University Policies

COVID-19 Guidance: University-Related & Personal Travel

Last Update: July 29, 2021

The purpose of this policy is to provide temporary guidance related to official University travel for the reasons of business, academic and all other purposes, as well as provide consultation for personal travel, during the COVID-19 pandemic. This policy does not supersede existing approval protocols related to University travel. Prior financial approval must be obtained through appropriate channels for any travel related to the business of Western Illinois University. Travel approval through WIU University Risk Management is not required.

Western Illinois University expects all members of the campus community to participate in the COVID-19 vaccination process. The greater the percentage of our campus community who are vaccinated, the more protected we all are and the more we can ease Protect the ‘Necks restrictions and return to normal operations.

Definition: Fully vaccinated is defined as taking any of the current FDA vaccine options – Pfizer (2 shots required- 21 days between shot 1 and shot 2), Moderna (2 shots required-28 days between shot 1 and shot 2), or the Johnson and Johnson (1 shot required), plus 14 days following the last shot. The University also acknowledges COVID-19 vaccinations that are recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO). Individuals who are fully vaccinated are required to still follow the protocols and procedures outlined by Western Illinois University.

This policy is in effect immediately and will remain in effect until Western Illinois University administration determines that travel restrictions are no longer required.


Business Travel:

Official University travel for business is defined as any travel that is funded, either partially or entirely, by the University, regardless of the account type used. Individuals should avoid areas with high numbers of reported COVID-19 cases. Travel must be conducted in full compliance with public health safety guidelines issued by Western Illinois University, the State of Illinois, and CDC guidelines based on modality and destination of travel. It is the responsibility of both the traveler and the approving department to ensure the travel is fully compliant.

The following University travel is deemed permissible:

  • Travel for the purpose of official university business.
  • Travel between the WIU Macomb and WIU Quad Cities campuses.
  • University business which involves visiting high school or other college facilities, so long as the visit complies with all protocols instituted by the entity being visited.
  • Travel for meetings at a partner business, so long as the visit complies with all protocols instituted by the business.
  • Intercollegiate Athletics teams travel is permissible under the guidelines and coordination from WIU and the NCAA, Missouri Valley Conference, and Summit League Conference.
  • Travel for the purpose of completing clinicals, student/block teaching, or an internship, so long as the visit complies with all protocols instituted by the entity being visited.
  • Travel for military service.

Workshop/Conference and Organization Travel:

The University understands the importance of professional development and extracurricular activities outside of the University. Members of the University wishing to participate in such experiences are allowed to as long as the following parameters are followed:

  • Traveling for the purpose of attending a conference or workshop as long as the attendee is fully vaccinated. Individuals who are fully vaccinated do not need to test or quarantine upon return, however, they should continue to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and subsequently isolate and get tested if symptoms develop. Individuals who are not vaccinated must quarantine for a period of 10 days upon return. Individuals can elect to test 3-5 days after travel and reduce their quarantine to 7 days with a negative test result.
  • Club Team and Organizations can travel as long as participants are fully vaccinated. Individuals who are fully vaccinated do not need to test or quarantine upon return, however, they should continue to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and subsequently isolate and get tested if symptoms develop. Individuals who are not vaccinated must quarantine for a period of 10 days upon return. Individuals can elect to test 3-5 days after travel and reduce their quarantine to 7 days with a negative test result. All travelers must adhere to the protocols instituted by the location they are traveling to.

Field Trip Travel:

The University understands the importance of outside classroom learning experiences and aims to support instructional based field trips with the following parameters being followed:

  • All Field Trip travel must be approved by the respective Department Chair.
  • The field trip has to be a supported course based trip.
  • When possible, it is recommended that trips be planned locally where participants involved can walk to the location or be facilitated in an outdoor setting/venue.

If essential business travel, workshop/conference travel, organization travel, or field trip travel is approved, the following guidelines are expected to be followed:

Domestic Travel:
  • Individuals should avoid/limit traveling by public or mass transit (air, train, bus, subway, rideshare services, etc.) to the best of their abilities.
  • Individuals who are fully vaccinated and utilize air transportation do not need to test or quarantine upon return, however, they should continue to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and subsequently isolate and get tested if symptoms develop.
  • Individuals who are not vaccinated and utilize air transportation must quarantine upon return for a period of 10 days. Individuals can elect to test 3-5 days after travel and reduce their quarantine to 7 days with a negative test result.
  • Vehicular travel must be done in a manner that minimizes the possibility of COVID-19 transmission. The following safety guidelines must be followed:
    • Occupants in the vehicle should maintain separation in the vehicle, if possible. This may be accomplished by facing the same direction, sitting in alternating rows in a vehicle, or by maintaining a zig-zag pattern of seat spacing.
    • Carpooling should be minimized and limited to fully vaccinated individuals only.
    • All occupants must have a face covering on (regardless of vaccination) for the duration of the trip, except when eating or drinking.
    • Occupancy in the vehicle cannot exceed 50% total ridership based on the number of seats in a vehicle:
      1. Passenger vehicle (including compact cars, SUVs, etc.) – i.e., if 5 seats, occupancy cannot exceed 2 people.
      2. Passenger van and high-capacity trucks – i.e., if 10 seats, occupancy cannot exceed 5 people.
      3. Shuttle bus – i.e., if 16 seats, occupancy cannot exceed 8 people.
    • Individuals should not travel if they are symptomatic.
    • Circulate air within the vehicle at all times, as possible given weather conditions. Open or partially open windows and use outside air for air conditioning.
    • Whenever possible, seek to minimize stops while traveling.
    • Individuals will be responsible for complying with all procedures and protocols instituted by the state/municipality/destination to which they are traveling.
International Travel:
  • All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board a flight to the United States.
  • After international travel, vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine but should test 3-5 days after travel.
  • After international travel, unvaccinated individuals are required to quarantine for a period of 10 days. Individuals should test 3-5 days after travel and reduce their quarantine to 7 days with a negative test result.

Personal Travel:

Personal travel is defined as travel not funded by the University.

  • The university urges the entire campus community to exercise all due care for personal domestic and international travel and to obtain full COVID-19 vaccination status prior to embarking on any travel. In conjunction with the Protect the ‘Necks Pledge, non-vaccinated individuals should limit non-essential personal travel in order to protect the University community.
  • The University strongly encourages avoiding/limiting public and mass transit such as train, bus, subway, taxis, rideshare services, etc...
  • WIU encourages employees and students to review the travel chart below to best decide how they should travel and/or guidance on the necessary precautions they should take while on their trip and the best way to return to campus following their travel.
  • Individuals who are vaccinated and utilize air transportation domestically do not need to test or quarantine upon return, however, they should continue to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and subsequently isolate and get tested if symptoms develop.
  • Individuals who are not vaccinated and utilize air transportation domestically must quarantine upon return for a period of 10 days. Individuals can elect to test 3-5 days after travel and reduce their quarantine to 7 days with a negative test result.
  • Individuals are encouraged to follow domestic travel guidelines provided by the CDC.
  • For individuals traveling internationally, individuals who are unvaccinated are required to quarantine for a period of 10 days. Testing is recommended on days 3-5 days after travel and individuals can then reduce their quarantine to 7 days with a negative test result. Individuals who are fully vaccinated are not required to quarantine but should test 3-5 days after travel.
  • The University encourages students, faculty, and staff to consult travel advisories issued by the CDC and US. Department of State when traveling.

Please review the travel chart below for guidance on the necessary precautions individuals should take while on their trip and the best way to return to campus following their travel.

Failure to Comply:
Failure to comply with the protocols set forth in this document may result in disciplinary action through Human Resources or student conduct processes. Disclosure of personal travel is not required; however, it is the expectation of Western Illinois University that all members of the University community will use sound judgement when making travel-related decisions.

Change to Policy:
Due to the fluidity of the COVID-19 pandemic, all procedures and processes outlined in this policy are subject to change.

Travel Method Required Quarantine Recommended University Guidance

Air Transportation
No

Air travel requires spending time in security lines and airport terminals, which can bring you in close contact with other people and frequently touched surfaces. Social distancing is difficult on crowded flights, and sitting within 6 feet of others, sometimes for hours, may increase your risk of getting COVID-19. It is recommended that if possible, direct flights are booked and that you follow all protocols instituted by the airline that you are flying with and exercise caution during your trip. Individuals who are fully vaccinated do not need to test or quarantine upon return, however, they should continue to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and subsequently isolate and get tested if symptoms develop. Individuals who are not vaccinated must quarantine upon return for a period of 10 days. Individuals can elect to test 3-5 days after travel and reduce their quarantine to 7 days with a negative test result.


Bus Transportation
No

Traveling on buses for any length of time can involve sitting or standing within 6 feet of others, which may increase your risk of getting COVID-19. It is recommended that that you follow the protocols instituted by the bus service you are traveling with. Individuals should wear a face covering at all times. You should avoid direct contact with other passengers, such as handshaking. If you are within 6ft of others on the bus, it is recommended that you wear your face covering at all times and monitor for symptoms as you return to campus.


Train Transportation
No

Traveling on trains and subways for any length of time can involve sitting or standing within 6 feet of others, which may increase your risk of getting COVID-19.  It is recommended that that you follow the protocols instituted by the train service you are traveling with. Individuals should wear a face covering at all times. You should avoid direct contact with other passengers. Individuals should avoid unnecessary trips to the restrooms or café cars during the trip. Monitor for symptoms as you return to campus.


Vehicular Transportation
No

If you are going to travel off-campus and out of the area, personal vehicular transportation is recommended. Making stops along the way for gas, food, or bathroom breaks can put you and your traveling companions in close contact with other people and frequently-touched surfaces, so it is recommended that you only stop when essential. It is recommended that you disinfect your vehicle frequently. Keep carpooling to a minimum and make sure distancing is done when you have other passenagers. Upon return to campus, individuals should monitor for symptoms.


Cruise Ship Transportation
No

It is recommended that all people defer travel on cruise ships, including river cruises, worldwide. Individuals who do decide to go utilize a cruise ship should follow all protocols instituted by the cruise line you are traveling with. Individuals who are fully vaccinated not need to test or quarantine upon return, however, they should continue to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and subsequently isolate and get tested if symptoms develop. Individuals who are not vaccinated must quarantine upon return for a period of 10 days. Individuals can elect to test 3-5 days after travel and reduce their quarantine to 7 days with a negative test result.


Ride Share Transportation
No

Just like public transportation, ridesharing can increase your chances of being exposed to the virus. It is important that your driver takes the necessary precautions to keep all passengers safe. You should avoid sharing with multiple individuals. Wearing a face covering is strongly recommended. When you are dropped off, you should disinfect or wash your hands immediately.

Am I... Recommended University Guidance

Am I traveling to or coming from a location where I will be in groups of people of more than 50?

It’s important to remember that the more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. Individuals should use caution when going to events and if applicable, inquire about what COVID-19 safety precautions are in place. Try to limit your time at the event and avoid direct contact. It’s important that you wash or disinfect your hands frequently, and social distance. A COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool is also available to review and determine the risk level of attending an event, given the event size and location. It’s strongly recommended that before returning to campus, you review carefully the event you attended and if you feel that there were not enough precautions enacted that you quarantine for 10 days.

Am I traveling to a location that has seen an increase in COVID-19 related cases over the last 7 days?

Individuals should be aware of the current COVID-19 case count in the location they are traveling to. Caseloads rise and fall each day based on the number of positive cases in a given location. Utilizing the Global Harvard Health Institute mapping system, it is recommended that you review this system to determine the severity of COVID-19 cases in location you are traveling to. The CDC also offers a travel planner guide to assist in travel decisions. Other metrics such as modality of travel, what activities you will be doing when there, the number of individuals you will be around, etc… should all contribute to your decision as to whether or not you should quarantine upon return to campus.

Am I traveling Internationally?

Individuals should avoid non-essential travel internationally. If travel is deemed essential, travelers should reference their international location via the CDC website for further information and guidance. It’s important that during your travel you take necessary precautions such as wearing a face covering at all times, frequent hand washing/disinfecting, and keeping socially distanced. After international travel, all unvaccinated individuals are required to quarantine for a period of 10 days. Individuals who are fully vaccinated can elect to test 3-5 days after travel and reduce their quarantine to 7 days with a negative test result. Individuals who are fully vaccinated, do not need to quarantine, but still should test on days 3-5.