International Travel Risk Management

**FAQs: 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)**

 

All travel, regardless of destination, brings a certain level of inherent risk. To help mitigate risk for our global travelers, Brown University regularly monitors world health, safety and security events using a variety of assessment sources, including taking input from the U.S. Department of State (DOS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), International SOS, Brown faculty and staff regional experts, among other reputable oversight agencies.

Whether you are a student, staff, or faculty member, heading to a familiar area of the globe or embarking on an entirely new opportunity, we strongly recommend that you familiarize yourself with the following information prior to departure:

 

Register your travel

TravelSafe is Brown’s global travel registry for all Brown faculty, staff, undergraduate, graduate, and medical students to register their University-related travel overseas. Information you provide regarding itinerary and emergency contacts will help the University account for your well-being and provide assistance in the event of an emergency. Registering your travel enables you to enter itinerary and emergency contact details in a secure electronic platform via your Brown login. It also serves as a conduit to apprise international travelers of important information including travel advisories from the U.S. DOS and provides a direct upload of travel details to activate the benefits of Brown’s emergency assistance provider, International SOS.

Travel Health

Review the International Travel Information on Brown's Office of Insurance website. All Brown students, faculty, and staff traveling abroad on behalf of the University (i.e. study abroad, research or business travel) are automatically enrolled in a blanket study/travel abroad accident and sickness insurance policy.  If you need travel, medical, or security assistance or have any questions, please contact International SOS 24/7 Assistance using the phone numbers on the ID card.

 

Make an appointment with your doctor or local travel clinic to determine what, if any, vaccinations you may need or to devise a travel health plan to consider your health and safety during your travels. The Brown Medicine Travel Clinic is a great resource in the Providence area. You can also check the CDC's Travelers' Health website for important health-related travel notices.

Department of State

Visit the U.S. Department of State (DOS) website for country specific information and postings of travel advisories and to sign up with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).   You do not need to be a U.S. citizen to receive important travel related email messages from STEP, but if you are a foreign national, you should also register with your local consulate or embassy in the country in which you will be staying. Students traveling internationally should also visit the U.S. Students Abroad page of the U.S. DOS website to review important information including a traveler's checklist and recommendations for travelers with special considerations.

Technology Security

Review Brown's CIS website for important information on security tips for international travel, in particular preparing your mobile device and preparing your laptop for travel. Travelers who do not have a Brown University owned cell phone and need to travel internationally can contact the Telecommunications department and request a loner phone for use; billing will be forwarded to the departmental account number provided by the traveler. Loner laptops may also be available; contact the IT Service Center for more information.

Export Control

Per Brown’s Export Control and Sanctions policy, if you will be traveling to a comprehensively embargoed country (Cuba, Iran, Sudan, Syria, North Korea, and the Crimea Region of the Ukraine), you must contact the Export Compliance Team to determine if an export license is needed. Issuance of an export control license can take several months following receipt of an application from Brown; please plan accordingly. When taking items or materials abroad (including scientific equipment, laptops, encryption software, cell phones, tablets, flash drives, cameras, and GPS units), you need to verify that the items and materials are not export restricted based on your travel destination(s). Don’t make assumptions. Many items that you can easily purchase online or that are made by a foreign manufacturer are, in fact, controlled for export to certain destinations. Contact Brown’s Export Control Officer for an export control review if you are hand-carrying or shipping any tangible research items or materials abroad. If an export license is needed, acquiring a license can take upwards of 30 days. Visit Brown’s export control website for more information on export controls and international travel.

Policies for High-Risk and Restricted Travel

Brown classifies travel to world destinations into two heightened risk categories: High-Risk Travel and Restricted Travel. Definitions of these categories and international travelers affected are indicated as follows:

 

High-Risk Travel:  International destinations that are posted to the U.S. DOS travel as a Travel Advisory Level 3 (Reconsider Travel) and/or a CDC Level 2 (Practice Enhanced Precautions) and/or that are deemed as posing a significant health, safety or security risk to the traveler through advisories from International SOS or the CDC.

 

  • No undergraduate student, graduate student, or medical student will be required to travel to a High-Risk Travel destination as part of a for-credit or noncredit program. 
  • All undergraduate student, graduate student, or medical student travel to a destination with a High-Risk Travel classification must be approved by the International Travel Risk and Assessment Committee (ITRAC).
  • Travelers will also be required to sign a Supplemental Travel Acknowledgement and provide a completed Safety Plan (submitted via Brown's online TravelSafe registry system).
  • Students must apply to have their travel approved at least six weeks prior to their anticipated departure. 
  • No travel arrangements should be made until the ITRAC has reviewed the Safety Plan and subsequently approved the travel.
  • Faculty and staff are not restricted from and are not required to complete a Safety Plan for High-Risk Travel destinations. 

Restricted Travel: International destinations that are posted to the U.S. DOS as a Travel Advisory Level 4 (Do Not Travel), a CDC Warning Level 3 (Avoid Nonessential Travel) and/or that pose an extreme health, safety and/or security risk. Travel is restricted for all undergraduate students, graduate students, and medical students and strongly advised against for faculty and staff.

 

  • No undergraduate student, graduate student, or medical student will be permitted to travel to Restricted Travel destination as part of a for-credit or noncredit program.
  • Faculty and staff are not restricted, nor are faculty and staff required to complete a Safety Plan (submitted via Brown’s online TravelSafe registry system); however, they are encouraged/invited to do so if they are traveling to destinations in this category.
  • Due to the extreme security threats of these world destinations, please be aware that Brown’s emergency assistance provider, International SOS, may not be able to provide assistance in the event of an emergency or may have limited resources available.

International Travel Risk and Assessment Committee​ (ITRAC) approval and Safety Plans for travel to heightened risk destinations

 

  • Safety Plans are required for all undergraduate students, graduate students, or medical students planning travel to High-Risk Travel destinations.
  • Safety Plans are completed via TravelSafe and empower the traveler to take responsibility for and show evidence of their appropriate risk assessment of the destination to which they are planning travel. Detailed information for a series of questions including but not limited to accommodations, transportation, and other risk areas, are required for completion.
  • Undergraduate students, graduate students, and medical students planning travel to international High-Risk Travel destinations must first complete a Safety Plan via TravelSafe and submit it to the ITRAC to approve their travel. The ITRAC will then notify students as to whether they approve or deny the proposed High-Risk Travel.

The ITRAC will consider a number of factors, including academic necessity and appropriateness of the travel, personal traveler preparedness, and sufficiency of the procedures in place to mitigate the specific health and safety risks (evident in the Safety Plan and including the feasibility of International SOS intervention, as needed). *Please note: if you are traveling on a Brown administered group program (e.g. through OIP, Swearer, GELT/Wintersession, etc.) you do not need to complete a separate individual Safety Plan or get ITRAC approval, as these programs have already been vetted through the sponsoring departments/units.

 

Summary: 

 

  • No undergraduate student, graduate student, or medical student will be permitted to travel to any country that is categorized as Restricted Travel.  Any undergraduate student, graduate student, or medical student wishing to travel to a High-Risk Travel destination and not traveling with a Brown administered group program (e.g. through OIP, Swearer, GELT/Wintersession, etc.) must first get permission from the ITRAC before making travel arrangements and must complete a Safety Plan.
  • Faculty and staff are not required to complete a Safety Plan but are encouraged to do so if they are traveling to a Restricted Travel destination.
  • Students must apply to have their High-Risk travel approved at least six weeks prior to their anticipated departure.