Community Update #2 - Travel Guidance Communications

Community Update #2 - Travel Guidance Communications

Dear York Community,

Due to the ongoing effects of COVID-19 in international and national contexts, York University is providing an update to the travel guidance issued on April 14, 2020.

What does this mean for you?

International Mobility Programs for Students (Exchanges, Internships, Co-op & Other Programs)

The University has made the difficult decision to cancel or postpone all University-sponsored or sanctioned[1] international mobility programs for the Fall term for outgoing and incoming students. The University has weighed numerous considerations in arriving at this decision, such as availability of international health and travel insurance coverage, international travel restrictions, the possible emergence of a second-wave of COVID-19, and the overall impact of international travel on physical safety, mental and physical health, and academic success.  \Winter 2021 programs will be reviewed in early September 2020.

Students affected have been and will continue to be contacted directly by York International or the Program Administrator responsible for coordinating these mobility opportunities to find alternatives and/or postpone their international experience.  While current COVID19 risks and challenges prevent in-person visits and exchanges, there is also an opportunity to explore alternative collaboration models with our partner institutions around the world and develop creative approaches to building and enhancing global engagement and intercultural competencies. The University is working towards developing alternatives including Virtual Exchanges, Remote Internships and Online Exchanges. If you are an impacted student, please contact your program coordinator or for more information

Graduate Students’ Research Related Travel

All research-related international travel for graduate students and travel related to academic program completion will be assessed on a case-by-case basis as government travel advisories begin to lift. The University recognizes research and fieldwork as a crucial piece of graduate student progression and we have a process in place to facilitate essential international graduate student research when the government travel advisories begin to lift. Graduate students can work with their supervisor and the Dean’s Office who can work with the International Travel Risk Assessment Committee to develop a health and safety plan. The current assessment takes into consideration Global Affairs Canada travel advisories to the region, local advisories, availability of insurance, familiarity with the region and an added element will be the essential nature of this research travel. This can be determined by the supervisor and the Dean’s Office prior to the assessment. A form will be developed to assess this in collaboration with the above stakeholders. Please contact for more information.

Faculty, Post-Doctoral Fellows and Instructors

The University continues to encourage the York Community to follow the Government of Canada’s travel advisory to avoid all non-essential travel.  We recognize international collaboration, fieldwork and conference participation are fundamental to the research and scholarship mission.  As government travel advisories begin to lift, York International and Risk Management can work with you to provide guidance related to risk mitigation, insurance related to international travel. For more information, please contact Vinitha Gengatharan at York International.

University-related Business Travel

The previous guidance issued on April 14th, 2020, which states that all University-related business travel outside of Canada is cancelled/postponed until August 31st, 2020 remains in effect until further notice. As international travel advisories begin to lift, this guidance will be re-assessed, and additional information will be provided.

For all travellers arriving to Canada and to campus:

The Government of Canada has put in place an emergency order under the Quarantine Act. It applies to all travellers arriving in Canada. There is a 14-day self-isolation requirement. There is currently a quarantine plan (off-campus hotel) for anyone arriving until August 31st (those that already have a valid study permit). For Fall 2020, plans are being developed to support those arriving to on-campus residence and visitors (scholars, researchers, visiting students). If you are aware of any international arrivals, please contact

The University community’s safety and well-being remains our utmost priority and therefore, based on the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 travel advisory website, we advise all members of the University community to continue to avoid all non-essential travel at this time.

This travel guidance will be re-evaluated when the Government of Canada begins to lift travel advisories.


Lisa Philipps
Provost & Vice-President Academic