Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to common questions regarding COVID-19 and OSU's response. Questions and answers are updated frequently, so check back often for more information.

U.S. and international travel restrictions remain largely in place and may change without notice. We encourage travelers to reconsider non-essential travel. For those who must travel, we encourage travelers to monitor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention travel restrictions and the U.S. Department of State warning levels for COVID-19 risk when making decisions about travel. Travelers should follow these precautions and advice:

  • Review required & recommended travel documentation on the OIS website.
  • Centers for Disease Control does not have a testing requirement for outbound travelers, but recommends that travelers get tested with a viral test (NAAT or antigen) one to three days before traveling internationally. However, travelers should check with international destinations for country-specific entry requirements. Testing information and options are available at Student Health Services .
  • For international students inside the U.S., check with your home country embassy in the U.S. or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your home country.
  • For international students outside the U.S, check with your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate for more information if you need to renew your visa to return to the U.S. If your current visa is still valid, you do not need to get a new one.
  • Check with airlines and avoid layovers and transfers when possible.
  • International students should consult with an international student advisor if  experiencing issues with departure plans.


Last updated: January 27, 2021

U.S. and international travel restrictions remain largely in place and may change without notice. We encourage travelers to monitor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention travel restrictions and the U.S. Department of State warning levels for COVID-19 risk when making decisions about travel.

There is ongoing transmission of novel coronavirus within the United States and in countries throughout the world. Effective Jan. 26, 2021, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will require all air passengers 2 years of age or older entering the United States (including U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents) to present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within three calendar days of departure or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days​. Airlines are required to confirm the negative test result or proof of recovery for all passengers 2 years of age and older prior to boarding. ​Airlines will deny boarding of passengers who do not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery. More information on the new requirements for a COVID-19 test or recovery for all air passengers arriving in the US is available here.

As a precaution, because you may have been exposed during your travels (domestic or international) please follow the CDC After You Travel guidance to keep your destination community safe. If you get sick with fever, cough, or other symptoms of COVID-19, call Student Health Services (SHS) or a local medical clinic for further guidance before you visit the clinic.

Last updated: January 27, 2021

Restrictions on entering the U.S. for international travelers due to COVID-19 can be found on the CDC website and include:

  • No entry to any foreign nationals who have been in mainland China, Iran, Brazil and other specified European countries within the previous 14 days prior to their arrival to the U.S.
  • The specified European countries are:
    • European Schengen area: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City.
    • United Kingdom: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
    • Republic of Ireland
  • South Africa is a recent addition as of Jan. 26
  • This prohibition does not apply to U.S. citizens and permanent residents and other individuals who are identified in the presidential proclamation.  

The duration of the travel restrictions is currently unknown. For all international travel, be aware that countries are implementing both international and internal movement restrictions, enforcing curfews, and commercial air travel options may be limited in certain places. The best resources for inquiries about flight availability are the individual air carriers serving each specific country.

If you decide to travel, be prepared, understand the risks and be advised that you might not be able to return to the U.S. for an unknown period, your trip could be disrupted or you may be quarantined upon your return. OSU is continually monitoring the travel restrictions; please contact the Office of International Services for the most up-to-date information.

Last updated: January 27, 2021

Until further notice, all non-essential domestic and international OSU-sponsored travel remains suspended. The process for requesting exceptions is addressed in a separate question.

For domestic travel, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown indicates that it is essential for the health, safety and welfare of the state of Oregon during the ongoing state of emergency that individuals continue to stay at or near their home or place of residence when possible. Please check the Oregon Health Authority and Office of the Governor for the most current guidance and restrictions in Oregon. Here are considerations for domestic travelers from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). We further encourage travelers to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation while away.

For international travel, OSU remains under a travel suspension, which applies regardless of the CDC Notice or State Department Advisory Level. When the OSU travel suspension is revised or lifted, considerations will be made according to the OSU International Travel Policy, the then-current CDC and State notices and advisories, as well as changing pandemic-related travel conditions. 

We are very much looking forward to resuming international travel as soon as conditions allow. Please contact the OSU Office of Global Opportunities (OSUGO) for the most current information on the status of study abroad programs and international travel destinations, new virtual options, or to petition for an exemption to the travel suspension.

Please also be aware that countries are implementing various international and internal movement restrictions and enforcing curfews, which could significantly limit your ability to travel freely during the pandemic.

Commercial air travel options can be very limited to and from certain locations. The best resources for inquiries about flight availability are individual air carriers serving each country or a private travel agency.

Please follow these standard precautions whether traveling domestically or internationally:

CDC Testing and International Air Travel Recommendations

  • Travelers should get a viral test 1-3 days before and 2–5 days after their flight. (Wait for your test results to come back before you travel. If your test result is positive, immediately isolate yourself and follow public health recommendations. Do not travel if your test result is positive.)
  • A negative test does not mean that you were not exposed or that you will not develop COVID-19.
  • Make sure to wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet from others, wash your hands, and watch your health for signs of illness while traveling.
  • Keep a copy of your test results with you during travel. Airport, airline, or other authorities may ask you for them.
  • Get tested 2–5 days after your flight, and stay home for 14 days after returning from your trip.
  • Watch for symptoms for a full 14 days after travel, immediately isolate yourself if you develop symptoms, and follow public health recommendations.
  • In addition to testing, take steps to limit exposures and avoid higher-risk activities for 14 days before your trip. All travelers with a known exposure to COVID-19 should quarantine, delay travel for 14 days after exposure, test themselves, and monitor their health.
  • Regardless of where you traveled or what you did during your trip, take these everyday actions to protect others from getting COVID-19:
    • Stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who did not travel with you. It is important to do this everywhere -- both indoors and outdoors.
    • Wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered when you are in shared spaces, outside of your home, including when using public transportation.
    • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
    • Watch your health: Look for symptoms of COVID-19, and take your temperature if you feel sick.
    • Follow all state, territorial, tribal, and local recommendations or requirements after travel.

While Traveling

  • Travel with a full supply of any regular medications. Prescription medications should always be packaged in original containers.
  • Travel with all key documents, including health insurance, passport and official identification.
  • Keep cell phones charged and operational; check email daily; consider getting an extra battery or power bank.
  • If you develop symptoms, call your insurance provider, the local health care facility, hotline or national emergency number to seek medical advice. Follow the procedure for your location. When travelling to a medical facility, consider wearing a mask, using private transport and avoiding close contact with others as much as possible.
  • Continue to stay informed about your travel destinations by checking the U.S. State Department and U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) websites; registering for the STEP Program or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country of citizenship; monitoring local news; and consulting with your international insurance provider.
  • Follow the directives of local authorities at both the national and municipal level.
  • Be prepared to remain in one location for up to 14 days.
  • Communicate with OSU while traveling through the International Health, Safety, and Travel Coordinator (Samuel Gras)

Travel Health Precautions

  • Wash hands thoroughly and often for 20 seconds or more with soap, or use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
  • Practice Social Distancing: avoid enclosed crowded places, keep six-ten feet (2-3 meters) away from others or wear a mask.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces like phone, keyboard, doorknobs, desks, tablets.
  • Cover if cough and sneeze into elbow or tissue; throw tissue away.
  • Get adequate sleep, eat well-balanced meals, stay hydrated with water and electrolytes, use high-quality vitamins to support a healthy immune system.
  • Avoid touching mouth, eyes, and nose until after washing hands with soap and water.

U.S. Inbound international Travel

Updated Jan. 25, 2021

Until further notice, all non-essential domestic and international OSU-travel remains suspended.

Current locations with restrictions on entering the U.S. from international travel can be found in the White House Proclamation and at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

For information about travel restrictions between Canada, Mexico and the USA, please reference the Department of Homeland Security Fact Sheet.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance for those returning to the U.S. from abroad can be found at CDC After Travel Precautions.

  •  Those arriving to Oregon from all locations should:
    • Monitor their health and practice social distancing.
    • If they get sick with a fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough, or have trouble breathing:
      • Seek medical advice from insurance, personal doctor, or student health. Call ahead before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
      • Tell health professional about recent travel and symptoms.
      • Avoid close contact with others.
      • Do not travel while sick.
Last updated: January 25, 2021

Yes, we continue to recommend that all OSU personnel postpone booking future OSU-sponsored travel until the non-essential travel suspension is lifted.

Last updated: July 8, 2020

These may be granted by the appropriate dean, vice provost or vice president. Exceptions should be rare, and requests should weigh the relative risks of travel against the potential serious disruption to research or university programs. Examples of essential travel may include:

  • Travel required to fulfill contractual agreements and that may not be canceled or postponed under the terms of those agreements;
  • Field work-related travel with seasonal or other particular constraints;
  • Travel—generally by automobile—between university locations that is essential to maintain business continuity or to carry out university research, teaching, engagement, operational or leadership activities. In these cases, we ask travelers to sanitize their vehicles, especially motor pool or other shared vehicles; manage occupancy to maximize social distancing; avoid overnight stays; and limit use of hotels or other public spaces when possible.
Last updated: July 10, 2020

Exceptions to OSU’s travel suspension may be granted by the relevant dean, vice provost or vice president.

Last updated: March 23, 2020

Only if there is documentation of approval by a dean, vice provosts or vice presidents. Emails are sufficient.

Last updated: March 23, 2020

Currently, in the event a credit is issued back in the traveler's name, the contracted agency and our central office coordinates with the individual and/or department to see if the unused ticket credit can be used for a future travel date.  However, under the current circumstances we are examining whether there may be more flexibility with the university's contracted travel agency to provide alterative options.

Last updated: March 25, 2020