Travel Management Services Coronavirus Information and Resources

COVID-19 Operational Status - TMS is working remotely. An appointment is required to pick up Citi Hotel/Conference and Student Group cards.

Update September 24, 2020

Effective immediately, hotel reservations are no longer required to be made using the UT Austin contracted travel agencies or Concur.

The prohibition on university-sanctioned travel for business or study remains in place and continues to require exceptions by deans or vice presidents (domestic) and Texas Global (international).

Any travel approved through the exception process continues to require airline and rental car bookings through the university’s contracted travel agencies or Concur.

  • If you wish to change any existing hotel reservations it is important to cancel those reservations to ensure you are not charged a hotel no-show fee.

New Travel Guidelines in response to COVID-19

The current prohibition on university-sanctioned travel for business or study is extended through December 31, 2020. Exceptions will be processed by deans or vice presidents for domestic travel and by Texas Global for international travel. Decisions about policy after January 1, 2021 will be announced on or before October 15, 2020.

Domestic Travel

  • Requests for domestic travel will be approved by the college’s/school's/unit’s Dean or Vice President only; it is expected that precautions for travel will have been considered with concrete steps planned to mitigate health risks.
  • Exception is not necessary for local business travel within Austin.
  • Official guests/visitors on campus must receive an exception approval from the appropriate Dean or VP. 
  • All air travel and rental cars must be booked through UT Contracted travel agencies or Concur.
  • University funds may not be used to cover cancellation fees for meeting registrations or for travel booked outside of UT contracted travel agencies or Concur.

International Travel

At this time, the US Department of State continues to have a global health travel advisory, level 4 “Do not travel” and the CDC has a global COVID-19 pandemic notice level 3 “Avoid non-essential travel.” As of July 1, 2020, faculty/staff/students (whether paid by UT or external sources) seeking to travel will be able to do so based on the following:

  • Faculty/staff/students must petition for international travel through the university’s Restricted Regions process and submit a supplemental COVID-19 travel waiver. Approved travelers will need to follow all quarantine requirements in the destination country and upon return to the U.S., Austin, and the UT campus.
  • Visitors/researchers/scholars wishing to travel to campus from abroad will need to seek approval from the corresponding college/school's Dean or Vice President. All visitors will be subject to the same quarantine provisions as UT Austin approved travelers returning from abroad.
  • All international visiting delegations coordinated by Texas Global are suspended through December 31, 2020.

Update May 7, 2020

  • Effective May 1, 2020: UT domestic and international travel restrictions have been extended to June 30, whether paid for by UT sources or external sponsors. A decision will be made by June 15 about travel starting after July 1. International travel will follow the guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), International SOS (ISOS) and U.S. Department of State (USDOS) for dates later than July 1.
    • Limited exceptions may be possible for faculty, staff, and graduate students for important domestic and international university-related business travel. 
      • Domestic travel exception requests must be approved by the relevant dean or vice president prior to the submission of an RTA.
      • International travel will not be permitted at this time (unless related to COVID-19 research), due to closed entry to/exit from numerous countries, restricted flight options, quarantine requirements, strained health systems, and the potential outbreak of civil unrest. 
      • UT-sponsored undergraduate student travel is prohibited.
    • UT will not permit reimbursements from any source for deposits, down-payments, change fees, or non-reimbursable airfares booked after March 26 for travel at any future time if the travel has not followed protocol. See complete reimbursement information here.
    • Faculty, staff and graduate students who are seeking approval to travel abroad for COVID-19-related research will follow guidance to request restricted region travel approval or contact Global Risk & Safety in Texas Global for assistance. 
  • Effective March 27, 2020: All visiting delegations to UT Austin have been canceled through July 1, with the possibility that this date could be extended, per CDC, ISOS and USDOS guidelines.

Travel Ban Exception Requests: Faculty, Staff and Students

Domestic Travel

  • Department leadership approval
  • Deans or VPS approval
  • Approvals must be included in the reimbursement document and provided to UT contracted travel agency

International Travel

Texas Global, Global Risk & Safety office: grs@austin.utexas.edu

Reimbursement of travel expenses purchased outside of UT contracted sources: https://purchasing.utexas.edu/coronavirus/covid-19-updated-travel-policy

  • Scroll down to Travel Reimbursement policy and Payment Services-Travel contact information for questions/clarification
  • Centrally billed airfare. The reservation must be cancelled by the traveler or department administrative staff prior to departure. If it is not cancelled – the funds are not available for future use.
  • It is recommended to check with the UT contracted travel agency to review the airline’s policy related to cancelations/changes.

              You can email the travel agencies for further details:

              Anthony Travel:  UTTravel@AnthonyTravel.com

             Corporate Travel Planners:  utaus@ctp-travel.com

Citi Travel Departmental Credit Cards:  Hotel/Conference Card & Student Group

  • As a temporary measure: TMS staff are working remotely during the COVID-19 restrictions. Due to the current local travel restrictions, we have to obtain special approval to be on campus to pick up cards.

       Provide the following information when submitting an application:

  1.  Essential need for the Travel Card.
  2.  Date the card needs to be used

3.27.20 - Updates on Travel Ban & Travel Reimbursements

The following are travel updates related to the university’s ongoing work to adjust its policies to be in alignment with public health guidance related to COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Extension of Travel Ban

The university is extending its prohibition of university business travel, both domestic and international, through May 31, whether paid for by UT sources or external sponsors. A decision will be made by April 30 about travel starting June 1 or later.

International travel will follow the guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Department of State for dates later than June 1.

The domestic travel ban includes car travel. Any domestic travel exceptions must be approved by the traveler’s dean or vice president.

Restricted Regions requests will not be accepted. Faculty and staff who require travel approval for COVID-19 pandemic research must contact Global Risk & Safety for further direction. https://global.utexas.edu/risk

Travel Reimbursement Policy

The university also adopted a temporary policy on travel reimbursements for travel approved prior to March 26, 2020. Any travel arrangements made through one of UT Austin’s contracted travel agencies or Concur will be maintained as a credit by the travel agencies for future use by the traveler in the next 12 months. If a faculty or staff member used personal funds to make travel arrangements, they may accept travel credits or vouchers from the travel provider as reimbursement for future business travel.

If the traveler is unable to receive reimbursement from the provider, the department may reimburse the traveler with its funds. Any faculty or staff member receiving reimbursement from the travel provider or their department will need to complete an attestation provided by Payment Services for tax purposes, which must be included in the supporting documentation of the reimbursement document.

The university will not permit reimbursements from any source for deposits, down payments, change fees, or non-reimbursable airfares booked after March 26 for travel at any future time.

Please visit Payment Services https://purchasing.utexas.edu/travel/travel-services or email oa.travel@austin.utexas.edu for questions related to the travel reimbursement information.

Effective March 6, 2020, all future international university-related travel must be booked by the UT Austin contracted travel agents or Concur UT’s online booking tool.

Given the evolving situation with COVID-19 (coronavirus) and in an effort to protect employees’ health and financial interests, travel to CDC Level 2 and 3 travel advisory locations for coronavirus is restricted. Travel to these areas will require authorization from the International Oversight Committee as well as additional university authorities. Travelers will be required to forward their International Oversight Committee approval letter to the travel agencies prior to airfare issuance.

Information about business travel-related reimbursements for trips canceled or postponed will be shared when those details are available.