University of Alberta COVID-19 Travel Directive

Originally posted: March 7, 2020

Updated: September 1, 2020 (Note: No change to core principles/processes) 

For all university employees and students

The aim of this directive is to protect the health, safety, and wellness of our university and greater Alberta communities while helping ensure continuity of university operations.


Travel restrictions

Travel outside Canada by staff, faculty and students on university business remains suspended based on Global Affairs Canada’s ongoing advisory to avoid all non-essential travel outside the country. Staff, faculty and students currently abroad and planning to return to the university must follow all federal and provincial health and safety orders when re-entering the country.

Travel outside Alberta but within Canada is also suspended unless the travel is considered vital to the academic mission of the university. If you are uncertain or require advice about this requirement, please discuss with your supervisor (i.e. director, chair, and/or dean).

Please be reminded that no member of the community is expected to travel on behalf of the university if they are not comfortable doing so, even when it could be considered vital to the academic mission of the university.

Exceptions for international study

The following education abroad activities are permitted:

  • International students and permanent residents of Canada who are back in their home countries or would like to return to their home country and would like to participate in programming in their home country.
  • Canadian citizens who in March elected to remain on their education abroad program and are seeking to participate in additional programs in their current host country.

For more information about studying abroad, visit the U of A International Centre COVID-19 travel policies webpage

Registering travel with the university

All employees and students travelling outside the province of Alberta on university business must register their travel plans in the UGo Travel Registry

Before booking or embarking on travel outside the province of Alberta, all members of the university community are strongly encouraged to evaluate all associated risks, which may include the risk of becoming ill, falling under the restrictions of a foreign government, or forfeiting trip cancellation or medical coverage. 

Staff, faculty and students who return to the university after being abroad must follow all federal and provincial health and safety orders when re-entering the country.

Travel insurance

Whether your travel is work related or personal, if you are travelling outside of Alberta you should always check your coverage to ensure there are no exclusions that might include pandemic, epidemics, infectious/communicable diseases and/or travel advisories that will void your travel medical coverage.

Travellers should also be aware that the Canadian Government has advised that no repatriation is available for Canadians who choose to travel outside the country during a global travel advisory.


Risk of infection from air travel

Staff, faculty and students who return to the university after air travel from any point should check government sources for information about flights with confirmed cases of COVID-19. If the traveller was seated in one of the listed rows they must follow provincial laws regarding self-isolation (see Passengers on flights with confirmed cases on this page).


Visitors to University of Alberta campuses

All visitors and contractors are expected to take all reasonable precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to members of the University of Alberta community, including the precautions described above.

If a member of the university community has plans to host visitors to any University of Alberta campus, they are required to assess the risk of exposing the community to COVID-19. This includes confirming that any visitors who are arriving from an international or domestic destination have followed the federal and provincial health and safety orders when entering the country and province.