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Travel and Cancelled Travel Guidelines due to COVID-19

Submitted on Thursday, March 12, 2020

In response to the growing concern regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and to address the many inquiries we have received regarding reimbursement for cancelled travel expenses, the following guidelines have been developed in collaboration with the Faculty’s Continuity and Preparedness Working Group.

These guidelines apply to faculty members, staff, doctoral students and postdocs. We recognize there are many complexities to each case so if you or anyone you know have any questions regarding the guidelines and their eligibility to apply for reimbursement please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Faculty’s Business Officer Kathy Shyjak at or (416) 978-2883.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for the Faculty of Information Community;

Impact of Cancelled Travel Due to COVID-19

 The University of Toronto has advised all members of the UofT community to carefully consider any non-essential business and personal travel that may have been planned for the coming weeks.  At this point we would like to reach out to Faculty, Staff and Students of The Faculty of Information who have incurred Business related non-refundable travel expenses due to the cancellation of research trips, conferences, events, or other business/school related travel.

If you have travel arrangements that meet the above criteria and were booked prior to March 12, 2020 we would like to provide the following information regarding already incurred expenses:

  • Researchers, including students, who have been pre-approved for research travel, payable from research funding, are eligible to submit reimbursement requests for expenditures incurred prior to March 12, 2020, and in which no refund or credit has been provided by the travel provider or any other source.  It is expected that the funding sources for these reimbursements will still come from the original Tri-Agency / personal research/PERA funding.  Pre-approval is implied when the traveler is the fund holder.  Final approval for cancelled expenditures are dependent on the approval of the fund holder prior to submission/review of the Faculty.
  • Cancelled travel arrangements booked for international visitors for Faculty events / invitations will also be reimbursed when that travel was booked prior to March 12th and there are no other refund options.  Reimbursements will be billed to the originally planned funding source.
  • Reimbursement for non-fund holders automatically require pre-approval before travel expenses are incurred.  Where pre-approval has not been received, reimbursement is not guaranteed.
  • The normal University of Toronto travel reimbursement policy applies to all the above.
  • The situation is evolving rapidly in many parts of the world and travel restrictions may be imposed on short notice. Up-to-date COVID-19 related travel advisories can be found on the Government of Canada website.


  • Given the current environment and the risks of cancellation, the Faculty is not recommending future travel until things are brought back under control and will not guarantee reimbursement for any canceled travel arrangements when travel was booked on or after March 12th.

For guidance on how to submit a claim or for questions regarding reimbursement eligibility please contact the Faculty Business Officer, Kathy Shyjak who will be able to assist you with your inquiries and help you determine eligibility.  Kathy can be reached by email: or by phone:  416-978-2883.