For travellers

Restrictions lifting for university-related travel outside of Canada

Effective Feb. 28, 2022, the Government of Canada will no longer recommend that Canadians avoid travel for non-essential purposes.

As a result of this announcement, Memorial has lifted its international travel restrictions effective Feb. 28. This means that all approved university-related travel for faculty, students and staff can proceed after the restrictions are lifted.

Members of the university community can proceed with making plans and expenditures for both essential and non-essential university-related travel outside Canada, following the guidelines outlined in Memorial’s Travel Outside of Canada Policy.

Uncertainty remains around international travel, and while Memorial no longer requires students, staff and faculty to book fully refundable travel, proof of appropriate travel cancellation insurance for those who make non-refundable purchases will be required.

Travellers will be required to complete the pre-departure session available through the Internationalization Office and must confirm that they carry travel health insurance covering COVID-19 related expenses. The Travel Registry Form, available here, must also be completed prior to travel. Employees should also follow the General Travel Policy, ensuring their unit head is aware of their travel.

Travelers should understand that risks associated with international travel are still high given the high incidence of the Omicron variant, and take necessary precautions. This includes reviewing potential restrictions on incoming travel at your destination and reviewing travel insurance documentation for COVID-19 related updates. For employees, travel insurance is covered by SSQ Travel Health Insurance.

Individuals with scenario-specific questions related to the resumption of international travel can contact

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 international university travel approval?

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.
Review the requirements for self-isolation in your destination country.
Speak to your supervisor re: management of your workload and costs that may be incurred as a result of self-isolation requirements.
Complete a Travel Request form, adding supporting documents from steps 1 and 3.
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)
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 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.

Important considerations:

  • There may be restrictions on incoming travel at your destination. It is the responsibility of the individual to be aware of and abide by any such restrictions. This may include a mandatory hotel stopover or quarantine.
  • SSQ Travel Health Insurance for employees has issued a number of updates related to COVID-19. It is your responsibility to review these updates and understand what is, and is not, covered. Visit this site for all updates related to group insurance.

Contact information



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