Stay Healthy, Hawks: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

COVID-19 Travel Resources

The University of Houston-Clear Lake (UHCL) is closely monitoring the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. As the situation continues to change rapidly, our top priority remains the health, safety, and well-being of our community, on and off campus. As such, the university encourages students, faculty, and staff to find alternate means of conducting their studies and business associated with non-essential travel.

COVID-19 TRAVEL RELATED FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

updated 09/03/2020 9:00 a.m.; created 03/16/2020 4:19 p.m.

Where should I avoid travel?

CDC provides travel notices and makes recommendations on postponing or canceling travel. These are travel notices and are based on assessment of the potential health risks involved with traveling to a certain area. A list of destinations with travel notices is available at on the CDC website travel page.  Governor Greg Abbott’s directives on Friday March 13, 2020 requiring cancellation of all non-essential university-sponsored domestic and international travel.  UHCL has canceled all non-essential university travel through January 31, 2021 (with exceptions) and will continue to update and revise this time frame as the situation develops. Consider your risks and options when making decisions about personal domestic travel during this time.

What countries are included in the CDC travel notices?

The list of countries is available CDC countries.

What is essential university travel vs non-essential university travel?

For questions regarding determining whether specific travel is essential or not, please consult with your respective Department supervisor and/or Division Head.

What should I do if I traveled internationally?

Students, faculty and staff who have traveled internationally are required to report that travel through the Travel Registration Form.   If that travel was to or through any country or region designated as a Level 2 or Level 3 by the CDC for COVID-19, you are required to self-isolate off-campus for 14 days before returning to campus. (See ‘What Does It Mean to Self-Isolate?’ FAQ) If that travel was to other countries or domestically to other states, you are encouraged to self-monitor. According the CDC website, self-monitoring includes taking temperatures twice a day and remain alert for cough or difficulty breathing. If you feel feverish or develop measured fever, cough, or difficulty breathing during the self-monitoring period, you should self-isolate, limit contact with others, and seek advice by telephone from a healthcare provider.

Use the CDC Check and Report Every Day (CARE) Booklet (Download) to help you understand how to self-monitor your health and how to check your symptoms daily.

Guidance for university-sponsored international travel

University-sponsored Education Abroad programs are being, assessed, and currently pending further decisions.  Please contact educationabroad@uhcl.edu for additional information.     

What if I have plans to travel?

University has canceled all University-sponsored travel outside of the U.S. between March 13, 2020 -January 31, 2021 (with exceptions). The university recommends that individuals strongly consider the risks of personal travel, as this situation continues to evolve. Students, faculty, and staff who travel - whether for personal or university business — are required to register with the university regarding that travel through the  Travel Registration Form .

What should I do if I am returning to the United States?

Upon return to the United States, register your travel in the Travel Registration Form regardless whether the travel was personal or business related.

What does it mean to self-isolate?

If you are not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 and are asked to self-isolate after returning from a country listed on the CDC’s COVID-19 travel advisories page as Level 3, you should stay off campus and remain home.

Do not go to campus including work, residence halls and apartments, classes, any events or other social gatherings until 14 days after leaving the Level 3 country or region. Likewise, avoid public places and gatherings in the community. Use the CDC Check and Report Every Day (CARE) Booklet (Download) to help you understand how to self-monitor your health and how to check your symptoms daily.

What are the domestic travel restrictions?

All University-related non-essential domestic air travel canceled until January 31, 2021 (with exceptions). As applicable, consult with your respective colleges, program chair, or department supervisor and/or Division head and funding sources to determine whether your University-related domestic air travel is essential. We strongly encourage you to consider alternative methods, like teleconferencing.  For personal travel within the U.S., we strongly urge you to use extreme caution and judgment. Check the state and territorial health department websites for the latest information.

Will I get my travel reimbursement for airfare if my university-related meeting/conference is cancelled?

Yes, in situations like this that result in airline, hotel and car rental imposed penalties for changes to an airline ticket for business reasons or circumstances beyond the traveler’s control are reimbursable.  If you arranged your travel through the university travel office, please contact travel office requesting ticket cancellation and a credit availability for future use. You may email Traveloffice@uhcl.edu or you contact at 281-283-2270.

If you personally paid for the airline, lodging, rental, etc., directly please visit the airline’s website for details on cancellation policies, contact hotel for full refund, cancel vehicle rental, and request registration refund from conference host.  Because of COVID-19, many airlines are waiving change fees and issuing credits and refunds.  Please be sure to apply for all available benefits prior to submitting your expense reimbursement requests.  Reimbursement occurs once the future business trip is completed.  If the airlines issues a credit for a ticket and the credit goes unused, then reimbursement occurs after the credit has expired. 

Are non-refundable travel costs associated with grant-related travel that has been canceled due to COVID-19 allowable, and can they be charged to the grant?

Please contact university Office of Sponsored Programs at 281-283-3016 for federal and state grant travel and expense policy guidance.  These situations may have to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Are there restrictions for hosting new visitors to campus during this period?

If a visitor has traveled abroad since March 9, then they must self-isolate for 14 days before coming to campus. 

I am attending a meeting/conference in May-June time frame and have not purchased my airfare yet. Can I go ahead and book my flight?

Before booking new travel, please reach out to the meeting planner and/or conference organization to see if the meeting/conference is still scheduled to occur or if it is being postponed to a later date.  Travelers should not book reservations too far in advance.  Please contact your respective department supervisor and/or Division head for additional guidance and approval on this subject. 

I prepaid for my hotel stay and/or hotel deposit. Will I get a room deposit?

Hotels will typically allow for cancellation with no charge from 24-72 hours prior to the date/time of check-in.  Please check the policy as each hotel has different cancellation policies. Yes, in situations like this that result in imposed penalties for changes business related travels and circumstances beyond the traveler’s control are reimbursable

Previous COVID-19 Updates

Date: March 13, 2020
To: University of Houston-Clear Lake (UHCL)       
Subject: University of Houston-Clear Lake Updated Travel Guidelines

The purpose of this message is to provide additional clarification surrounding Governor Greg Abbott’s directives on Friday March 13, 2020 requiring cancellation of all non-essential university-sponsored domestic and international travel. 

  • UHCL is immediately canceling all non-essential university travel through April 30, 2020 and will continue to update and revise this time frame as the situation develops. 
  • Consider your risks and options when making decisions about personal domestic travel during this time.  
  • The pace at which travel restrictions and cancellations are taking place will only continue to escalate. 
  • If you are able to change your personal travel plans in order to limit your exposure to coronavirus, UHCL highly encourages you to do so. 

Continue to check the university’s coronavirus website for up to date information.  

  • Your first step in dealing with travel issues is to reach out to the airline, hotel, any other travel providers directly, and the conference or event host to request a full refund.
  • Please contact UHCL Travel office email TravelOffice@uhcl.edu or call 281-283-2270 with questions on your specific situation.

Below are a few steps to resolve some of your travel related questions.   

Airfare Expenses - University Paid 

If you arranged your travel through the university travel office, please contact travel office requesting ticket cancellation and a credit availability for future use. 

Airfare Expenses - Personally Paid

Please visit the airline’s website for details on cancellation policies.  Because of COVID-19, many airlines are waiving change fees and issuing credits and refunds.  Please be sure to apply for all available benefits prior to submitting your expense reimbursement requests.

  • Reimbursement occurs once the future business trip is completed.
  • If the airlines issues a credit for a ticket and the credit goes unused, then reimbursement occurs after the credit has expired. 

Lodging 

  • Contact the hotel for a full refund.  Obtain assistance from your Division/College Business Administrator to deposit the funds into the lodging expenditure account. 
  • If the hotel withholds any/or all of the pre-paid amount, the difference will be absorbed by the university as part of the trip cost.  

Rental Vehicles - Company Paid 

  • Cancel the reservation with the rental agency. There is no charge for cancellations. 

Rental Vehicles - Personally Paid 

  • Cancel the reservation with the rental agency.
  • The traveler will be reimbursed for any cancellation fees.

Registration Fees

  • Contact the conference host and seek a refund. If no refund allowed, find out if the registration fee may be used at a future conference or transferable to another attendee if you are unable to attend in the future.
  • If the future conference date is set and the original traveler plans to attend, update the “Travel Authorization Request Form.”
  • The traveler will be, reimbursed for personally paid registration fees if the fees are not refunded or transferable.   

Travel Advances

  • If you received an Advance via Travel Advance Program (TAP) card, the TAP card must be returned to the university with the completed travel expense report and supporting documentation. 

For questions regarding determining whether specific travel is essential or not, please consult with your respective department supervisor and/or division head.

For assistance with travel reimbursements, please contact the university travel office at Traveloffice@uhcl.edu or 281-283-2270. 

We request your patience as we all work together to get through this challenge.  The Travel office will do everything possible to answer your questions and serve everyone in as timely a manner as possible. 

For university and health alert updates related to Coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit the UHCL Health Alert webpage.


Contact
  • Travel

    Phone: 281-283-2270
    Fax: 281-283-2156
    Email: traveloffice@uhcl.edu

    North Office Annex (NOA II)
    2700 Bay Area Blvd, Box 105
    Houston, TX 77058-1002

    Office Hours:
    Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.