Travel & Training

Testing & Self-Isolation

Domestic Travel for NASA Employees

Follow the requirements for the local destination in regards to testing. If required, get tested 1-3 days before your flight. Please note that PCR tests take 24-48 hours to return, so plan accordingly so that you will have results in hand when presenting to the airport. The cost of testing is reimbursable and should be turned in with travel receipts, or you may use the NASA testing contract for direct billing to the agency for official agency travel.

Upon return, you may get tested again between 3-5 days after travel. The CDC recommends that you stay home for 7 days after travel if your test is negative and 10 days if you elect to not to get tested. This is not a mandate, but a precautionary measure. Work with your supervisor as to whether your work requires you to return on site immediately, or if you are able to telework for the period recommended. The cost of testing is reimbursable and should be turned in with travel receipts, or you may use the NASA testing contract for direct billing to the agency for official agency travel.

For Civil Servants, NASA has contracted with Quest Labs for COVID-19 tests for approved NASA travel. Once you are placed on travel orders, a document will be sent with instructions on how to have the test delivered to your home both before travel (for those areas that require a negative test within 72 hours) and after travel. NASA will cover the cost of these tests associated with official government travel directly. You may also obtain a COVID test locally, and include the cost of the test for travel reimbursement if it is for official NASA travel.

It is imperative to check state and local conditions and restrictions before traveling within the U.S, as many states and municipalities have further restricted or placed enhanced testing guidelines due to escalating cases in their area. Follow local restrictions and guidelines where possible.

More information:

International Travel by NASA employees, International Partners, or other visitors to NASA Centers

For NASA employees traveling internationally, it is imperative to check conditions and restrictions at the destination and in layover countries. Information may be available from the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs Country Information webpages or through the airlines.

Beginning January 26th, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now requiring travelers inbound to the United States to have a negative COVID test no more than 3 days prior to boarding the aircraft. You will not be permitted to board the aircraft without a negative test. This is for all locations with inbound flights to the U.S. The aforementioned Quest Labs COVID test cannot be used or delivered for the test required in the host country, but may be ordered after arrival into the United States for post travel testing if the traveler is on government travel orders.

Many countries require a negative test performed 72 hours prior to travel and entry into their country. It is recommended to have an RT-PCR test performed as opposed to a rapid antigen test, due to its higher sensitivity. Upon return to the United States, repeat testing should be performed 3-5 days after entry. The CDC recommends self isolating for 7 full days if the return test is negative, and 10 days if no test is obtained. Work with your supervisor as to whether your work requires you to return on site immediately, or if you are able to telework for the period recommended. Receipts for testing secondary to travel can be turned in with your other travel receipts, or you may obtain testing using the direct billing NASA contract.

For International Partners traveling from outside the United States to a NASA Center: Those countries which currently have quarantine or specific restrictions posted by the CDC or State Department must abide by those restrictions. Upon entering the United States, the travelers not subject to more restrictive requirements based on their country of origin should get tested between 3-5 days after travel AND isolate for a full 7 days in their billeted quarters. If the test is negative you may report on site at a NASA center after the 7th day. If you do not get tested, you should isolate the full 10 days before reporting on site. You should be asymptomatic (no fever, cough, sore throat, etc) and should have the appropriate mask in place and maintain social distancing and frequent hand washing/sanitation. All travelers should maintain vigilance with self-observation for any signs or symptoms in the week following their arrival, and maintain PPE and social distancing while on site.

The agency reserves the right to check any and all visitors at the badging office for proof of testing and may deny access for non-compliance.

More information:

Travel Guidance

COVID-19 Testing and Travel

At this time, NASA does not require testing before or after travel. However, several states and communities require testing upon entry and the CDC recommends testing before and after domestic travel.

The agency is making no-cost COVID-19 testing through Quest Diagnostics available to civil servants on official travel orders. If you are on official travel orders, the NASA travel office will provide you instructions on how to order your test.

Once you place your order online, the testing kit will arrive by FedEx within 24-36 hours. Follow the instructions in the kit, drop it off at the nearest FedEx location, and results will be available within 24 hours after Quest receives your test. You may also choose to obtain your test locally, if available and desired, and have the cost of the test reimbursed on your travel voucher.

All questions about travel and related COVID-19 testing should be directed to your center travel office.

Travel Exception Form

If approval is required for travel, please complete the Request for Travel Exception Form.

Stage 4

All travel suspended

  • Must obtain approval by the A-suite for travel exceptions; if approved the traveler must adhere to CDC and NASA guidelines regarding isolation following travel prior to entering a NASA facility.

Stage 3

Travel is limited to mission critical activities where physical presence is required at another location. Approvals are delegated to the Official in Charge or designee.

  • Must obtain approval by the center director or designee
  • If the travel is to an area that has not progressed in its gates, has a rebound of cases, or has high or increasing case counts; travel should not be approved.
  • Traveler must adhere to CDC and NASA Center guidelines regarding physical distancing and mask wear while traveling and when entering a NASA facility.

Agency-approved travel exception forms are required for the following:

  • Use of NASA Aircraft: In addition to the regular approvals required by NPR 7900. 3D, Aircraft Operations Management, a travel exception form also must be completed and submitted for agency-level approval.

Minimize international and non-programmatic travel and adhere to CDC and NASA guidelines regarding isolation following international travel prior to entering a NASA facility.

Stage 2

Travel is limited to mission critical activities where physical presence is required at another location. Approvals are delegated to the Official in Charge or designee.

  • Must obtain approval by the center director or designee
  • If the travel is to an area that has not progressed in its gates, has a rebound of cases, or has high or increasing case counts; travel should not be approved.
  • Traveler must adhere to CDC and NASA Center guidelines regarding physical distancing and mask wear while traveling and when entering a NASA facility.

Minimize international and non-programmatic travel and adhere to CDC and NASA guidelines regarding isolation following international travel prior to entering a NASA facility.

Stage 1

Minimize travel that is not mission-critical. Approvals are delegated to the supervisor. Continue to observe CDC and NASA guidelines on travel precautions.

(updated: 10/26/2020)

Travel Guidance as of Jan. 29, 2021

Domestic Travel for NASA Employees

Follow the requirements for the local destination in regards to testing. If required, get tested 1-3 days before your flight. Please note that PCR tests take 24-48 hours to return, so plan accordingly so that you will have results in hand when presenting to the airport. The cost of testing is reimbursable and should be turned in with travel receipts, or you may use the NASA testing contract for direct billing to the agency for official agency travel.

Upon return, you may get tested again between 3-5 days after travel. The CDC recommends that you stay home for 7 days after travel if your test is negative and 10 days if you elect to not to get tested. This is not a mandate, but a precautionary measure. Work with your supervisor as to whether your work requires you to return on site immediately, or if you are able to telework for the period recommended. The cost of testing is reimbursable and should be turned in with travel receipts, or you may use the NASA testing contract for direct billing to the agency for official agency travel.

For Civil Servants, NASA has contracted with Quest Labs for COVID-19 tests for approved NASA travel. Once you are placed on travel orders, a document will be sent with instructions on how to have the test delivered to your home both before travel (for those areas that require a negative test within 72 hours) and after travel. NASA will cover the cost of these tests associated with official government travel directly. You may also obtain a COVID test locally, and include the cost of the test for travel reimbursement if it is for official NASA travel.

It is imperative to check state and local conditions and restrictions before traveling within the U.S, as many states and municipalities have further restricted or placed enhanced testing guidelines due to escalating cases in their area. Follow local restrictions and guidelines where possible.

For more information, go to:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-air-travel.html https://www.flyhealthy.gov

International Travel by NASA employees, or Center Visits from International Guests/Partners

For NASA employees traveling internationally, it is imperative to check conditions and restrictions at the destination and in layover countries. Information may be available from the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs Country Information webpages or through the airlines.

Beginning January 26th, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now requiring travelers inbound to the United States to have a negative COVID test within 72 hours prior to boarding the aircraft. You will not be permitted to board the aircraft without a negative test. This is for all locations with inbound flights to the U.S. The aforementioned Quest Labs COVID test cannot be used or delivered for the test required in the host country, but may be ordered after arrival into the United States for post travel testing if the traveler is on government travel orders.

Many countries require a negative test performed 72 hours prior to travel and entry into their country. It is recommended to have an RT-PCR test performed as opposed to a rapid antigen test, due to its higher sensitivity. Upon return to the United States, repeat testing should be performed 3-5 days after entry. The CDC recommends self isolating for 7 full days if the return test is negative, and 10 days if no test is obtained. Work with your supervisor as to whether your work requires you to return on site immediately, or if you are able to telework for the period recommended. Receipts for testing secondary to travel can be turned in with your other travel receipts, or you may obtain testing using the direct billing NASA contract.

For International Partners traveling from outside the United States to a NASA Center: Those countries which currently have quarantine or specific restrictions posted by the CDC or State Department must abide by those restrictions. Upon entering the United States, the travelers not subject to more restrictive requirements based on their country of origin should get tested between 3-5 days after travel AND isolate for a full 7 days in their billeted quarters. If the test is negative you may report on site at a NASA center after the 7th day. If you do not get tested, you should isolate the full 10 days before reporting on site. You should be asymptomatic (no fever, cough, sore throat, etc) and should have the appropriate mask in place and maintain physical distancing and frequent hand washing/sanitation. All travelers should maintain vigilance with self-observation for any signs or symptoms in the week following their arrival, and maintain PPE and physical distancing while on site.

The agency reserves the right to check any and all visitors at the badging office for proof of testing and may deny access for non-compliance.

For more information, visit:

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/COVID-19-Country-Specific-Information.html

Conferences & Training

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation evolves, training, workshops, conferences, and academic courses continue to be disrupted.

Due to the uncertainty of timing for return to normal operations, and in order to mitigate the increased risk of exposure through in-person attendance, all on-site training and organizational development activities are postponed until the respective Center reaches Stage 1 as outlined in NASA’s Return to Work Framework. At Stage 1, on-site activities will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the respective Center’s Learning Office to ensure the appropriate measures can be implemented, e.g., physical distancing in classrooms, cost considerations.

Stage 1 travel guidance is to minimize travel that is not mission-critical, thus non-virtual training and conference attendance which requires travel will be by exception.

All training, conferences and other developmental activities that can be held virtually will continue.

The majority of training that is required for NASA employees is already handled virtually. Completion dates remain intact for these courses, unless otherwise communicated. In the event an on-site class is part of a required training curriculum (e.g., COR), reach out to Center Learning Offices to discuss alternative arrangements. Virtual sessions are possible for the majority of these instances.

For approved academic courses, follow the guidance of the respective learning institution, as most have moved to on-line instruction.

As noted above, any exception to this guidance will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis through the appropriate supervisory approvals, with Center Learning Office involvement.

Center/Agency learning communities are working jointly with the NASA Shared Services Center (NSSC) to ensure employees understand the current environment and are supported during this difficult period. The need for innovative solutions to optimize development opportunities has been greatly accelerated due to COVID-19, and every effort is being made to bring these opportunities to our workforce. Our goal is to minimize the impact to learners, while keeping employee health and safety as the number one priority.

Employees are encouraged to take advantage of the on-line resources available through SATERN. Completion of a short course “Getting Started with NASA’s SkillSoft and Books 24x7 Programs” will unlock materials in these two extensive libraries.

Award-winning curriculum and career development tools are also available from the Academy of Program/Project & Engineering Leadership (APPEL) and from the Safety and Mission Assurance Technical Excellence Program (STEP).

As this situation evolves, updated guidance will be distributed. Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation as we work through unprecedented times.

Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer and NSSC Training Administration Team

Contact: NSSC-AgencyTrainingAdmin@mail.nasa.gov

(updated: 06/09/2020)

Request for Travel Exception Form