Travel Guidelines

(Updated: 8/11/2020)

The New Mexico State University system serves a diverse set of stakeholders across the state and around the world. In order to fulfill our mission, university employees must sometimes travel outside of their communities.

The following guidelines are provided to balance the need for some travel during COVID-19 and the obligation to mitigate the risks of this travel. For purposes of this guidance, travel does not include commuting to and from work or school. Faculty, staff and students who currently commute from outside New Mexico (such as El Paso) for work or school may continue to do so.

Decisions regarding travel must be made in the interest of the health and safety of our university community and in accordance with current public health guidance. NMSU will continue to reassess this guidance and update these temporary restrictions as appropriate. 

Travel Resources

Essential travel may be permitted at the discretion of the applicable community college president, dean, vice president, or equivalent authority. Essential travel is considered university-related travel necessary to preserve a university program or interest that cannot be postponed.   

When requesting authorization for essential travel, travelers and their supervisors/sponsors should consider the potential risks. Depending on risk, travel could be denied, delayed, amended, or authorized.

  • Travel to high-risk locations is discouraged.
  • Travel risk variables to consider include importance, value, location, participant population, participant activities, type of travel, and COVID-19 exposure levels.

 Essential travel approvals should consider impact on university mission, department or program requirements and whether other options are available. Approved travel authorization must be included with all requests for travel reimbursement or payment. Essential in-state travel is exempt from this requirement.


Sponsored Award Travel

Travel on a sponsored award is permitted if:

  • required by grant or contract language,
  • there is no option for delay,
  • approved by the department head and dean, and
  • traveler follows prevention and protection measures including self-isolation for a period of 14 days, upon return to NM when traveling out-of-state.


Student Travel
(Updated: 09/09/2020)

Students are encouraged to remain on campus/local community and not travel during the semester.

Students traveling to campus from out-of-state must quarantine for a period of 14 days upon arrival to New Mexico.

Under the New Mexico executive order revised on Sept. 3, students arriving in New Mexico from states with a 5% positivity rate or lower or a new case rate lower than 80 per 1 million residents, each calculated over a 7-day rolling average, are advised to be tested for COVID-19.

within 5 to 7 days of their arrival in the state. While students are advised to consider self-isolation after arriving from anywhere outside of New Mexico, the quarantine requirement no longer applies to visitors and residents arriving from those lower-risk states.

In addition, students who can show documentation of a valid negative COVID-19 test taken within the 72 hours before or after entry into New Mexico are exempt from the 14-day quarantine requirement, regardless of the state from which they have traveled. Persons who have undergone a COVID-19 test must self-isolate or self-quarantine while awaiting the results of their test. This exemption does not apply to students entering New Mexico after traveling outside of the United States.

The list of states where the quarantine order applies will be maintained at and updated weekly. The requirements, as before, apply to visitors arriving through both air travel and by road.

Approved student fieldwork is allowed. All other university-sponsored student travel (i.e. academic or leadership conferences, service events) are suspended until further notice. ASNMSU will not be reimbursing student organizations or individuals for travel during the fall 2020 semester.

Education abroad programs with departure dates before January 1, 2021, have been suspended. Specific questions related to education abroad, including faculty led international programs, should be directed to Education Abroad at 575-646-5107 or you may email questions to

Students registered for the National Student Exchange program as of June 30 will be allowed to continue in the program as planned. Questions related to National Student Exchange should be directed to the Office of Experiential Learning at 575-646-5107 or you may email questions to Kari Cena, National Student Exchange Coordinator at


Athletic Team Travel

Athletic team travel will be permitted using the guidelines provided by the NCAA and Western Athletic Conference. All team travel must be pre-approved by the Director of Athletics or Deputy Athletic Director.

Athletic teams will be required to follow all current travel-related quarantine recommendations from the New Mexico Department of Health.


Employee Travel

Any university travel not approved in advance and designated as essential will not be eligible for reimbursement.

Any individual who travels outside of the state for approved business must self-isolate for a period of 14 days upon return. Employee will telework during the self-isolation period. If symptoms develop during the self-isolation period, stay home and contact Aggie Health & Wellness at 575-646-7375.

Travel within the state is permitted if limited to single passenger or two passengers with appropriate face covering. 

All international travel remains suspended unless identified as mission-critical and approved by campus president.

Non-essential personal travel is discouraged. Anyone who travels out-of-state for personal reasons must self-isolate for a period of 14 days. Approved leave must be taken for this period unless arrangements to telework have been made.