International Travel Protocols

Study Abroad and Group Student Travel: Until further notice, regardless of CDC or State Department Advisory Level, all study abroad and international group student travel for Berkeley coursework or credit involving Berkeley faculty, students, or staff (including advance travel for program planning and site evaluations, faculty-led programs, MBA exchanges, etc., both undergraduate and graduate) must complete a 2-step Study Abroad Travel Protocol. Please refer to for more information, or submit a group travel request. Contact with questions.

CDC Level 3 and 4 Locations & COVID-19

Until further notice, all UC Berkeley community members (faculty, students, staff) engaging in university-related international travel to countries rated CDC Level 3 COVID-19 High (avoid all nonessential travel) or Level 4 COVID-19 Very High (avoid all travel), must seek approval through the two-step International Travel Protocol, which includes approval first at the decanal level and then from the vice provost for academic planning. Please refer to for more information.

State Department Level 4 Locations:

Travel for UC Berkeley faculty, staff or students on University business to countries designated by the U.S. Department of State as having a Level 4 travel advisory (i.e., Do Not Travel) requires a two-step approval process first from their dean and then from the vice provost for academic planning. Level 4 is the highest advisory level due to greater likelihood of life-threatening risks. During an emergency, the U.S. government may have very limited ability to provide assistance to travelers. The Department of State advises that U.S. citizens not travel to these countries or to leave as soon as it is safe to do so. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time, so it is advisable that travelers check the Travel Advisory often.

Please refer to the UC Berkeley Travel Protocol for more information.


Travel Insurance Update

Please be advised that UC travel insurance will not cover foreseeable COVID-19 related risks, such as business interruption , trip delays or foreign flight cancellations. UC personnel traveling to high risk regions against this advisory do so potentially at their own physical and financial risk. In the event an international airport is closed to commercial flights to the U.S. the only option back may be on a US Embassy repatriation flight – which can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 payable by the traveler at a later time. For more information about trip registration, please see the pages on travel for employees and travel for students. However, UCOP has advised that the travel insurance does include medical coverage related to covid matters determined "medically necessary" such as a doctor ordered COVID test when experiencing cold/flu like or other covid related symptoms. The following IS NOT considered medically necessary: Covid testing to show a negative result in order to enter a country or to move into a residence testing of asymptomatic roommates who are exposed to COVID quarantine and/or food service during a quarantine period.

Travel Updates

April 22, 2021:

The U.S. State Department has expanded its "Do Not Travel list," issuing new Level 4 advisories for over 115 countries and territories. The U.S. State Department cites the advisories are due to "ongoing risks due to the COVID-19 pandemic."  The U.S. Do Not Travel list includes Canada, Mexico, Germany and the U.K. A Level 3 warning is in place for a smaller group of nations, such as Australia, China, Iceland and Japan.

January 15, 2021: 

Worldwide:The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director has signed an order requiring all airline passengers traveling to the United States, including U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs), to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 viral test or recovery from COVID-19.

Event: Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide either a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel or provide a positive test result and documentation from a licensed health care provider or public health official of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel. Passengers must also attest, under penalty of law, to having received a negative qualifying test result or to recovery from COVID-19 and medical clearance to travel.

November 17, 2020: The Department of State advises all U.S. citizens to read the country-specific Travel Advisories and U.S. Embassy COVID pages for updates on the impact of COVID-19 worldwide.  

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect countries differently.  Challenges to any international travel at this time may include mandatory quarantines, travel restrictions, and closed borders.  Foreign governments may implement restrictions with little notice, even in destinations that were previously low risk.  If you choose to travel internationally, your trip may be severely disrupted, and it may be difficult to arrange travel back to the United States.

October 20, 2020: Is it Safe to Travel Again? A Q&A in the Wall Street Journal for anyone confused about traveling right now. The latest news on travel restrictions at home and abroad, how to stay healthy and what you need to know about flying.

February 25, 2020: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation summary. This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and the CDC will provide updated information as it become available, in addition to updated guidance.  To learn more, please see the CDC Cornonavirus summary for updates.

August 24, 2019: The New York Times articleon the violence in the streets of Hong Kong.

June 28, 2019: According to the CDC, perhaps the biggest risk facing travelers everywhere is ... traffic: "Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of preventable death among travelers." But every year, there are specific health concerns in international destinations. Checking the CDC's Travel Health Notices and the World Health Organization's Disease Outbreak News database gives you an overview of the global health problems this summer. NPR interviewed doctors who specialize in international travel to get their take on health concerns for this summer's travelers.

July 16, 2018:  2-Step verification is required for all employees and will be required for all students effective Sept. 24. If you’re traveling internationally and need to log into UC Berkeley sites, you can use passcodes as your second step verification method. Find out how here

January 17, 2018: Zurich Insurance has released its Global Risks Report 2018. Find the executive summary here and the full report here.

January 10, 2018: The US Department of State has replaced its longstanding system of Travel Alerts and Warnings with a new system of Travel Advisories. Country-by-country advisories can be found here. A visually friendly map of the world showing country-by-country safety ratings can be found here

November 2017: The Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) (link is external) has issued a briefing on user safety, scams, privacy, and mitigation tools when using  ridesharing and homesharing services outside the United States.

July 18, 2017: The Centers for Disease Control has just re-issued its Yellow Book (link is external)which it updates every two years. Although it is written primarily for health care providers who help travelers prepare for upcoming trips, the Yellow Book offers lay readers an in-depth look at travel health risks and ways to prevent them, as well as advice for people with special travel health needs.

March 21, 2017: Forbes Magazine has published an article Ranking the Most Dangerous Countries for Americans to Visit (link is external).