COVID-19 Advice and Resources

Texas Global Risk and Safety advises every UT Austin student and employee traveling internationally to prepare for their experience abroad by researching local conditions, entry requirements, and available health and safety resources for their host destination. Travelers should also adhere to guidelines issued by health authorities to help mitigate the risk of COVID-19 infection and transmission.

To Consider When Deciding to Go Abroad

As you explore options for international travel in a time of COVID-19, research potential destinations and programs to make a safe and informed decision.

All travelers:

  • Visit the On Call Plan Information Portal (enter UT Group ID 100143CPPD21) to access the Destination Intelligence link to review Global Risk Intelligence COVID-19 Incident Briefs and other useful information for location-specific conditions and risk levels.
  • Review information posted by the local U.S. Embassy to identify quarantine policies to assess potential impact on your travel (e.g. duration, expenses).

Education Abroad students:

  • Ask key questions of your provider or partner institution:
    • What is your protocol if there is a COVID-19 outbreak?
    • Is housing provided for me if I need to quarantine?
    • Can I complete coursework online if I’m required to quarantine?

Faculty program leaders:

  • Consider access to medical care and quarantine housing options when deciding program location.
  • Ask key questions of the program provider, if applicable:
    • What is your protocol if there is an COVID-19 outbreak?
    • Do you have enough support staff to assist with group management if I contract COVID-19?

Before You Go

  • Make a plan for managing your health and dealing with unexpected events while abroad. Direct specific questions to your health care provider.
  • Familiarize yourself with UT’s Overseas Insurance plan, including COVID-19 coverage.
  • Purchase refundable airline tickets without change fees.
  • Research the pandemic’s impact on your destination.
  • Be aware of the entry requirements for your host country:
    • Is a negative COVID-19 test required? How recent does that test need to be?
    • Will you be required to quarantine upon arrival? For how long?
    • Non-U.S. citizens: Are there entry restrictions specific to travelers from your host country? What are the requirements for re-entry into the U.S.?
  • Enroll in the free Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive safety alerts/updates regarding travel restrictions from the local U.S. Embassy.
    • Non-U.S. citizens should enroll in an equivalent program for your home country.
  • Monitor your health and get tested if you exhibit any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If you test positive shortly before your planned departure:
    • All travelers: Contact your airline to reschedule your flight based on your host country’s entry requirements.
    • Study abroad students: Contact your program coordinator or affiliate provider to determine how to proceed.
    • Faculty program leaders: Notify Education Abroad and your program co-leaders and support staff to adjust the itinerary and travel details.

Getting There: Travel Safety Advice

The following steps can help you to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 and other easily transmissible illnesses when flying:

  • Check-in online to minimize time spent in line.
  • Maintain social distancing when possible.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask that covers your nose and mouth.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Use cashless payment options when available.
  • Direct airplane air blowers on you for a steady stream of purified air.
  • Clean your hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer that is 60% alcohol or more (view the TSA’s hand sanitizer carry-on policy).
  • Use disinfectant wipes (at least 70% alcohol) to wipe surfaces.
  • Remain in your seat when possible to minimize movement in the cabin.
  • Consider bringing your own food and beverages (as allowed by TSA and airlines).

When You Arrive

Entry requirements and procedures for arriving travelers vary by country. Depending on the location, you might be asked to:

  • Quarantine for up to 14 days upon arrival, possibly at your expense and/or in a government-mandated facility.
  • Provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result. Research the types of tests and the timing and documentation of a negative test required by your host country.
  • Provide proof of vaccination status for initial entry into the country and/or for access to public buildings, private businesses or local transportation. Research what your host country requires to be considered fully vaccinated, including timing of booster shots.
  • Download an app to periodically report your health.
  • Provide local health authorities with your contact details and travel plans.

Requirements and procedures can change rapidly. Check the local U.S. Embassy and your host country’s official COVID-19 website for the latest policies. Contact On Call International if you have questions.

While You’re Abroad

If you feel sick, contact On Call International immediately. They can assist with scheduling medical appointments for testing and treatment, and with coordinating quarantine accommodations if required. (Visit the Overseas Insurance page for details regarding COVID-19 coverage.)

In addition to adhering to general health and safety tips, research the potential impact of COVID-19 to daily life in your community abroad. This may include:

  • Changes to business operations (e.g. entry requirements such as masks or proof of vaccination, reduced open hours)
  • Government issued curfews or restrictions on personal movements and activities
  • Mandatory testing requirements
  • Isolation and quarantine requirements for those who test positive
  • Mask requirements
  • Restrictions on group gatherings

Monitor the latest policies and guidelines published by the local U.S. Embassy and on official COVID-19 websites for your host country.

If you plan to travel outside of your host country, be sure to review entry policies for all destinations and ensure you understand requirements for reentry to your host country.

UT Austin expects all travelers to follow guidelines set forth by local governments, public health authorities, and institutional partners.

When You Return

Monitor your health and consider how to mitigate risk to your community upon your return. We recommend following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Contact your personal healthcare provider or call the UHS Nurse Advice Line at 512-475-6877 if you develop symptoms of COVID-19.