Office of Global Affairs

Travel advisories and waivers

ALERT: All official UW travel outside the U.S. is restricted 

  • All official travel outside the U.S. by University of Washington employees and students is restricted until further notice, effective immediately. 
  • This restriction is informed by the global “Level 4: Do Not Travel” health advisory issued by the U.S. Department of State. 
  • These restrictions do not apply to personal travel. However, we strongly encourage you to avoid travel and review applicable travel warnings
  • Faculty and staff researchers may apply for an exceptional waiver to the current official travel restrictions if their travel is endorsed as essential by their Dean/s and the UW Office of Research.
    • Provost Richards and the UW International Travel Risk Assessment and Safety Committee (ITRASC) will review requests on a case-by-case basis. 
    • As long as the “Level 4: Do Not Travel” travel advisory is in place, there will be exclusions and limitations for our international insurance coverage, particularly for emergency evacuations (medical, natural disaster, and political/security)
    • Researchers seeking to travel abroad to a country with a “Level 4: Do Not Travel” travel advisory may be asked by ITRASC to provide additional materials describing risk mitigation measures and ability to receive emergency evacuations.

Faculty and staff, please follow the following steps to request a waiver: 

    1. Secure sponsorship/endorsement from relevant Dean attesting to the fact that the research-related travel is essential, cannot be postponed or delayed, and must commence while the current UW travel restriction policy is still in effect.
    2. Send the request and Dean endorsement to Vice Provost Mary Lidstrom in the UW Office of Research at with the subject line “International Travel Waiver Request”.
    3. The Office of Research will review the request to confirm that the travel and research activities are  essential and time-sensitive and then forward to ITRASC. 
    4. Concurrently, please complete a travel waiver application.
    5. ITRASC will review the request once the travel waiver application AND confirmation from Dean and the Office of Research have been received. 
    6. The Provost will make the final decision, based on the recommendation of ITRASC, if a travel waiver will be granted as an exception to the current UW policy.

All Huskies currently abroad – please take these steps!

  • Connect with the embassy of your nationality (Ex. U.S. Embassy – American Citizen Services). If you haven’t done so already, sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive updates directly from the Embassy (you can sign up for STEP even if you are not a U.S. citizen). The U.S. Embassy website may also provide a list of recommended medical providers or hospitals. 
  • Monitor local news and reputable international outlets for updates. 
  • If you must shelter in place, acquire safe food and water supplies to last you several days (ideally two weeks) in case of acute shortages. If you have a medical condition that prevents you from sheltering in place, send an email to For urgent matters, call the UW Global Emergency Line at 206-632-0153. 
  • Travelers should expect very long wait times. Bring your own food and personal hygiene items (toilet paper, wipes, hand sanitizer, etc.) if possible to avoid being left without.
  • Download UW emergency contacts directly to your phone. Click this link while on your mobile device:
  • Monitor updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Department of State.
UW students currently abroad
  • You are still covered by the UW Student Abroad Insurance for the coverage period purchased.
  • As a reminder, the UW Student Abroad Insurance through CISI does not cover travel cancellations or delays. Only evacuations that are medically necessary are covered by the insurance. Government (U.S. or foreign government) travel restrictions or border closings do not qualify for an insured evacuation.
  • UW Study Abroad students please visit the COVID-19 page for more information and closely monitor your email for updates.
UW employees currently abroad
UW COVID-19 campus updates, resources and FAQs
UW Study Abroad COVID-19 FAQs