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Travel guidance beginning July 15, 2021

Categories: Policies, Travel

Note: Many schools and programs have policies for student travel that are more restrictive than university policy. The more restrictive policies take precedence over the following changes. 

As with all policies during the COVID-19 pandemic, this guidance is subject to changing global health conditions.

On July 15, 2021, the University will make significant changes to COVID-19 travel policies that have been in place since March 2020. For travel prior to July 15, please follow existing procedures and requirements

Note: Faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars and students booking air fare, hotels, or rental cars  for university-sponsored travel must utilize a Stanford Travel booking channel in order to ensure reimbursement.


  • Per CDC, state and county guidance, travel is allowed for fully vaccinated individuals.
  • To ensure travel reimbursement for domestic and international trips, Stanford travelers must upload proof of COVID vaccination prior to departure.
    • Faculty, staff and postdocs should upload vaccination status to Health Check.
    • Graduate students should upload vaccination status to the VadenPatient portal and submit their vaccination details into Health Check.
  • Fully vaccinated travelers will no longer need prior approval for domestic or international travel, subject to these restrictions:
    • Travelers at schools or programs with more restrictive policies will be required to follow the more restrictive policies. 
    • Field research that involves clinical or non-clinical human subjects requires prior approval until further notice.
  • Vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers should follow CDC, state, county, airline and country-specific guidance on testing prior to and following travel. 
    • Currently, the CDC recommends that vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers test 3-5 days after completing international travel. We recommend the same for those returning from international travel. 


For Academic Year 2021-22, proof of vaccination will be required for all undergraduate travel, with no exceptions. The final decision to proceed with the international learning opportunities is dependent upon factors such as a continued decline in case numbers and increase in vaccinations in specific locations. 

  • International and domestic undergraduate travel is expected to continue to be restricted to pre-approved programs (such as BOSP) through Fall 2021. 
  • Advice on winter travel for undergraduate students will be forthcoming. 
  • At this time, the University is advising academic departments and programs that offer study abroad and international educational learning opportunities to plan their full course of activities for Spring and Summer of 2022. The University already is working closely with campus partners to plan for Spring and Summer 2022, and to develop contingency plans should COVID conditions deteriorate.


While prior approval may no longer be required starting July 15, travelers may benefit from global travel risk assessments and mitigation recommendations. This service will continue to be available through the Global Risk office by contacting This service is particularly useful for:

(1) Travel to higher-risk destinations (based on information from the U.S. Department of State, Centers for Disease Control, International SOS or other reliable sources of information for health, safety or security risks),

(2) Group trips that include five or more travelers, and,

(3) Travelers with particular vulnerabilities.