Guidelines for PCR Testing on Business Trips (July 30 Version)
Published: May 19, 2021
As part of the effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Tokyo Tech is currently restricting its faculty and staff members, as well as students, etc. from going on business trips. To further supplement this purpose, Tokyo Tech has established the following guidelines regarding pre/post travel protocol.
1. Primary conditions to approve a business trip
Tokyo Tech is requesting its members not to come to campus if 1) they have unusual health conditions, 2) they or those living with them have tested positive for COVID-19, or have been identified as having had close contact with a COVID-19 patient, 3) those living with them have a fever and/or are expecting a PCR test result. Accordingly, a faculty or staff member, etc. to whom these cases apply will not be allowed to go on business trips. During the trip, travelers are expected to take proper precautions against possible infection. For example, dinners, etc. must be avoided.
2. Business trip approvals
On the basis that a faculty or staff member planning a business trip and those living with him/her are both in good health, the decision regarding a business trip will be made according to the “Tokyo Tech Response”, which can be found on Tokyo Tech website’s COVID19 updates for faculty and staff page ( https://www.titech.ac.jp/covid-19/ ) (for students: https://www.titech.ac.jp/english/enrolled/health/coronavirus.html ). Travel for lectures that need to be conducted as originally scheduled will be treated as equivalent to business trips.
3. Pre-travel PCR testing
Even if the conditions set in the above item 2 do not restrict a planned overnight business trip, the traveler must confirm that he/she is COVID-19 negative via a PCR test by obtaining the result from a hospital, etc. within three days* before the departure date, in principle, when:
- A PCR test is encouraged or requested by the visiting organization(s), including those outside of Japan.
- At least one of Tokyo, Kanagawa, and the prefecture where the traveler is living is designated as a region under a state of emergency or the "Area-Focused Intensive Measures for Prevention of the Spread of Infection (まん延防止等重点措置)” based on Special Measures against Novel Influenza, etc.
The PCR testing to be accepted includes the voluntary mass testing for early detection of infection organized by the Cabinet Office, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, etc. and postal testing kits provided or endorsed by medical and other institutions. Quick self-test kits sold at drugstores and the like will not be accepted. A negative test result does not have to be reported to Tokyo Tech. If the test result is positive, or the traveler notices health abnormalities even with a negative test result, the planned business trip will not be approved in accordance with item 1, and the traveler must report to Tokyo Tech at firstname.lastname@example.org (for students: email@example.com ) and follow instructions from their local public health center or the like.
For business day trips, the below item 7 (Inter-prefectural travel other than business trips, including private trips) will apply.
If one or more of the parties at the traveler’s destination, including local authorities, expresses concerns about accepting visitors from Tokyo Tech, the business trip (both overnight and day trips) will not be approved even with a negative test result.
* Based on the three days (72 hours) before departure from one’s home country set by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan for the required certificate of the result of pre-entry PCR testing. However, the most recent date possible may be accepted when approved by the relevant Travel Approver (deans, directors, etc.) due to unavoidable reasons such as difficulty receiving timely test results due to circumstances related to the delivery of test samples, or a difference in the submission deadline for test results set by the visiting organization.
* A list of facilities providing paid PCR testing are available from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare website at https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/kenkou_iryou/covid19-jihikensa_00001.html .
Some general hospitals may also provide the test. Please consult your family doctor.
4. Post-travel protocol
A faculty or staff member, etc. who returns from an approved business trip (refer to item 2) must monitor their health condition even more carefully than usual for two weeks if at least one of the destinations includes a region under a state of emergency or the "AreaFocused Intensive Measures for Prevention of the Spread of Infection.” If the traveler notices even the slightest health abnormality, they must consult their family doctor, etc. and must not come to campus. If any health abnormality is noticed, or the traveler is found to have had contact with a COVID-19 patient or someone who had close contact with a COVID-19 patient during the trip, the traveler must report to Tokyo Tech at firstname.lastname@example.org (for students: email@example.com ) and follow instructions from their local public health center or the like.
When returning from abroad, the traveler should self-isolate for about two weeks, as required by the Japanese government.
5. Exceptional cases for consecutive trips
If a faculty or staff member, etc. plans to go on another business trip right after returning from one, and therefore finds it difficult to obtain a PCR test result before the next trip, or it is sure that the traveler will not come to campus between the trips, the traveler can skip the required pre-travel PCR test and post-travel protocol between the trips. However, the traveler must follow post-travel protocol when returning from the very last trip if at least one of the destinations includes a region under a state of emergency or the "Area-Focused Intensive Measures for Prevention of the Spread of Infection.”
6. Reimbursement of business trip-related PCR testing expenses
Expenses for taking a PCR test as required in accordance with the conditions set in these guidelines can be reimbursed through institutional operating expense funds (including external funds/indirect costs) and donations. Reimbursement via external funds/direct costs, such as KAKENHI (Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research) may also be accepted in certain cases, so please check with the relevant designated division. Please go through the necessary procedures of reimbursement on the Purchase Request System in accordance with the National University Corporation Tokyo Institute of Technology Reimbursement Standards. This also applies to business trips by laboratory-affiliated students. However, the test expense for lecture-related travel by students cannot be reimbursed through Tokyo Tech.
7. Inter-prefectural travel other than business trips, including private trips
During states of emergency in Tokyo and/or Kanagawa or the "Area-Focused Intensive Measures for Prevention of the Spread of Infection” thereof, Tokyo Tech strongly requests that its members avoid inter-prefectural travel other than business trips. This includes private trips but not traveling between campuses and home to campus. If such interprefectural travel becomes essential, note that the PCR testing procedures required in these guidelines do not apply, but the following points must be considered.
- A decision on the essentiality of travel should be made with due consideration to the circumstances of the parties to be visited.
- Please take a pre-travel PCR test if requested by the parties to be visited. Pre-travel PCR testing is also encouraged for situations where due consideration is expected, including when speaking to a large number of people in person. As mentioned in item 6, the test expense can be reimbursed through institutional operating expense funds, donations, or external funds/indirect costs, as long as the travel is for business purposes. The test expense for private trips cannot be reimbursed through Tokyo Tech.
- If at least one of the destinations includes a region under a state of emergency or the "Area-Focused Intensive Measures for Prevention of the Spread of Infection” monitor your health condition even more carefully than usual for two weeks after returning. If you notice even the slightest abnormality in your health, do not come to campus and consult your family doctor, etc.
8. Validity of the guidelines
These guidelines will be effective for trips beginning on or after August 1, 2021. However, they do not preclude the adoption of revisions prior to the date the guidelines are revised (July 30, 2021).