International Risk Management/International Travel Policy Committee protocol for resumption of university supported undergraduate and graduate student international travel, 2021-2022
Global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic has been slower than hoped in some regions, including many traditional destinations for education abroad and research. Incidence rates continue to remain high and even nations that have successfully managed the pandemic have experienced recent spikes and peak incidence rates. Although many nations have successful containment strategies and low incidence rates, restrictive and fluid immigration requirements, bio-security measures ranging from border closures, pre-travel testing, mandated quarantine, and social distancing, and mobility restrictions including curfews and lockdowns continue to challenge the viability of international travel in the near and long term. In some nations, the local socio-economic impact of COVID-19 and failure of medical infrastructure will be exacerbated by unequal global access to effective vaccine programs, presenting ethical and health, safety and security challenges into the 2022-2023 academic year.
In support of a safe, gradual resumption of travel, international risk management and the International Travel Policy Committee will assess and review all student international travel. The ITPC assessment is already in progress for summer 2021 and autumn 2021, with limited approvals of OIA-managed education abroad programs. Under the updated travel guidelines, the ITPC will initiate rolling reviews of graduate research in summer 2021.
Ohio State will seek to gradually assess and introduce additional options for spring 2022 through autumn 2022. Given increased need for advance planning, assessments will be considered in the term prior to potential resumption: e.g. spring 2022 opportunities will be considered in autumn 2021. Approval of any specific assessment does not set precedent for other travel. Certain locations may be deemed unavailable for specific travel or programs, and approvals may vary not only between nations, but between specific forms of programming based on indicators for the host nation, the academic imperative of travel, and the level of support available. Should conditions merit, travel to certain nations may no longer require direct assessment. In addition, certain types of travel may be allowed to resume ahead of schedule.
Types of programs and international experiences to be reviewed by the International Travel Policy Committee
Summer and Autumn 2021 (viability decision dates)
Spring 2022 including spring break (viability dates to be determined)
Summer 2022 (viability dates to be determined)
Autumn 2022 (viability dates to be determined)