INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

An official global travel advisory is in effect. The Government of Canada is recommending Canadians avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.

TRAVEL OUTSIDE OF SASKATCHEWAN

Residents are advised to limit any non-essential travel outside of Saskatchewan, with the exception of people who live in border communities and are commuting for work.

USask Travel Policy

Effective Immediately

  • USask has suspended all international travel for our students, faculty and staff until further notice
  • Please be aware of the current laws in force in Canada under the Quarantine Act for all international travellers (including the U.S.A.). If you violate any of the following, you are breaking the law and may be charged.
    • You must self-isolate for 14 days once you arrive in Canada
    • If you develop symptoms during your flight to Canada, you must inform a Canada Border Service Agent when you arrive in Canada
    • If you do not have symptoms but think you were exposed to someone sick with COVID-19, you must inform a Canada Border Service Agent when you arrive in Canada
  • Travellers should continue to monitor and follow the guidelines and recommendations of both the province and the federal government, as these guidelines are updated frequently in response to the changing situation.
  • All domestic university travel will require USask approval. An authority to travel application must be requested through Concur. These travel requirements will remain in place until further notice.
  • Airfare related to approved and essential Travel Requests is required to be booked through one of the approved USask travel booking processes, either through Concur or Direct Travel.  Airfare booked outside of these two options will not be reimbursed.

Authority to Travel Requirements

The University of Saskatchewan will adhere to the COVID-19 protocols (including matters related to travel) established by federal and provincial bodies/authorities.

Effective Immediately

  • We have suspended all international travel for our students, faculty and staff until further notice. 
  • We are continuing to evaluate our protocols for the arrival of international students to USask campus.
  • Please reconsider all domestic travel plans, and consider cancelling or postponing if not deemed critical. For domestic travel, mandatory application for authority to travel must be requested through Concur. Need help with Concur?
  • All Travel Requests are to be approved by the appropriate Dean, AVP, or VP. It is the responsibility of the traveler to ensure their request has been routed to the appropriate Dean, AVP, VP, in addition to their supervisor.
  • Supervisors are responsible to advise the traveler if their Travel Request has been approved or denied, if approved they are responsible to be aware of the health and financial risks for the employee.

Returning to Canada

Effective Immediately

  • In line with federal and provincial government travel guidelines, anyone returning from any international travel (including the U.S.A.) is required to self-isolate for 14 calendar days after their return from their travel.
  • Air passengers are required to use non-medical face masks or face coverings in the Canadian transport system per the directions from Transport Canada.
  • They should continue to monitor and follow the guidelines and recommendations of both the province and the federal government, as these guidelines are updated frequently in response to the changing situation.
  • All planned arrivals of any visiting faculty and/or staff are to be reported to the college’s/administrative unit’s respective VP’s office;
    • Colleges/Administrative units are to report any/all of these upcoming travel arrivals to their respective Vice-President’s (VP’s) office for consideration and authorization;
    • Final decision to permit or deny travel any/all of these upcoming travel arrivals resides with the respective Dean’s, AVP’s and/or VP’s offices;
  • We have already instituted an arrival protocol for students.

Currently Travelling

Medical Coverage for Employees

Illness due to the COVID-19 will be treated as for any other medical emergency. This means there are currently no applicable coverage exclusions because COVID-19 has been classified as a pandemic compared to another type of medical emergency.

Sun Life will be applying the following administrative exception to claims incurred on or after February 1, 2020 related to the Coronavirus. 

For travellers leaving Canada on or after March 19, 2020, Sun Life will not apply these administrative exceptions.

If a plan member or dependent needs the immediate attention of a doctor for a medical emergency, they must contact Allianz for assistance:

Plan members travelling outside of Canada, who are placed under quarantine by a medical doctor or public health official, are considered eligible under the Out-of-Country and Emergency travel assistance benefit from the start of the quarantine period.

Sun Life will waive the medical orders requirement for this illness only, if the plan member is travelling in an area identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a high risk for Coronavirus. Additionally, Sun Life will cover expenses for accommodations, meals, and replacement of a lost return ticket back to their home province caused by the delay, subject to any limitations in the contract.

For plan members travelling in an area by WHO as high risk, who are not permitted to return home to Canada because public health officials have placed the area in quarantine due to Coronavirus, Sun Life will cover expenses for accommodations, meals, and replacement of a lost return ticket back to their home province caused by the delay, subject to any limitations in the contract.

For travellers leaving Canada on or after March 19, 2020, Sun Life will not apply the administrative exceptions announced in February.

This step supports the Government of Canada’s efforts to prevent non-essential travel and repatriate Canadians travelling abroad. We urge plan members to follow the recommendations of the Government of Canada Travel Advisory

What this means for plan members

The following is not available under our OOC travel benefit:

  • Coverage of any expenses during and after a period of quarantine (directed by a doctor or public health official), unless the member shows symptoms of or has tested positive for COVID-19
  • Any request for extension of OOC coverage beyond the travel duration limit as set out in the contract

For emergency medical expenses to be eligible for coverage, members must meet the definitions in our contract for “emergency” and “emergency services”.  These definitions have not changed:

We will treat a medical emergency resulting from COVID-19 in the same way as any other medical emergency outside Canada.

Travelling to Canada

On March 26, 2020, the Government of Canada provided an update on travel restrictions put in place to stem the spread of COVID-19. Foreign nationals who have committed to working, studying or making their home in Canada will be permitted to enter Canada by air or land. They will be exempt from the air travel and border restrictions and will be allowed to enter Canada.

If spouses holds a valid work permit, they are exempt from the travel restrictions and can come to Canada.

If children have a valid study permit or has been approved for a study permit on or before March 18, 2020, they can travel to Canada. If spouses or children does not have a work or study permit and only holds a valid temporary resident visa (TRV) or electronic travel authorization (eTA) they require written authorization from IRCC before being allowed to board a plane to Canada.  

International Students

The Government of Canada is currently only permitting entry to Canada to current study permit holders and those approved for a study permit before March 18, 2020. Do not attempt to travel to Canada if these exemption does not apply to you.

Reimbursement for Cancelled Travel

For individuals whose travel is paid for by funds administered by the University of Saskatchewan, all non-refundable costs incurred as the result of the cancellation of trips related to the COVID-19 outbreak will be considered eligible expenses under the Travel policy, per the criteria restrictions as outlined below for international and inter-provincial travel.

Examples of non-refundable expenses include:

  • non-refundable airfare
  • change fees related to the postponement of an event
  • non-refundable conference fees
  • non-refundable hotel booking fees, etc...

The claimant must include an appropriate rationale with their claim (meeting/conference cancelled, travel advisory issued, personal health concern, etc...)

In accordance with normal procedures, any costs associated with a cancelled trip will be charged to the fund through which the authority to travel was approved.

Addressing impacts on one’s employment terms and conditions, as a result of managing the COVID-19 matter, will involve consideration of respective collective bargaining units, employee handbooks, employment contracts, the circumstances of each incident, etc., with final arrangements and decisions residing under the authority of the faculty’s and/or staff’s immediate supervisor (with guidance from Faculty Relations and Human Resources).

Cancelled International Travel Reimbursement Criteria

USask will reimburse for non-refundable costs incurred as the result of a cancellation of trips related to the COVID-19 outbreak for travel that was booked prior to March 14, 2020. International travel arrangements should not be made until the international travel suspension is lifted.

Cancelled Inter-Provincial Travel Reimbursement Criteria

USask will reimburse for non-refundable costs incurred as the result of a cancellation of non-essential trips related to the COVID-19 outbreak for travel that was booked prior to March 19, 2020. Non-essential inter-provincial travel arrangements should not be made until the inter-provincial travel advisory is lifted

 

Additional Information

Before traveling outside of Saskatchewan, all members of the university community are strongly encouraged to evaluate all associated risks, which may include the risk of becoming ill, falling under the restrictions of a foreign government, or forfeiting travellers cancellation or medical coverage.

An official global travel advisory is in effect. The Government of Canada is recommending Canadians avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.

All travellers should self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough or difficulty breathing) for 14 days after returning to Canada and avoid places where you cannot easily separate yourself from others if you become ill.

If you have even mild symptoms, stay home and call HealthLine 811 for advice.

Self-isolation is an effective precautionary measure to protect those around you – your family, friends, colleagues – from contracting COVID-19. It means taking simple, common-sense steps to avoid close contact with other people as much as possible, like you would with the seasonal flu virus. 

  • In line with provincial and federal travel guidelines, faculty, staff and students returning from any international travel (including the U.S.A.) should not come to campus for 14 calendar days after their return from travel. 
  • Stay home and report if sick or if notified that you may have possibly been in contact with someone with a COVID-19 diagnosis.
  • If you are sick, it is imperative that you stay home and do not spread your illness. Even if it is not COVID-19, please stay home and monitor your symptoms. 
  • If you attended an event within the past 14 days and received notification that you may have been in contact with a fellow traveller or attendee who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 by laboratory testing, please self-isolate for 14 days and monitor yourself daily for symptoms (fever, cough and difficulty breathing).  

Gov't of SK Self Isolation    Gov't of SK Self Monitoring

If you have any concerns about your health or possible exposure to COVID-19 call the Healthline at 811.

Resources

Questions?

Symptoms or Health Concerns

Call HealthLine at 811.

General SK COVID-19 Questions

Call 1-855-559-5502, or 306-787-8539 (Regina) from 6 am to 10 pm.

USask-related Questions 

Email: covid19@usask.ca