UW Medicine has largely restricted all work-related travel for the past year in order to preserve our workforce and allow us to serve our community in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the number of patients in our hospitals at a lower level than the recent surge and the end of the Destination: One scheduled time off hold, as of today UW Medicine will transition to the University of Washington policy for work-related and personal travel and will no longer have a separate policy.
While we hope the time is not far off when we can end all restrictions on travel, we are not there yet. The recent increase in both COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, albeit not at previous levels, serves as a reminder that we must continue to wear masks, physically distance and avoid large gatherings while continuing to vaccinate our community.
As a guide to planning, here are some key provisions from the UW policy (please refer to the policy for complete details):
International travel: Work-related travel outside the U.S. by UW employees and students continues to be restricted until further notice. The University encourages employees to avoid personal travel outside of the U.S. and to review applicable travel warnings.
Domestic travel: Employees are strongly encouraged to cancel or postpone domestic university travel that is not essential to business, academic or research continuity. Supervisors approving travel for employees should use their best judgment.
CDC guidelines: Before, during and after traveling, employees must follow the current guidelines for testing, symptom monitoring and self-isolation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Please note that these instructions are based on whether or not the traveler is fully vaccinated, and they are different for domestic and international travel. In addition, travelers should wear masks and take other public health precautions at all times.
UW Medicine will continue to monitor COVID-19 activity in our community. If we see a significant increase in the number of cases or individuals requiring medical care, we will re-evaluate the policy to determine if modifications are needed to protect and preserve our workforce and to best serve our patients and community.
We look forward to the end of the pandemic and many more opportunities for safe travel in the future.
UW Medicine Leadership