Update on university travel outside of Newfoundland and Labrador during COVID-19

Jul 28th, 2020

Memorial University

Update on university travel outside of Newfoundland and Labrador during COVID-19

Memorial University continues to actively monitor the evolving situation regarding COVID-19. Requests for university travel within and outside of Canada deemed essential for student academic progression, research purposes, and faculty and staff activities, will be supported with certain key elements in place (e.g. proof of health insurance coverage) in advance of the travel, and travel request approval from the dean or director of a unit.

Members of the university community planning essential university travel into the other Canadian provinces or internationally are asked to connect with their unit’s dean or director in advance. Travel restrictions continue in many provinces and countries, and in some cases other clearance for travel (e.g. government, airline) must be obtained. Details on NL travel restrictions are available on the provincial government and federal government websites. Worldwide information on travel restrictions is available here.

It is important to note that travellers will be required to follow public health protocol for self-isolating, upon arrival at their travel destination, and upon returning. Protocol varies among provinces and countries and it is up to the individual traveller to ensure in advance of travel that they understand and are prepared to abide by the requirements.

All non-essential university-related travel within and outside of Canada continues to be suspended.

Memorial’s definitions of essential university-related travel for students, faculty and researchers are outlined below.

Faculty, researchers, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and students with co-operative education placements performing essential work outside Newfoundland and Labrador must consult with their unit head before proceeding with travel.

What is essential research travel?

Essential travel for research at Memorial is defined as travel that must be completed in a timely manner and cannot be postponed without compromising health and safety of a researcher and research components (e.g. live research subjects).

What is essential student travel?

Essential travel for students is defined as travel for academic credit that is necessary to meet program requirements and cannot be postponed. Students in co-operative education programs must consult with their unit’s dean or department head to determine whether or not travel can take place without affecting the health and safety of the student.

Professional development opportunities, conferences and meetings are considered non-essential.

What is the process for essential university travel approval?

Inside Canada:

  1. Check with MCP and your health insurance company to ensure you will be covered for any illness including COVID19 in your destination province. 
  2. Review the requirements for self-isolation in your destination province. 
  3. Speak to your supervisor re: management of your workload and costs that may be incurred as a result of self-isolation requirements. 
  4. Complete a Travel Request form, adding supporting documents from steps 1 and 3. 
  5. Write a short cover letter explaining the essential nature of your travel. 
  6. Send package of four items – cover letter, Travel Request, confirmation of insurance and supervisor acknowledgement of self-isolation plans to your unit’s dean/director.

Outside Canada:

  1. Check with your travel health insurance provider to ensure you will be covered for any emergency or illness including COVID-19 in your destination country. 
  2. Review the requirements for self-isolation in your destination country. 
  3. Speak to your supervisor re: management of your workload and costs that may be incurred as a result of self-isolation requirements.
  4. Complete a Travel Request form, adding supporting documents from steps 1 and 3.
  5. Write a short cover letter explaining the essential nature of your travel, and your plans to address other destination country risks (see Travel Outside of Canada policy
  6. Send package of four items – cover letter, Travel Request, confirmation of insurance and supervisor acknowledgement of self-isolation plans to Sonja Knutson, chair of the Travel Outside of Canada Committee at sknutson@mun.ca. The committee will review the package, in consultation with the provost and vice-president (academic), to ensure you are adequately prepared to undertake the travel, and will forward the packet with this notice to the dean or director noted in your request. 

Many Memorial University employees are covered by SSQ, the university’s insurance provider. See the SSQ COVID-19 and travel bulletin here.

 

This news item has been updated to reflect the suspension of the Atlantic bubble. 

Contact

COVID-19

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000