Status Report

NASA Travel Guidance as of March 14, 2020

By SpaceRef Editor
March 14, 2020
Filed under ,

Marshall Space Flight Center: Stage 3

Ames Research Center: Stage 3

All Other NASA Facilities: Stage 2

The protection and care of our team is the top priority. As the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation evolves, the agency is following a phased response based on conditions at, and in the vicinity of, each NASA facility. NASA leadership also is monitoring conferences to determine risk and will continue to provide guidance on attendance accordingly.

Agency Phased Travel Approach

As of March 14, 2020, the agency is in Stage 2 of its response to coronavirus outbreak. However, for countries with a CDC threat level of 3 and above, no travel will be authorized except for specific exceptions vetted by agency leadership.


Although the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention currently is not recommending restrictions on domestic U.S. travel, the Office of Personnel Management has advised federal agencies to begin to reduce non-essential travel as appropriate. In order to reduce the risk of virus exposure, virtual meetings are strongly encouraged, in lieu of international and domestic travel, where such measures will not impede work.

— NASA leadership is assessing upcoming domestic travel in light of the federal guidance. In addition, any employee who has concerns about any particular trip, domestic or international, should discuss potential alternative arrangements with their supervisor. NASA continues to monitor domestic travel requirements and will provide further information should circumstances change

— If NASA is the host, please work with your office IT representative and/or center IT office to make the necessary arrangements to conduct the activity virtually, if feasible. If NASA is not the host, please contact the hosting organization to find out if virtual participation is an option.

— Travel currently is restricted to the following locations – European Union, Japan, South Korea, Iran, and China. Exceptions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and require a completed and approved Request for Travel Exception form. See Travel Exceptions, below.

— Visitors who have traveled to (or had a layover in) the European Union, Japan, South Korea, Iran and China within the last two weeks will be denied access to NASA facilities until they have completed 14 days of self-observation and have remained symptom free.

— If you or someone you live with has come in close proximity with someone returning from The European Union, Japan, South Korea, Iran, or China (for personal or business travel),  please follow CDC guidelines, notify your supervisor, and conduct a 14-day selfobservation period to monitor for symptoms. This observation period may include telework and/or administrative leave.

— Travelers should be aware that this situation is dynamic, and a potential exists that they could find themselves in self-quarantine away from home. This means they should take extra medication with them and be aware of the potential for changes in travel or the status of the site they are visiting.


All travel to or from a location that currently is at Stage 2 or higher will be considered for exception only when physical presence is required, as determined by the parameters under Travel Exceptions. These travelers must have a completed and approved Request for Travel Exception form.

STAGE 3 or Higher

All travel is suspended.

Travel Exceptions

Exceptions may be granted for travel that falls into one of two categories: 1. Mission Essential Work

— The travel must be necessary to continue critical mission/project work that cannot be performed remotely/virtually.

— The work must be performed to maintain mission/project operations or schedules.

– or –

2. Protection of Life or Property

— There must be a reasonable and articulable connection between the function to be performed, physically onsite, and the safety of human life or the protection of property, and

— There must be a reasonable likelihood that the safety of human life or the protection of property would be compromised, in some significant degree, by delay in the performance of the function in question. Exception Process:

1. Employees must consult with, and have the approval of, their supervisors before applying for a travel exception.

2. Employee completes the Request for Travel Exception form.

3. This form must be signed by the employee’s center director.

4. Send signed form to Nestor Tezna at 

SpaceRef staff editor.