Covid-19 and Domestic Travel

Updated - Feb 03, 2021
Still Valid - Feb 03, 2021

Our focus has always been on ensuring the safety and security of our campus community. A key feature of the domestic travel recommendations is to limit the number of people travelling individually or in groups, to those who must do so in order to complete essential components of their employment, program or research.  Travel during COVID-19 brings a much higher risk for both those travelling as well as the communities to which they visit.  Airlines may cease flights to any destination with very little notice and public health and quarantine restrictions may be implemented rapidly.  Access to health care may be limited due to hospitals reaching maximum capacity.


The Chief Medical Officer of Health Alberta has indicated to avoid non-essential travel outside of the Province of Alberta.  Post Secondary sector guidance indicates that in-person instruction and work must ensure that physical distance of 2 meters is maintained at all times between all individuals who are physically present and, if indoors, masks are mandatory in all public spaces and workplaces.  There is no allowance for “cohorts” under the current public health measures.  There are no indoor social gatherings allowed unless individuals already reside in the same household.

Outside of Alberta: University of Calgary business-related domestic travel outside of Alberta is not recommended until the Government of Alberta lifts the current advisory against non-essential travel outside of the province.  

Inside Alberta: University of Calgary business-related domestic travel inside Alberta is not recommended at this time.  Working from home is mandatory unless the employer requires a physical presence for operational effectiveness.  

If you make a decision to travel domestically on University of Calgary business during COVID-19, please discuss your plans with your department head, manager, director, dean or other SLT member.  We also recommend that you review the UCalgary Safe Travelling Guidance for COVID-19 - Domestic Travel.

As the University of Calgary is recommending no business-related domestic travel at this time, should you decide to travel, any increased costs related to your travel or return (which may include, but are not limited to, COVID-19 testing requirements, quarantine measures, extending or cancelling your accommodations, escalated cost of travel or food, loss of non-refundable fees or expenses or any portion thereof) will not be reimbursed by the University of Calgary and are your responsibility.  Please ensure that you have adequate health and travel insurance to cover these costs, where possible.


All domestic travel, both within Alberta and inter-provincially, is subject to public health measures as indicated both by the Province of Alberta as well as the province of destination.  The current Alberta public health measures and UCalgary’s recommendation on domestic travel are indicated at the top of this page.

Travel for University Activities to a destination(s) outside of Calgary and immediate community area (i.e. within Alberta or inter-provincially), should include consideration of the following factors:

  1. Whether the University Activities must be conducted at that destination and at that particular time; and
  2. Whether the University Activities are:
    • Required to complete a mandatory component of a students program;
    • Cannot be completed through virtual means;
    • Is integral to the individual’s research, professional or academic development; or
    • Necessary to fulfill an existing contractual obligation of the University.
      • Note:  No new contracts should be signed to oblige the University to require students or employees to travel without explicit written permission of the individual who has signing authority for that contract.  Signing authorities must take into account the ability of the University to fulfil the obligations during COVID-19.
      • Existing contracts should be reviewed to determine if the work can be deferred to a later date or can be accomplished locally.


  1. Review whether the travel falls within the Considerations outlined above;
  2. Discuss the travel with your department head, manager, director, dean or SLT member.
  3. Review the UCalgary Safe Travelling Guidance for COVID-19 - Domestic Travel;
  4. If you are planning for spring, summer or fall courses that require travel, please consider your ability to make changes to your plans to accommodate any changes in public health measures.

Student Accommodations:  Students who are enrolled in mandatory components of their program that require travel, must be provided with alternative ways to complete the components virtually.

Driving during COVID-19:  If you are driving a vehicle on University business please review the COVID-19 and Driving Vehicles used for University Business information.