I am writing to advise on international travel plans in light of the global health concerns over the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). As we make plans for the upcoming spring break, I urge you to please keep in mind recent advisories by the U.S. State Department urging people not to travel to China in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as the directive by the University of California Office of the President to avoid all non-essential travel to China.
This is a difficult time for anyone planning or considering travel to China and other affected countries, especially for those hoping to visit family, or those who have long-awaited or time-sensitive travel plans. The severity of the outbreak has resulted in many extraordinary restrictions, including multiple commercial airlines suspending travel to China.
If you plan on traveling outside of the United States, keep in mind that other countries could add or change travel restrictions without notice, flights may be canceled or new re-entry restrictions or quarantines could be imposed when returning to the United States. If you must travel outside the United States for spring break, please consider obtaining travel insurance — which is available through the UC Office of the President Travel Insurance website or the provider of your choice — and be sure to provide family and friends with your contact information. UCLA Residence halls will remain open over spring break for current residents unable to travel home.
For students who would like additional guidance and information about travel restrictions and planning, please visit Bruins Safe Online. For students facing the emotional aspects of their travel decisions, such as worrying about family in the affected area or not being able to visit home, please contact UCLA Counseling and Psychological Services. We are here for you.
Please also remember that even though the vast majority of the infections have occurred in Wuhan, China, we must not stigmatize anyone in our community based on appearance or national origin. Someone who has a cough or fever does not necessarily have COVID-19, although the same standard health practices recommended to prevent the spread of influenza can also be used to prevent COVID-19.
For more information on these precautions and to learn more about UCLA’s preparedness, please visit the UCLA Arthur Ashe Student Health & Wellness Center website.