COVID Considerations

COVID Considerations

Student international travel for university-related purposes is no longer restricted due to COVID-19 and has reverted back to the requirements established in the University Policy on Student International Travel. We expect all students to understand and abide by the policies and guidelines presented on this page; please read them carefully. Updates are made frequently and supersede previously presented information. Page content is current as of the date listed at the bottom of this page.

All students, including graduate students and GME residents and fellows, must complete an ISO education abroad program application or travel registration prior to departure. All student travel plans remain subject to review. Itineraries that involve travel to destinations with a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory of Level 3 or Level 4 or CDC Level 3 will require approval of a petition for an exemption to the University Policy on Student International Travel. See the ISO’s Travel Alerts, Notice, and Warnings Page for current University and US government advisories.

The University continues to monitor information on new variants and regional outbreaks of COVID-19 generally. National entry and exit requirements can change quickly. Travelers should confirm entry requirements for their destination before their departure date and make sure they have the most up-to-date requirements for re-entering the U.S.

Information by Type of Travel

Education Abroad Programs

Be aware that, given the fluid nature of COVID-related conditions, additional provisions may be implemented that would be required for education abroad participation. These could include new or amended application materials, additional actions to be taken prior to departure or while in-country, and/or limitations on independent travel or other activity while in-country. Failure to adhere to regulations may result in the rescinding of approval or admission, and dismissal from the program. 

Applicants assume risk for lost deposits/travel expenses/academic credit in the event that plans change; review the Withdrawal, Cancellation, and Refund Policy for details. The ISO recommends that travelers consider trip insurance that can be tapped in the event that travel to or from the education abroad destination is interrupted or in the event that cancellation or a change in itinerary is required. 

Student International Travel Registries

Undergraduate Students, Graduate Students, and GME Trainees traveling for university-related purposes outside a study abroad program must complete a Travel Registration prior to departure. Registration includes insurance enrollment and a “COVID Plan” addressing border or quarantine requirements for your itinerary. Registrations are reviewed for completion, and travelers will receive an email confirmation once all requirements have been met.

Itineraries that involve student travel to destinations with a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory of Level 3 or Level 4 or CDC Level 3 require approval of a petition for an exemption to the University Policy on Student International Travel. Instructions and forms for submitting a petition are integrated into the registration.  See the ISO’s Travel Alerts, Notice, and Warnings Page for current US government advisories.

The ISO recommends that travelers consider trip insurance that can be tapped in the event that travel to or from the education abroad destination is interrupted or in the event that cancellation or a change in itinerary is required. 

Vaccination & Booster Guidance: All Travelers

The CDC recommends all US travelers be fully vaccinated and up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines prior to departure.

Travelers should not expect to have access to boosters or primary vaccinations abroad, and many countries have or are expected to adjust their vaccine requirements to include a booster. Individuals may not be considered "up to date" or “fully vaccinated” without a booster, which may limit access to public transportation, classrooms and campus facilities, shops, restaurants, and other amenities. Many countries and programs require full vaccination and booster for entry or participation. See the CDC booster guidance for details about getting a booster in the US.

Paper Card

The ISO recommends that you continue to travel with your COVID vaccination card in the event that it is required or requirements change. Treat your card with care, as you would a driver’s license, passport, or credit card. 

Take a picture of your vaccination card and store it on your phone. Make paper copies just like for your passport: leave one copy at home, and keep one with you in a secure place away from the original while you travel. Here are some additional tips on keeping your vaccine card safe.

If you lose your COVID vaccination card, the CDC provides instructions for who to contact to try to secure a replacement (scroll down to, “If you have lost your vaccination card…”). If you were vaccinated by UVA, you can use this form to request a replacement

Electronic Records

Approved format(s) for proof of vaccination may vary. Therefore, we recommend that travelers take steps now to obtain their state-held electronic record while safeguarding their white CDC vaccine card provided on vaccination.

The CDC maintains a list of state immunization record services, including the Virginia Department of Health’s Division of Immunization, which houses the Virginia Immunization Information System (VIIS).

Any student who is vaccinated in Virginia will, regardless of residency (Virginian or non-Virginian), have a record of the vaccination with VIIS. Click the link on the Division of Immunization page to complete the record request. Non-Virginians who did not receive their vaccines in Virginia should follow the instructions for their state’s record service to request their records. Most doctors are able (and expected to) enter immunization records in their state database.  Any student who has trouble with their records can try contacting their primary care provider for help in getting a vaccination recorded in their state’s system. 


Guidance continues to change rapidly, so continue to refer back to this page, and to guidance from your program provider, host country, airline, the CDC, and other resources.

Students with questions, please contact your Education Abroad Advisor (education abroad programs) or hoosabroad@virginia.edu (research or other non-program activity).
 

Last edited Thursday, October 13, 2022. Updates are made frequently and supersede previously presented information; page content is current as of the date listed here.