Employee Travel Recommendations


The following guidelines are based on information that is currently available and specifically pertains to external business travel on behalf of Mercersburg Academy. They are informed by information collected from alumni employed at organizations including Accenture, Deloitte, McKinsey & Company, The Hershey Company and colleagues at peer schools including the Lawrenceville School and the Thacher School. 


Business Travel in Levels 2 and 3

  • Suspend all travel while in Levels 2 and 3.
  • Heads’ Council should review every 15 days to determine if travel can be permitted and if protocol needs to be updated.

Business Travel in Level 1

  • Adopt the following components as current guidelines for employee travel for Level 1. 
  • All travel requests should be reviewed by Heads’ Council until we are in Level 1. 

These guidelines address travel that is different from an employee’s everyday activities, away from Mercersburg Academy’s campus. Human Resources will communicate this policy to all employees and managers/supervisors who oversee traveling employees will implement it.


Pre-Business Travel:

  • Employees should start by consulting the CDC Covid-19 Considerations for Travel site and by researching the state/area they are targeting for travel for guidance, requirements, and any restrictions.  
  • International, school-authorized travel may resume by decision of the Heads' Council and is governed in large part by CDC guidelines. 
  • Domestic school-related travel is permitted only to areas that have phased open enough to allow visitors. State/Area guidance here. The following travel protocols are recommended.
  • Employees will submit requests for travel for approval by their department manager or supervisor. The request should include a travel itinerary with updates if the itinerary changes. The itinerary should contain the essential need for travel.
  • Employees are required to take steps to help prevent getting and spreading COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases during travel.
  • Employees are strongly encouraged, when possible, to avoid public transportation, air travel, trains, and other forms of transportation in which it is difficult to practice social distancing or there is increased and prolonged risk of exposure.
  • Employees are encouraged to anticipate travel needs (i.e. food, medicine, face covering, sanitizer, disinfectant). 

During Business Travel:

Post-Business Travel:  All steps are contingent upon the type of travel and contacts. 

  • Employees returning to campus should follow the school’s Contact and Exposure Policy, self-monitor, and take all necessary precautions.
  • Governor Wolf announced on July 2, 2020 a recommendation that Pennsylvania residents quarantine for 14 days if they travelled to an area with high levels of positive Covid-19 cases. The list is updated by the state and can be found here. This is not a mandate from the state. While the school is watchful and careful about the safety for all campus workers and residents, it will not require a 14 day quarantine for anyone returning to their residence or to the job site after travelling to one of these states IF individuals did the following:
    • Wore your mask when in public
    • Maintained social distance when in contact with people who are not immediate family members
    • Did not attend a gathering of 10 people or more where you did not physically distance or wear a mask. 
    • Employees who did not follow the social distancing and face mask guidelines noted above, will be required to quarantine for 14 days, using available vacation, personal, or sick time.
    • Always self-monitor for any symptoms and complete the daily health check and temperature screening if scheduled to work.
  • Employees who have been exposed to COVID-19, think they have been exposed to COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19, should follow the school’s COVID-19 Contact and Exposure Policy for next steps.

Procedures when travel is deemed necessary/appropriate/safe in Level 1 and 0.c 
Guidelines are general and include travel in Level 0 and 1 unless a specific level is mentioned. 

  • Employees will not travel if feeling sick or exhibiting any flu-like symptoms
  • Initially and routinely assess/evaluate employee comfort level with the risk associated with traveling through survey or other means.
  • Initially and routinely assess/evaluate potential audiences’ comfort and interest level in a personal visit. Consider surveying alumni, parents, prospective families, consultants, etc. to determine who is open and interested in meeting personally. 
  • Incorporate/synchronize any phasing or tiering recommendations for the on campus community around visitor protocol with travel recommendations
  • Consider altered post-travel protocol for employees living in dormitories (i.e. remote work/isolate) vs. out of dorm/off campus residents in Level 1.
  • In Level 1 situationally sanction the use of personal vehicles in order to mitigate exposure. Does this have temporary insurance coverage implications to consider? 
  • In Level 1 restrict travel to car trips only within a limited radius (3-4 hours). In Level 1, expand the permissible radius for traveling in school owned vehicles in order to limit mass transit (airports, train stations, etc.) and rental car exposure. 
  • Review vendors (airlines, rental cars, hotels, restaurants, potential meeting sites, etc.) policies and procedures when planning travel in order to assure congruence with Mercersburg Academy policies and procedures. As always, communicate clearly that cost savings should not come at the expense of safety (ever) in regards to utilizing vendors observing best practice. 
  • Download and utilize preferred vendor applications on employee’s cell phone in order to limit direct contact from transactions.
  • Confirm lack of symptoms with individuals the day of meeting and 3-5 days AFTER meeting. 
  • Share Mercersburg Academy workplace protocol with potential visits in order to reassure our observance of best practices.


Employee Travel - Personal

Pre-Travel:

  • When travel planning, employees should consult the CDC COVID-19 Considerations for Travel site and by researching the area they are targeting for travel for guidance, requirements, and any restrictions.  
  • Per CDC guidelines, non-essential international travel is highly discouraged at this time. Employees will be required to quarantine for 14 days after international travel.
  • Governor Wolf announced on July 2, 2020 a recommendation that Pennsylvania residents quarantine for 14 days if they travelled to specific high risk states. In Level 3, the school will follow this requirement in accordance with the Contact and Exposure Policy for all employees. In Level 2, we will follow the 14 day quarantine requirement for anyone working or living in a dorm. For those not working or living in a dorm during Level 2, you will not be required to quarantine IF you did the following:
    • Wore your mask when in public.
    • Maintained social distance when in contact with people who are not immediate family members.
    • Did not attend a gathering of more than 25 people indoors or a gathering of 250 when outside or more where you did not social distance or wear a mask. 
    • Always self-monitor for any symptoms and complete the daily health check and temperature screening if scheduled to work.

During Personal Travel:

  • Employees should take all suggested precautions to protect themselves and others.
    • Clean hands often
    • Avoid close contact with others and practice social distancing
    • Wear an appropriate face mask in public
    • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Additionally, the CDC considers large social events, such as a wedding or concert, a higher risk activity and recommends quarantine for 14 days following attendance. The school will require either quarantine for 14 days OR quarantine for 5 days and retesting for any employee who attended a social event with more than 25 people indoors or more than 250 people outdoors. 

Post-Personal Travel:  All steps are contingent upon the type of travel and contacts. 

  • Employees who did not follow the social distancing and face mask guidelines noted above, will be required to quarantine for 14 days, using available vacation, personal, or sick time if they are unable to fully work remotely.
  • Employees returning to campus who did follow the social distancing and face mask guidelines noted above should follow the school’s Contact and Exposure Policy, self-monitor, and take all necessary precautions.

Employees who have been exposed to COVID-19, think they have been exposed to COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19, should follow the school’s COVID-19 Contact and Exposure Policy for next steps.