University Limits Travel through Spring 2021:
Given the continuing risk associated with the disease caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States and around the world, the prohibition on all university international and non-essential domestic travel [excluding the DMV (District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia)] will remain in place until further notice in accordance with University Policy 1134, University-Sponsored or University-Related International Travel. This precaution remains in effect regardless of the funding source. If travel is approved by a Department Head, an exception can be requested and will be evaluated by UTAC for approval based on the following set of considerations:
- No restrictions on entry/exit to destination
- The current country or state specific health and safety information related infection rate
- The potential risk to personal health and safety of traveler and Mason community (possible quarantine upon return)
- Availability of common carrier and lodging
- Mason’s ability to assist in a return to the United States in emergency circumstances
- The potential benefit of travel with regard to the Mason’s mission
- The necessity of the travel in order to achieve the anticipated benefit
International Travel: UTAC has suspended all international travel through the end of spring semester, with the exception of travel to South Korea.
If you require an exception for international travel, please submit an Application for Travel to Hazardous Areas to firstname.lastname@example.org for review and approval. Travel must be approved by Department Head prior to submitting application. Applications should be submitted as soon as travel is anticipated (at a minimum 3 business days before travel starts) but no more than 30 days in advance.
Domestic Travel: If you require an exception for domestic travel, please submit an Application for Domestic Travel to email@example.com for review and approval. Travel must be approved by Department Head prior to submitting application. Applications should be submitted as soon as travel is anticipated (at a minimum 3 business days before travel starts) but no more than 30 days in advance.
Non-Mason Travel: Take this guidance into account when considering non-essential personal travel. Check state and territorial health department websites for the latest information and any quarantine requirements.
If you travel internationally, returning to the United States could be difficult. In addition to following state and local recommendations, the Centers for Disease Control recommends maintaining physical distancing, wearing a mask, frequent hand washing, and monitoring yourself for symptoms upon you return. You and your travel companions can pose a risk to family, friends, and the community for 14 days after exposure to the virus, even if you have no symptoms.
George Mason University is committed to developing a wide variety of international study, research and work opportunities for faculty, staff and students; however, the university recognizes that there are situations in which safety and security issues may outweigh the advantages of exposure to international experiences. The safety and security of Mason students and personnel abroad is of the upmost importance. George Mason University closely monitors the security issues and the U.S. Department of State’s and Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) travel advisories and warnings. In order to ensure faculty, staff and students, working or travelling abroad on official university business or coursework, make informed and wise decisions the following resources are being provided below.
University Policy 1134,University-Sponsored or University-Related International Travel governs all international travel sponsored by the university and establishes a process for registering such travel. All faculty, staff and students, as well as participants in university-sponsored programs are governed by the policy.
Travel Abroad Resources
U.S. Department of State :
The U.S. Department of State has a variety of resources designed to inform travelers of potential risks, provide country specific information including travel advisories, and offer pre-travel information and guidance. Students traveling abroad will also benefit from visiting the Department of State’s Students Abroad webpage. Consular Information Sheets, Public Announcements, and Travel Advisories are vital parts of planning travel abroad and can all be obtained by visiting the U.S. Department of State website.
Center for Disease Control (CDC) continuously tracks infectious disease situations around the world and issues public alerts against travel to particulate location subject to outbreaks of particular infectious disease or in recommendation of specific health precautions to residents and travelers in an impacted region.
Additional resources have been collected and are available on Mason’s International Travel Website. Additional information regarding the insurance coverage is available on Risk Management’s International Emergency Insurance webpage.
- Liability: The Commonwealth’s Risk Management Plan has worldwide application and covers faculty and staff for acts of job-related negligence (including professional malpractice). Student employees and students enrolled in internships that require their presence overseas are also covered. In the event there is a probability of a liability claim, the Office of Risk Management (6D6) (703-993-2599) should be notified as soon as feasible.
- Property: All Mason property is insured at replacement value for accidental loss or damage, less a $1,000 deductible that is paid by the department. A claim must include documentation that: (1) Proves its original possession by Mason, (2) Proves accidental loss or damage, and (3) Shows the purchase of the replacement item or the restoration of the item to its previous state. If the item is upgraded, the difference in cost is born by the department. Third party property that is on loan to Mason is also covered by our insurance.
- Travel Insurance, including emergency services: All persons participating in international educational travel must purchase the University’s international travel insurance coverage for the duration of the travel experience. Students will be enrolled in the coverage plan while registering their trip in the Global Education Office’s System. Faculty must complete the International Emergency Insurance Registration Form in order to receive an insurance card and policy information.
- Medical Coverage: Medical Insurance carried by most full-time faculty and staff is usually applicable overseas; however each traveler should confirm this with their individual carrier. Students should also check with their health insurance provider to confirm their coverage extends overseas.
- Workers’ Compensation: Workers’ Compensation (703-993-2600) is insurance that covers University employees who suffer a work-related illness or injury. It provides for the full payment of medical expenses, emergency evacuation, rehabilitation treatment, and any loss of salary. At overseas locations, it is customary for the employee to pay the bill and be reimbursed by the Commonwealth upon return to the U.S.
- Vehicle Insurance: Although Mason vehicle collision, comprehensive, and liability insurance is applicable overseas, it is recommended that travelers purchase this insurance at the overseas destination. The purchase of rental automobile insurance overseas is a State-approved, reimbursable expense.
- Personal Property of Mason Personnel: The University’s insurance does not cover faculty, staff, or student property unless its use is a Mason condition of employment. If this is the case, documentation to support the requirement must be on file in the Office of Risk Management.