Policy on Travel to Restricted Travel Areas
Students wishing to study abroad or engage in university-affiliated travel in a location considered a Restricted Travel Area must petition the Office of Education Abroad to request special approval. Students and Education Abroad Program Directors must discuss with the Education Abroad Director their intended plans and initiate the petition process.
“Restricted Travel Area” is defined as any location for which:
- The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has issued a level 3 or level 4 Travel Advisory,
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Warning Level 3,
- Or, Missouri State University has restricted travel.
Any student or Education Abroad Program Director wishing to study abroad or engage in university-affiliated travel in a country in which the U.S. Department of State has issued an overall Level 1 or 2 but contains areas of Level 3 or 4 and where the students/Education Abroad Program is not planning to travel to any Level 3 or 4 area must discuss the risks with the Education Abroad Director and sign a Special Release and Hold Harmless Agreement indicating their understanding and acceptance of the risks. However, a full petition is not required.
If travel is planned to a country to which the DOS Travel Advisory is an overall Level 3 or Level 4 or a CDC Warning Level 3 is issued before departure, the student or Education Abroad Program Director must discuss with the Education Abroad Director their intended plans and submit a petition.
Petition must include:
- Statement of why the experience in the restricted Travel Area is unique and necessary for completion of the program, research, or other university-related purpose.
- Outline of resources to utilize in an emergency, such as an on-location host institution, U.S. embassy or consular office, local law enforcement, local government agency, or other entity.
- Outlines of plans to mitigate risk.
- Names, locations, and contact information for any institutions or organizations with whom the group is working during the program.
- Indication that the students understand that they will be required to sign a Special Release and Hold Harmless Agreement if the exception is approved.
The Office of Education Abroad, in consultation with the Education Abroad Emergency Response Team, will grant or deny travel based on the materials submitted, and on the specifics of the U.S. DOS Travel Advisory and/or CDC Warning, including but not limited to geographic regions named in the Advisory or Warning, level of threat involved, and severity of warning.