Supporting a safer holiday season

COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force

Dear Bruin Community:

As we head into the holiday season — beginning with Thanksgiving — it is important to remember that although most of us will be taking breaks from work and school, the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic is still with us. Precaution is warranted to slow the spread of the virus and prevent a potential winter surge.

The winter months can pose a significant risk as people socialize with friends and family indoors, so as you prepare for activities, holidays and gatherings it is important to consider actions to curb the potential spread of the virus. Ensuring you are fully vaccinated, getting a booster shot if you are eligible, and getting tested frequently are just a few of the actions that you can take to keep yourself, friends, family, neighbors and members of our communities safer.

UCLA students in on-campus housing during Thanksgiving break

Please note that UCLA students in on-campus housing have the option to remain in their assigned rooms during the Thanksgiving break with programming offered by UCLA Residential Life.

Travel advisory and guidance

For those who plan to travel, L.A. County public health experts have shared a travel advisory and guidance to make the start to the holiday season safer. It is important to note that travel is strongly discouraged by the CDC for those who:

  • Are not vaccinated
  • Are sick with or exhibit symptoms of COVID-19
  • Have tested positive for COVID-19 and have not ended isolation
  • Have been in close contact to someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days (unless fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days)
  • Are waiting for the results of a COVID-19 viral test

For all travel, regardless of destination or distance, it is important to take preventive measures to protect yourself and others, such as wearing a mask for the duration of your trip, maintaining six feet of physical distance from others and washing your hands frequently.

Out of state travel

If you plan to travel out of state, follow UCLA protocols and CDC domestic travel guidelines for unvaccinated or vaccinated individuals:

Unvaccinated individuals

  • Must present a negative COVID-19 to the airline test taken 1-3 days prior to departure
  • Are strongly urged to test and quarantine for a full seven days following travel until a negative test is received
  • Take a COVID-19 test 3-5 days after returning from travel and continue to test weekly on campus.*

*Please note that testing requirements for unvaccinated individuals have changed to once per week. However, since testing within 72 hours for access to restaurants and other specific venues is still necessary, more frequent testing is still recommended. This change does not impact employees who work in hospital or clinical settings where other public health requirements exist.

Vaccinated individuals

  • Are not required to take a COVID-19 test prior to travel
  • Are advised to limit social interaction for five days following travel, as a precaution
  • Are recommended to take a COVID-19 test 3-5 days after returning from travel, especially if from out of state

International travel

For international travel, be aware of all advisories related to your destination. According to CDC protocol, all air passengers coming to, or returning to, the United States, including U.S. citizens and fully vaccinated people, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States.

UCLA COVID-19 Hotline and SwabSeq testing availability during upcoming campus holidays

Refer to the Arthur Ashe Student Health & Wellness Center website for the COVID-19 Hotline and SwabSeq COVID-19 testing and community screening schedule for the upcoming holidays.

Enable or add CA Notify to your smartphone

You can also enable or add CA Notify to your smartphone to receive alerts of possible COVID-19 exposure.

This early detection tool, which was piloted in 2020 by UCLA and a number of other UC campuses, permits a user who tests positive for COVID-19 to quickly and anonymously notify close contacts that they may have been exposed to the virus, thus allowing them to seek medical attention and reduce risk to others.

For other updates, guidance and information about the efforts UCLA is taking to mitigate the spread of the virus, please visit the UCLA COVID-19 resources site.

We appreciate your cooperation with COVID-19 protocols and all that you are doing to protect the health and well-being of the broader community. Compassion and consideration for those around us is essential as we look to limit the spread of the virus here in Los Angeles and elsewhere. We wish you all a safe Thanksgiving break and a cheerful start to the holiday season.


Michael J. Beck
Administrative Vice Chancellor
Co-chair, COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force

Megan McEvoy
Professor, Institute for Society and Genetics,
     Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics
Co-chair, COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force

Recommended COVID-19 resources

For journalists

UCLA faculty members are available for interviews with news media on a wide range of topics related to COVID-19, including public health and epidemiology, virology and vaccines, mental health, education, law, politics and the economy.

UCLA COVID-19 experts UCLA COVID-19 news stories

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