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COVID-19 Travel News & Alerts

Find new requirements, policy, and information related to Official University Travel including staff, faculty, students, and official guests of the University during the COVID-19 pandemic.

US Government & CDC Requirements

CDC requirements change rapidly due to the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We advise travelers to review the New CDC order & the CDC's FAQ page prior to making travel arrangements.   

Policy on Official University Travel

For travel dates from October 21, 2020 through April 8, 2021 the Form for Essential Travel is required.

In accordance to the Chancellor’s office, the Interim Travel Policy related to the Coronavirus Outbreak has been rescinded for travel dates starting on April 9, 2021.  All UC San Diego employees are directed to follow CDC guidance before, during, and upon return from travel. 

Travelers need to consult the Travel During COVID-19 Information Hub and take appropriate health precautions as recommended by public health authorities while traveling and upon their return to work. 

Travel Procedures

All travel must be preauthorized via Concur Request.  

Official University Travel must be booked through the UC San Diego travel system Concur.   All travelers must be registered for UC’s Traveler Insurance (automatic with a Concur booking.)

For travel between October 21, 2020 and April 8, 2021 travelers must submit requests for Official University Travel to their unit leaders (Travel Sponsors or supervisors). 

  • Academic Personnel: follow the process available on the Academic Personnel Services website. 
  • Staff: consult with their supervisors for unit-specific approval processes.
  • International Students: reference guidance posted by the International Students & Programs Office.

Unit leaders (supervisors or Travel Sponsors) must submit the Form for Essential Travel to the appropriate Vice Chancellor for approval and return to Traveler.

Travelers must attach documented approval to the trip request in Concur.

Reference:  UC San Diego Policy & Procedure Manual

Traveler Information

Employees may be uncomfortable returning to regular travel at this time due to family responsibilities or concern for their health. Supervisors are asked to consider an employee’s individual situation and comfort level and consider alternate modes of fulfilling duties that require travel. Until further notice, supervisors cannot require employees to travel. 

If you must travel on university business it is required to use Concur Travel. 

Manage Your Travel Bookings

Purchase Method Use of credits In Concur Traveler Reimbursement
Booked in Concur Travel and charged ticket directly to UCSD Airline reservations cannot be canceled online.* To cancel airfare and request credit, contact Balboa Travel directly to request COVID-19 cancelation wavier. In most cases, a credit can be used for travel within 12 months. Be sure to use your credit next time you travel for UC business. Create Travel Request & Travel Expense Report
Airline tickets/ credits must be charged to your dept. COA by completing your Travel Request and Travel Expense. When the ticket is used, cross-reference Request ID for recordkeeping.
N/A
Booked in Concur Travel but charged ticket to a personal card If the airline or travel provider does not issue a refund, all canceled travel booked through Concur Travel and canceled through Concur Travel normally will result in a travel credit, even for non-refundable fares. Create Travel Request and Travel Expense Report
Note: Follow instructions found under Traveler Reimbursement.
See Traveler Reimbursement and Attachment Instructions below.
Did not book in Concur Travel but registered for university travel insurance If the airline or travel provider refuses to issue a credit for travel to an international destination you may submit a claim for reimbursement up to $2,000 through the UC Travel Insurance Program. If claim is denied, or reimbursement exceeds coverage:
Create Travel Request and Travel Expense Report
Note: Follow instructions found under Traveler Reimbursement.
See Instructions on submitting a claim form through the UC Travel Insurance Program below. If applicable, Traveler Reimbursement and Attachment Instructions.
If the airline or travel provider does issue a credit and there are no upcoming travel needs within the next 12 months to use the credit, reimbursement can be requested by creating Travel Request and Travel Expense Report. Create Travel Request and Travel Expense Report
Note: Follow instructions found under Traveler Reimbursement.
See Traveler Reimbursement and Attachment Instructions below.
If the airline or travel provider refuses to issue a credit for travel to a domestic destination and it is not covered by the UC Travel Insurance Program, request reimbursement by creating Travel Request and Travel Expense Report. Create Travel Request and Travel Expense Report
Note: Follow instructions found under Traveler Reimbursement.
See Traveler Reimbursement and Attachment Instructions below.
Did not book travel using Concur and did not register for university travel insurance. If the airline or travel provider refuses to issue a credit you may request reimbursement by creating Travel Request and Travel Expense Report. Create Travel Request and Travel Expense Report
Note: Follow instructions found under Traveler Reimbursement.
See Traveler Reimbursement and Attachment Instructions below.
If the airline or travel provider does issue a credit and there are no upcoming travel needs within the next 12 months to use the credit, reimbursement can be requested. Create Travel Request and Travel Expense Report
Note: Follow instructions found under Traveler Reimbursement.
See Traveler Reimbursement and Attachment Instructions below.

*Southwest Airlines is currently accepting online cancelations.  If your ticket is with Southwest please use the Concur Travel SWABIZ option to manage your flight.

Cancelation fees:

  • International travel: For travel booked in Concur Travel or travel registered for insurance, submit the cancellation fee as part of your insurance claim.
  • Domestic travel: For travel booked outside of Concur Travel, include cancelation fees with the reimbursement request.
Other Travel Purchases
Conference registration fees: If a conference is canceled, most will automatically provide a full refund. If your conference did not cancel but is considered non-essential, or the traveler prefers not to attend, be sure to cancel directly with the conference to maximize the credit.
Reminder: It is the responsibility of the traveler to timely cancel all arrangements and ensure credit is received, when applicable.
Create Travel Request and Travel Expense Report
Receipt required.  Traveler statement attachment is not required for conference cancelation fees
Hotel deposits and
prepayments
For non-essential travel, or the traveler prefers not to attend, be sure to cancel directly with the hotel to maximize the credit.
Reminder: It is the responsibility of the traveler to timely cancel all arrangements and ensure credit is received, when applicable.
Create Travel Request and Travel Expense Report Receipt required. Traveler statement attachment is not required for hotel cancelation fees
Reminder: It is the responsibility of the traveler to timely cancel all travel arrangements (airfare, conference fees, hotel, etc.), and ensure maximum credit is received.

Traveler Reimbursement and Attachment Instructions

If the airline or travel provider issued a travel credit, in most cases it can be re-used for travel within 12 months. But, if the traveler does not have any other travel needs within the next 12 months in which the credit can be used, they can request reimbursement via Concur by submitting Travel Request and Travel Expense Report include the statement as described below as a required attachment:

Statement from the traveler (on university letterhead or via email) to include the following:  

  • The travel provider will only issue a credit not cash as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • If subsequently the credit is used prior to expiration, it will be used for UC Business and the traveler will not seek additional reimbursement  or if used for personal travel, they will reimburse UC San Diego
  • Approval from cognizant Dean or VC required on the statement. (Signature, docusign, or approval via email are all acceptable). Deans or VC should submit their own reimbursement requests to EVC office for approval.

Instructions on submitting a claim form for foreign travel through the UC Travel Insurance Program

If the airline or travel provider refused to issue a refund or a travel credit for travel to international destinations, travelers should submit their claim through the UC Travel Insurance Program.

  • You may submit a claim (for up to $2,000) through the UC Travel Insurance Program.
  • The claim form is available on the UCOP website.
  • You can submit a claim for airfare, hotel, cancellation fees, or conference registration for up to $2,000.  Once a claim is submitted, a determination will be made by the UC Insurance Carrier, Chubb, regarding what is covered. (If the amount you need to be reimbursed for is above $2,000, please see the section below on reimbursements above $2,000).
  • As part of your claim, please provide the following:
    • Documentation that you requested a refund and/or travel credit and denial from the service provider.
    • Whether you were traveling to one of the CDC Warning - Level 3 - Travel Notice countries OR
    • A detailed explanation of how the business activity was actually impacted or resulted in an effective cancellation as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19). For example, you were traveling for a symposium to a currently unaffected region and the organizer cancels the event because the key speakers from affected regions were unable to attend.
  • If expenses exceed $2,000
    • You may submit a reimbursement request for expenses that exceed $2,000.   
      • As part of your claim, attach all required receipts and include a copy of the insurance claim with all relevant supporting documentation.
      • Approval from cognizant Dean or VC required on the statement.  Refer to Travel Reimbursement and Attachment Instructions for details on the required employee statement.

To submit the claim form

  • Complete the claim form.
  • For travel booked via Concur Travel, or for trips registered for travel insurance, an email was sent to the traveler that includes links to an insurance card. Example:

    travel-covid-1.jpg
  • Claim form requires the policy number listed on your travel insurance card, found under “University of California”. See example, red box.

NOTE: The policy number and group ID for students is different than that of faculty/staff. Please be sure to use the correct policy number and group ID.

  • The policy holder is the traveler.
  • The program name is the description of the event you were traveling for (ex. Study Abroad 2020 or International Research Conference, etc.).
  • The group leader is usually not applicable and should be your name.
  • The date the incident occurred can be N/A.

References

Faculty, staff and students are instructed to avoid all non-essential, university-related travel to countries determined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to be of high risk for widespread and sustained community transmission of the virus. This would be countries that have COVID-19 Level 3 Travel Health Notices – China, Iran, Italy and South Korea – and COVID-19 Level 2 Travel Health Notices, which currently includes Japan.

FAQ

Q: Am I able to reconcile my trip before the original trip dates even though it was canceled?

A: Under normal circumstances reconciling a trip prior to the end date would not be allowed.  Given the recent circumstances it is best to change the date and reconcile the trip now.

Q: How do I reconcile a trip with Airfare booked through Concur Travel when we have received a credit from Balboa Travel for a future flight?

A: If Balboa Travel has provided an airfare credit for a future trip, please claim the trip for the original airfare, even if the amount was given back in the form of a credit. This credit will not have to be claimed when the traveler uses it in a future trip.

Q: How do I reconcile a trip with Airfare booked through Concur Travel when we have received a refund from Balboa Travel?

A: Refunded airfare will show up in Available Expenses in Concur. Please note that refunds may take 2-3 billing cycles.

 

Find answers, request services, or get help from our team at the UC San Diego Services & Support portal.