Travel

As with many other policies relating to COVID-19, travel guidance may change from time to time in alignment with federal, state and university policies. Please check this page frequently for updated guidance. Also, please heed University guidance on quarantining relating to any travel.

Permissible Travel Guidelines

Restrictions on travel remain one of the key measures available for protecting ourselves and the community as a whole. The risks and uncertainties of traveling domestically and internationally remain. While we continue to recognize our community’s need to remain connected to the broader world of research and learning opportunities, we continue to face substantial obstacles: the risks of bringing infection back to our campus or into the communities we visit; the widely varying governmental responses to the pandemic across the world that severely restrict the logistics of travel; and the potentially insurmountable challenges of supporting our travelers in an emergency.
 
University-sponsored international and domestic travel remains suspended for the spring semester, with a very limited set of exceptions. The revised social contract also directly sets other, stricter limits on travel by those who are subject to its terms, including a general prohibition on any travel – including personal travel –  beyond Mercer County and/or Plainsboro Township, except under a small number of circumstances. For those not subject to the social contract but who will still be studying or working on campus, personal travel for any non-essential reason remains discouraged.
 
You can find the full set of currently applicable travel guidelines for the Princeton University community on the International Princeton Travel Toolkit page. The Global Safety & Security unit, reachable via email at globalsafety@princeton.edu, is happy to answer questions related to the permissible travel guidelines.

Travel Outside New Jersey and Potential Quarantine for Faculty, Staff and Students

Completion of COVID Risk Assessment Form Prior to Return to Campus

All those who travel outside of the State of New Jersey, in addition to registering their travel, must complete the COVID Risk Assessment Form within the 3-7 days prior to returning to campus to allow UHS to advise whether a 10-day quarantine is required by the University upon return, depending on current State of New Jersey regulations.

Please allow at least 3 business days’ turnaround time between when you submit your form and receiving a response.

Travel-related Quarantine

Our travel-related quarantine guidelines, which we are currently updating across our webpages and platforms, default to a full 10 day quarantine when quarantine is mandated due either to travel or exposure to an individual that may potentially be infected with COVID. This quarantine length for travel or exposure varies from the 7 day Arrival Quarantine Protocol expected of undergraduates at the start of the spring term.

Individuals required to participate in travel or exposure-related quarantine will be able to petition to University Health Services for a reduced 7 day quarantine after submitting a saliva sample submitted on or after day 5 of quarantine. Therefore, travel or exposure quarantine should be assumed to be 10 days unless given release by University Health Services. 

For employees: if you travel to a restricted state and then have to self-quarantine and cannot work from home, you are required to use COVID-19 days, followed by other paid leave including sick, vacation, personal, and/or bundled time.  

New Jersey Travel Advisory

The New Jersey travel advisory remains in effect. If you are traveling to or returning from any U.S. state or territory beyond the immediate region (New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware), you are expected to self-quarantine for 10 days upon your return to New Jersey.

Employees: You may not return to work on campus until the 10 days have passed.

Students: this quarantine may impact your return to any approved on-campus activities, including accessing libraries or labs.  

Therefore, the University discourages travel to states and territories on the restriction list. Please note that New Jersey does not require quarantine if you have spent less than 24 hours in the restricted state.

See the NJ self-quarantine for travelers FAQ for more information.

Testing for the Purposes of Travel

Employees

Some airlines require documentation of a negative test for COVID-19. The University is not offering pre-travel testing to employees and you should not rely upon the asymptomatic testing program for this purpose.

For testing sites, please see these lists for New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York.

Graduate and Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate and graduate students who are part of the asymptomatic testing protocol can use their results for the purposes of travel. Please note: we cannot guarantee turnaround time for results, and are not able to prioritize individuals’ requests for results.

Students who are not part of the asymptomatic protocol should look to local testing sites for testing required for travel.