Travel Restrictions Update - May 20

Chancellor Douglas A. Girod M.D.
Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 8:07 a.m.
KU Lawrence All Staff Faculty and Affiliates,All KU Lawrence and Edwards Students

Dear students, staff and faculty,

As state restrictions on travel and gatherings have eased, we have an opportunity to review the university’s recommendation on personal travel and restriction on university-sponsored travel enacted this spring. While COVID-19 remains a significant concern, it appears we, as a university community, may be able to resume some limited travel activities in accordance with state guidelines and by following appropriate personal and community safety precautions.

These new guidelines apply only to travel and should not be interpreted as blanket permission for any activities – such as field or clinical research, business or conferences – that may be planned at permitted destinations. Please work with appropriate unit leaders to obtain the necessary permissions that may be required for those activities.

On Monday, May 18, the State of Kansas moved to the next phase of its reopening plan. Lawrence and Edwards Campus staff, faculty and scholars who need to travel for essential work-related purposes may take part in selected outbound and inbound travel, provided individuals follow certain guidelines.

Most travel at this time is considered nonessential. Travel for conferences, professional development or speaking engagements, and other activities not under a person’s core job function is considered nonessential travel. Essential travel includes travel absolutely necessary to fulfill one’s core or primary job function and/or provide crucial support to the university, such as essential research or lab work. Any essential travel must be approved in advance.

Outbound Travel

University sponsored domestic travel may resume provided it is:

  • Domestic travel – no international destinations
  • Conducted via automobile – for ongoing concerns, no air travel will be considered at this time
  • To an area not listed as high-risk as determined by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment

Travelers must register their university travel plans in advance through the Shared Service Center form or through their unit’s travel request form. During travel, individuals will be expected to follow recommended personal protective actions such as social distancing and wearing face masks when in public settings. Upon their return, travelers who have visited high-risk areas – whether for personal reasons or for unapproved university related travel – will be expected to self-isolate and monitor their conditions in accordance with KDHE guidelines.

Inbound Travel

  • Domestic travelers coming to KU from a high-risk area as defined by KDHE are required to self-isolate for 14 days after arrival and before taking part in university activities or using university spaces. 
  • International travelers arriving from areas identified as Level 3 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or Level 4 by the U.S. Department of State are required to self-isolate for 14 days after arrival and before taking part in university activities or using university spaces. 

As campus operations begin to resume more fully, individuals will be expected to practice personal protective action such as social distancing, wearing face masks in public settings and appropriate PPE in laboratory settings. Visitors to KU must comply with KU rules for safety and protective actions. Non-essential travel to KU by visitors should be strongly discouraged until travel restrictions are eased further.

Personal Travel

Individuals are encouraged to minimize nonessential travel in keeping with State of Kansas guidelines. Essential travel includes that which is necessary for urgent and necessary family, medical, and personal business-related needs. Individuals will be expected to follow KDHE travel and quarantine guidelines for travel to high-risk areas.

Travel Registration Resources

As a matter of public health and safety it is important that all travel by members of the university community is registered in advance.

More Travel Updates Ahead

We appreciate your understanding and patience. We know these guidelines will change as pandemic conditions improve or decline. We will continue to monitor those conditions, state and federal travel recommendations and adherence to these guidelines and ensure you are informed as restrictions are further relaxed or need to be reinstated.

Thank you for your patience as we work to restore our activities more fully, but most importantly, thank you for following these guidelines and encouraging others to follow them as well. They are a critical step in our ability to rebuild our campus presence and offer a safer environment for all KU community members. Your observance of these standards is among our best defense against transmission.


Doug and Barb

Doug Girod

Barbara A. Bichelmeyer
Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor