COVID-19 & UCalgary Travel

Updated - Jan 20, 2021
Still Valid - Jan 20, 2021

In order to protect the safety and well-being of UCalgary students, faculty, staff, and postdocs, the university is continuing to take precautionary measures around international travel. Please note the following decisions:

Travel-outbound (from Canada to other countries)

  • Undergraduate student international travel related to in-person study abroad programs, exchanges, co-ops, practica, internships and externships will not be permitted until at least June 30, 2021. A decision about travel for these purposes during summer 2021 term and onwards will be made prior to April 15, 2021.
  • All other university business-related international travel including graduate students, academic staff members, employees, postdocs, etc. is not permitted until the Government of Canada lifts the current travel advisory (which states "Avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.")
    • Exceptions may be considered for individuals in this category who are travelling for university-related business.  These will be made on a case-by-case basis through the risk management travel registration process.  Any exceptions will also require the following:
      • All individuals wishing to travel on UCalgary business will be required to register on the UCalgary Travel Registration system and receive approval from their Department Head, Dean/SLT member and the AVP (Risk).  This includes travel to the USA as well as academic staff member international travel related to research, teaching and study leaves. 
      • Approved travellers will be required to complete the updated Travel Checklist as well as sign a waiver.     
      • Approved travellers are required to ensure that they have health coverage that will extend to cover any COVID-19 related illnesses while travelling.
      • Graduate student travel that is part of a required academic component to complete the student’s program, including research, may be considered if it cannot be deferred without requiring an extension of their program. Where domestic options are available, international travel will not be approved.
      • Travel to conferences, competitions, meetings and recruitment activities will not normally be considered essential.  Where virtual options are available, an international travel exception will not be approved.
      • Requests for exceptions should be put into the system at least one month prior to the intended date of departure from Canada.

Please note that personal travel/vacations/family visits are not considered university business-related travel.

Travel-inbound (from other countries into Canada)

Incoming international students 18 years of age or over, including visiting students and Continuing Education students, may be permitted to arrive starting July 1, 2020.  They must be in compliance with Government of Canada immigration regulations and Alberta Health Services requirements. 

  • Consideration should be given to the length of the time of the experience. Incoming travelers are responsible to arrange for their own self-isolation off campus as it cannot be guaranteed or supported by Residence Services. Residence Services will work with international students to find alternate accommodations for self-isolation.
  • Incoming international students under the age of 18 will not be accepted until Dec. 31, 2020 except for those that are:
    • Residing with their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) in Canada; or
    • 16 years of age or less and have submitted a copy of their completed Government of Canada Custodianship Declaration to the University of Calgary Registrar; or
    • 17 years of age and have submitted the following two forms to the University of Calgary Registrar:
      • Custodianship Declaration
      • Parent/Guardian Custodianship Declaration.
  • All incoming travelers will be provided with materials/documentation regarding adherence to Alberta Health Services regulations and UCalgary protocols with respect to physical distancing, etc.

Currently Travelling Internationally on UCalgary Business

The Government of Canada website provides updated information on Travel Restrictions and Exemptions.  Please ensure that you have thoroughly reviewed this information prior to returning to Calgary.  It will assist with determining what you will need to fly (including wearing a non-medical mask) as well as the regulations in effect when you land (such as self-isolation or quarantine information).

If you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada we strongly recommend that you make arrangements to return to Canada as soon as possible. The evolving situation may limit our ability to assist you if you choose to remain in your current location. You will need to determine whether it is safer to return or remain where you are for now.  If you choose to stay in place, we respect that decision. 

See further information below on assistance with making airline arrangements and guidelines for actions to take upon your return.

The Government of Canada has announced that travel restrictions remain in place until August 31, 2020.  International students seeking to enter Canada must carefully review information regarding travel exemptions on the Government of Canada website before confirming travel plans and/or attempting to seek entry into Canada.   

If you or a member of your family/household has been advised by Alberta Health / HealthLink to self-isolate, follow Alberta Health Services directions. If you have been tested for COVID, remain at home, follow self-isolation guidelines and do not come to campus until you have received negative results from Public Health and have stopped showing symptoms. Employees will continue to receive pay and benefits without interruption.

Following are a list of links to organizations that the University of Calgary monitors with respect to health outbreaks and the appropriate precautions to be taken. It also monitors the World Health Organization response as well as reviewing information from the Government of Canada travel advisories and International SOS. For current information, please monitor their sites directly on an ongoing basis as the situation is evolving rapidly.

Alberta Health Services - Current situation in Alberta

Alberta Health Services - Novel Coronavirus FAQs

Public Health Agency of Canada

Government of Canada Travel Advisories

Information regarding Alberta Blue Cross (ABC) coverage for travel outside of Alberta, for academic staff, support staff and MaPS who are enrolled in the University's ABC plan, is available on the UCalgary Group Benefits website at  Please go down to the appropriate section on that page and click on "COVID-19 and Travel Outside of Alberta."

All plan members are strongly encouraged to consider all risks of travel and to contact the Alberta Blue Cross travel line directly at 403.225.4289 or toll free 1.888.772.2583 in advance of travel to review the coverage and limitations/exclusions based on your circumstance.

Updated - Sept 11, 2020

If you are not already working with a travel agent and require assistance with booking a return flight, Maritime Travel is available to provide help.

Contact information:

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. mountain standard time:

After hours:

Please provide the following information:

  • Full name as it appears on the passport – last name in UPPER CASE
  • Date of birth
  • Departure city
  • Travel date
  • Seat preference

Please contact Risk Management & Insurance at to confirm your return to Canada.

Following your return:

As per the Government of Canada emergency order under the Quarantine Act, all individuals who are entering Canada must self-isolate on their return for 14 days, independent of the country they were visiting.   Please review the Government of Alberta Travel Restrictions information for self-isolation requirements.

Please remain at home, do not come to campus and follow self-isolation guidelines.

On March 14, Alberta began to post information on flights with confirmed cases of COVID-19 that have arrived in Canada in order to allow individuals to determine if they may have been exposed to COVID-19 on their flight.  Please go the Passengers on Flights with Confirmed Cases for further information.  It will include the flight number, date and seats at risk of exposure.  We would recommend that you monitor this document upon your return. 

On March 13, Alberta Health Services launched an online self-assessment tool for you to see if your symptoms match COVID-19.  They recommend that you use this self-assessment tool to help determine whether you should be tested for COVID-19.

UCalgary decisions regarding university business-related travel do not apply to personal travel/vacations/family visits.

However, UCalgary is advising anyone who has traveled outside of Canada to follow advice from Alberta Health Services, self-isolate, and inform your supervisor, manager, instructor or other relevant contacts. Also, if someone in your home is unwell, follow advice from Alberta Health Services.  

For further information regarding University of Calgary's COVID-19 response, please click here.

Updated - December 3, 2020