Advice for travellers

The Government of Canada and BC’s provincial health officer have advised against all non-essential travel outside of Canada, including the USA. In addition, travellers are required to stay away from work or school (self-isolate) for 14 days on their return home. In response, the university is temporarily discontinuing all university-sponsored outbound international travel, effective immediately.

These actions have been taken in accordance with direction of the Government of Canada and the provincial health officer (PHO). We continue to monitor this evolving situation and expect to be making further decisions in support of containment of COVID-19, including further travel restrictions as necessary.

The limitations on university-sponsored international travel will be reviewed on May 15, 2020 or upon advice of the provincial health officer. Consequently, making plans for university-sponsored outbound international travel after May 31, 2020 is also strongly discouraged until the COVID-19 situation stabilizes or we have provided additional guidance in this regard.

Read about the new measures.

FAQs

I have been travelling recently and am back in Canada. Should I self-isolate?

The Government of Canada, along with their provincial counterparts, advises against non-essential international travel. Anyone who chooses to leave the country should stay home from work or school for 14 days upon their return. This includes people who are currently in the US and will be returning after March 13, 2020.

Avoid social gatherings, events, work, school/university, public transportation and public spaces during this 14-day self-isolation period.

Monitor yourself and those close to you for symptoms similar to the flu or common cold such as coughing, sneezing, sore throat, fever or difficulty breathing. If any symptoms arise, connect with your primary health care provider, local public heath office or call HealthLinkBC at 8-1-1 and tell them of your recent travel. Note that the HealthLinkBC 8-1-1 service is available in several languages, including Mandarin and Cantonese.

I am travelling and will be returning to Canada after March 13. Will I still be paid during the self-isolation period?

The provincial health officer has indicated that travellers are required to stay away from work or school (self-isolate) for 14 days on their return home. You will continue to be paid through your self-isolation period if you were travelling internationally before this requirement. 

Avoid situations where you could infect other people such as social gatherings, events, work, school/university, public transportation and public spaces.

I’m planning on travelling internationally. Will I still be paid during the self-isolation period?

The Government of Canada has advised against all non-essential travel outside of Canada, including to the US. Staff, faculty and librarians that engage in non-essential travel (i.e., vacations) will not be paid during their self-isolation and will be required to take additional vacation, leave without pay or their sick time allotment. 

If you have been approved to travel on university-related business you will be paid during your self-isolation period.

Anyone travelling for personal or essential travel will need to work with their supervisor to determine if they will continue to be paid.

Avoid social gatherings, events, work, school/university, public transportation and public spaces during this 14-day self-isolation period.

What happens to expenses that I have paid out and can't cancel?

Please contact your travel agent, insurance provider, accommodation provider and airlines to see if any of the costs can be recovered.

UVic’s travel suspension says no travel up to May 31, 2020. What if I plan to travel after this date?

UVic continues to monitor this evolving situation and expects to be making further decisions in support of containment of COVID-19. The suspension of university-sponsored international travel will be reviewed on May 15 or upon advice of the provincial health officer. 

We are strongly discouraging anyone from making travel plans outside of Canada until the COVID-19 situation stabilizes or we have provided additional guidance in this regard.

Check this website regularly for any updates on UVic’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Does this apply to my personal vacations?

The Government of Canada has advised against all non-essential travel outside of Canada, including to the US. In addition, the provincial health officer has indicated travelers are required to stay away from work or school (self-isolate) for 14 days on their return home.

Faculty, staff and students engaging in personal travel to international locations are advised to conduct risk assessments in advance and consider postponing trips. Please note that the number of cases and countries affected by COVID-19 continues to evolve.  Similarly, we have been advised that those who become ill must be prepared to stay in-country to recover.

If you have personal plans to travel to an affected region, please see the Government of Canada's latest travel advice

A number of insurance providers have identified impacted countries as "uninsurable until further notice.” Travellers are advised to review their international medical insurance exclusions and trip interruption insurance coverage before departing. Insurers are also advising travellers to benchmark travel decisions using multiple sources of trusted information rather than focusing exclusively on the federal travel advisories.


Students

What do UVic’s travel restrictions mean for me?

Upon the recommendation of the Government of Canada, the university has temporarily discontinued all university-sponsored outbound international travel for students, effective immediately, until the end of May.

Examples of university-sponsored international travel include:

  • activities that are part of a university course or program (credit or non-credit)
  • university-organized extracurricular or athletic activities
  • student exchanges
  • co-operative education work term placements
  • practica
  • internships
  • travel/study programs
  • student research travel
  • travel to attend conferences and university business

We recognize that there may be exceptions to the temporary student travel suspension. A risk-informed process has been established to assess such exception on a case-by-case basis, with final approval resting with the applicable vice-president or delegate.

Contact your academic coordinator/supervisor (e.g. co-op or practica co-ordinator, course instructor, graduate supervisor, etc.) if you have any questions about your situation.

What if I still want to go on UVic-sanctioned travel?

In exceptional circumstances, you may be authorized to travel. A risk-informed process has been temporarily established to assess such exceptions on a case-by-case basis. A special authorization to travel form must be submitted to the Office of Global Engagement with final approval resting with the applicable vice president or delegate.

Those planning to travel should understand that as global efforts to contain COVID-19 continue, the availability of health care services in some areas may be limited, and travel restrictions may be put in place unexpectedly. Before booking or embarking on travel outside BC, members of the university community are required 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 insurance coverage.

I am an international student and unsure of how this situation may impact my immigration status.

Please contact International Student Services (issinfo@uvic.ca) to discuss your personal situation. A regulated international student immigration adviser will be able to advise you.

My stay abroad was an integral part of my academic program. What alternatives are there for me to finish my program?

Please connect directly with your academic coordinator/supervisor (e.g. co-op or practica co-ordinator, course instructor, graduate supervisor, etc.) to discuss your options.

What does this new travel advisory mean for my academic programming?

All university-sponsored international travel for students has been temporarily discontinued until the end of May, effective immediately. The university is monitoring the evolving situation and will review the suspension on May 15, 2020 or upon advice of the provincial health officer.

If students receive travel awards and a field school is cancelled, what happens?

Travel awards can be adjudicated, but awards should not be paid out until the UVic international travel restrictions have been lifted.


Faculty, staff and instructors

What do UVic’s travel restrictions mean for me?

Upon the recommendation of the Government of Canada, the university has temporarily discontinued all university-sponsored outbound international travel for staff and faculty, effective immediately, until the end of May. A temporary process to review and approve requests for essential international travel has been established, with final approval resting with the applicable vice-president or delegate. A special authorization to travel form must be submitted to the Office of Global Engagement.

While this decision does not limit the ability of faculty to travel internationally using external funding sources or for members of the campus community to vacation internationally, we have updated our advice and strongly discourage international travel until further notice.

We recognize that this decision may impact units in such a way that they are unable to absorb the cost of cancellation on such short notice. A process will be established to review applications for financial assistance on a case-by-case basis. 

We continue to monitor this evolving situation and expect to be making further decisions in support of containment of COVID-19, including further travel restrictions as necessary. The limitations on university-sponsored international travel will be reviewed on May 15, 2020 or upon advice of the provincial health officer or Government of Canada. 

Making plans for university-sponsored outbound international travel to impacted areas after May 31, 2020 is also strongly discouraged until the COVID-19 situation stabilizes or we have provided additional guidance in this regard.

Examples of university-sponsored international travel include:

  • travel to attend conferences and university business
  • activities that are part of a university course or program (credit or non-credit)
  • university organized extracurricular or athletic activities
  • student or faculty exchanges
  • co-operative education work term placements
  • practica
  • internships
  • travel/study programs

Please be in touch with your supervisor if you have any questions.

Post docs and grant-funded employees:

Upon the recommendation of the Government of Canada, the university has temporarily discontinued all university-sponsored outbound international travel until the end of May.

Please get in touch with your supervisor if you have any questions.

What if I still want to go on the scheduled UVic travel?

Effective immediately, non-essential university-sponsored outbound international travel for staff, faculty and librarians is discontinued. A temporary process to review and approve requests for essential international travel has been established, with final approval resting with the applicable vice-president or delegate. You need to fill out the special authorization to travel form and submit it to the Office of Global Engagement as soon as possible.

We recognize that this decision may impact units in such a way that they are unable to absorb the cost of cancellation on such short notice. A process will be established to review applications for financial assistance on a case-by-case basis.

Those planning to travel should understand that as global efforts to contain COVID-19 continue, the availability of health care services in some areas may be limited and travel restrictions may be put in place suddenly. Before booking or embarking on travel outside BC, 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 insurance coverage.

Please review the International SOS members’ page to learn more about potential travel destinations and to register for any international travel after the UVic COVID-19 special authorization to travel form has been submitted and you have received special authorization. (You will need to sign in with your NetLink ID.)

We have already paid deposits or booked rooms/tours. Do we reschedule for a future date?

UVic continues to monitor this evolving situation and expects to be making further decisions in support of containment of COVID-19. The suspension of university-sponsored international travel will be reviewed on May 15, 2020 or upon advice of the provincial health officer.

Currently, making plans for university-sponsored outbound international travel to impacted areas after May 31, 2020 is strongly discouraged until the COVID-19 situation stabilizes or we have provided additional guidance in this regard.

We recognize that this decision may impact units in such a way that they are unable to absorb the cost of cancellation on such short notice. A process will be established to review applications for financial assistance on a case-by-case basis.


For the latest UVic information, please check this website for updates. If you have further questions not covered by these FAQs, please email .