Outlook for Travel
Updated as of October 27, 2021
We will release fully revised travel guidelines for the spring semester in late November and for the summer term by early March. While it is too early to speculate in detail what travel may be possible beyond January 2022, we are guardedly optimistic that conditions will allow us to continue gradually lifting the last of our pandemic-specific restrictions. We are especially hopeful that the summer months will offer a window for undergraduates to resume some degree of University-sanctioned international travel.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
- How does Global Safety & Security (GS&S) decide on pandemic-related travel suspensions?
GS&S is responsible for promulgating and helping the community to follow the pandemic permissible travel guidelines; however, the unit alone does not set these policies. A broad group of stakeholders, representing the interests of students, faculty, staff, and the University as an institution, determines the travel guidelines through consensus after thoroughly reviewing the current state of the pandemic and of international and domestic travel.
In our deliberations, we seek to balance our community’s need to remain connected to the broader world of research and learning opportunities with the present realities of the pandemic. We consider the risk of bringing infection back to our campus or into the communities we visit; the widely varying governmental responses to the pandemic across the world that severely restrict the logistics of travel; and the challenges of supporting our travelers in an emergency, particularly should they test positive for COVID or fall ill with the disease.
We do not rely heavily on indications of the current state of the pandemic in individual countries or regions, except as these may point to worldwide trends. The stochastic and ever-evolving nature of the pandemic means that there are few, if any, data points that can reliably predict disease prevalence beyond the most immediate term. Thus, today’s “safe” destination can – without warning and in a matter of days – suddenly be placed under draconian restrictions, including travel bans.
Finally, we must consider our institutional desire to be a responsible world citizen, giving particular weight to statements from governments and international health organizations. This is true not only of their guidance on the advisability of travel, but also their appeals to limit it, so as to contribute to the global effort to end the pandemic.
- How will I know when the pandemic travel guidelines change?
Our travel guidelines will be revisited again in late September to determine if any changes may be made for Wintersession 2022. We will perform another review in mid-November for the spring semester. Any resulting revisions will be released following those reviews. As with previous revisions, the Associate Provost for International Affairs and Operations will communicate the new guidance to the entire Princeton community via an email announcement. The new guidelines will also be available on the Princeton COVID information site and through the Travel Toolkit site, once they have been released.
You can also always contact the Global Safety & Security unit for information on current and any revised or prospective travel guidelines.