Office of the President

March 10, 2020 – COVID-19: International & Non-Essential Travel


This communication relates to travel restrictions and supplements travel guidance provided by the Chancellor’s Office regarding COVID-19.

Determinations about how best to protect our university community (in the United States and abroad) are informed by evolving guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US State Department, as well as state and local public health agencies.

The campus has been following the CDC warning level guidelines, but the rapidly changing environment makes it very difficult to predict what the global infection map will look like in the near future. It is highly likely that countries in Europe and Asia, as well as the United States, will see continuing escalation in infection that will impact travel arrangements we are making today.

Students and Employees

Effective immediately, our campus and our auxiliary organizations will suspend all international and non-essential domestic travel from now through May 31, 2020.View the definition of essential travel (PDF).

Future travel, including summer and fall 2020, will be determined as the COVID-19 situation evolves. We know that this may result in cancellation fees that cannot be refunded, and the campus will assist with budgetary support.

I have authorized Vice Presidents to make determinations about what constitutes non-essential domestic travel and to provide exemptions with respect to travel to countries that are not at the CDC(opens in new window) Warning Level 3.

Study Abroad

Our original guidance was designed to return students from a place with a significant number of cases, to the United States, a place of relative safety. Now, as the cases in the United States rise, it may not always be the case that putting students on a plane to California would be safer than remaining where they are currently located. In addition, some students returning from abroad might not have a place to self-quarantine as recommended by current federal and state guidance.

Therefore, effective immediately, depending on the specific countries and circumstances, the campus will help students remain abroad if, based on current information, it is deemed to be a safer course of action. For students abroad in CDC Level 3 (or above) countries, campus should formally give them the option to remain or to return with as much assistance as possible.

For upcoming study abroad programs (occurring after May 31, 2020), the Study Abroad Advisory Committee will review the current situation in the host country, current travel restrictions, and planning requirements as they consider whether to move forward with those programs.

Athletics & Sport Club Programs

Travel related to these programs will be evaluated and included under separate guidelines.

Stay Healthy,
Gayle E. Hutchinson, President