S. DOS Level 3, or CDC Level 2, or CDC COVID-19 Level 3) destination and not traveling with a Brown-administered group program — e.g. through the Office of International Programs (OIP), Swearer Center, Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME), GELT/Wintersession, etc. — must complete a Safety Plan via TravelSafe and obtain permission from the Global Travel Risk Assessment Committee (GTRAC) prior to making travel arrangements. All students are required to register their travel plans in TravelSafe.
  • Faculty and Staff: All faculty and staff on University-sponsored travel (domestic and international) are required to register their travel plans in TravelSafe for the foreseeable future. Faculty and staff are not required to complete a Safety Plan but are encouraged to do so if they are traveling to a Restricted Travel (U.S. DOS Level 4, or CDC Level 3, or CDC COVID-19 Level 4, and/or extreme security risk) destination. 

Approved study abroad programs are exempt from this guidance, as they have separately gone through a rigorous site assessment and program review by the OIP and GTRAC taking into consideration guidance from U.S. agencies, in-country health conditions and public health experts, as well as readiness plans of each program, including housing, on-site staffing and partner organizations’ and universities’ protocols. 

Although vaccinated international travelers may experience eased restrictions, many countries continue to impose border entry restrictions, including mandatory quarantine and testing requirements. It is essential for all international travelers to review their destination travel requirements and remain apprised of U.S. re-entry guidelines. All members of the community should actively monitor the U.S. Department of State website, the CDC website and the International SOS pandemic website for updates (via login through Brown’s membership number: 11BSGC000031), as travel and entry restrictions continue to evolve and could change with little advance warning.

University-Sponsored Domestic Travel

As of May 26, 2021, the University has lifted its previous “essential travel only” mandate, easing restrictions on domestic University-sponsored travel. In addition, the University lifted undergraduate travel restrictions for individual students undertaking University-sponsored domestic travel. (Students should continue to consult the Travel-related guidance for students page for more information.)

Domestic travel is defined as travel to a destination within the United States or U.S. territories.

Travel for Field Research

Please note that if the purpose of travel is to carry out essential field research, the Justification and Safety Plan must first be approved by the Field Research Subcommittee. Details about field research approvals are available on the Resuming Research webpage.

Returning to Rhode Island after Travel

Any individual arriving from outside of Rhode Island (including domestic and international locations) must follow the current Rhode Island Department of Health guidelines, as applicable. More information can be found on the RIDOH website.

Personal Travel

As with University-sponsored travel, Brown continues to encourage all travelers on domestic and international personal travel to exercise caution and abide by relevant local and country health guidance. Travelers should continue to prepare for the possibility of local quarantines and fluctuating travel and domestic operations restrictions and/or testing requirements in some locations. The University is unable to support the health, safety, travel and academic needs of community members on personal travel.

Travel Registration and Other Resources

  • For the foreseeable future, Brown requires all members of the Brown community to register domestic and international University-related travel in Brown’s global travel registry, TravelSafe, via their Brown login. Registering will pre-authorize travelers on university-sponsored travel for International SOS, a 24/7 travel assistance, travel medical insurance and evacuation assistance resource. Registration enables all travelers to receive timely updates and advisories from International SOS sent directly to the registered traveler’s email. It can also assist the University in locating you and offering available support in the event of an emergency.
  • International students considering personal travel should contact the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (OISSS) for general travel and re-entry information.
  • All members of the community should actively monitor the U.S. Department of State website, the CDC website and the International SOS pandemic website for updates (via login through Brown’s membership number: 11BSGC000031); travel and entry restrictions continue to evolve and could change with little advance warning.

Last updated July 14, 2021. Information on this page may be updated as the University’s planning evolves and/or public health guidance prompts a shift in Brown’s operations and protocols.