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Coronavirus: Email to Students, Faculty and Staff 2-28-20

As many members of the University community plan travel for spring break and beyond, we are writing with an update on Princeton’s response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

There is an understandably high level of concern as this virus spreads, and we are closely monitoring the evolving situation.  We are continually updating this website that contains FAQs and other resources about the coronavirus.  Beyond mainland China, several other countries are now reporting localized COVID-19 outbreaks.  Mindful of our mission to support the health and safety of our community, we write to share updated international travel advice.

In developing travel-related advice, we are aligning with the coronavirus-related travel health notices of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the coronavirus-related travel advisories of the U.S. Department of State (USDOS).  We recommend that members of the Princeton community review the country-specific CDC and USDOS links above, as guidance evolves rapidly.  Please also review this Princeton-specific travel advice for higher risk locations.


The following table summarizes the government travel notices and the Princeton University guidance. The information supersedes previous University guidance.  This table will be updated regularly on the University’s COVID-19 website. Additional guidance follows the table.

Travel Notice Princeton University Guidance Countries   (as of 2/28/20)

CDC Warning Level 3: Avoid Nonessential Travel 


USDOS Level 4: Do not travel

University-sponsored travel is prohibited for undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and staff until further notice.  When we consider it safe for travel to these locations to resume, we will issue further guidance.

If returning from these countries, complete this survey and self-quarantine for 14 days using these guidelines.

Mainland China

South Korea

(updates on website)

CDC Warning Level 2: Practice Enhanced Precautions and/or 


USDOS Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Strongly recommend canceling or rescheduling University-sponsored travel for undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and staff to these locations due to the elevated risk of contracting COVID-19, possible travel interruptions, and potential restrictions on those returning.

Older adults and those with chronic medical conditions are at higher risk for severe disease and should consider postponing travel.

As a reminder, all students who wish to engage in University-sponsored international travel to these locations are required to register by submitting a travel request through Concur.

Faculty and staff members going to these locations must submit basic information through a confidential form. The form asks travelers to develop plans for evacuation, continuity of study or work, and self-quarantine (in case such a restriction is imposed by the U.S. government).

Individuals returning from these countries must complete this form and monitor their health using these guidelines for preventing illness.





(updates on website)



For locations at CDC Warning Level 3 and/or USDOS Level 4

For future planning, we recommend that you do not plan University-sponsored travel—especially group travel involving students —during Fall Semester 2020 and Wintersession.  While travel might eventually be possible to these locations before February 2021, we believe that planning resources are better allocated to travel after that time.

For locations at CDC Warning Level 2 and/or USDOS Level 3

Please note that if public health measures in other countries or the United States impact travelers, the University may be unable to help travelers return in a timely way so as to fulfill their coursework, teaching, and research obligations.

While the University is not currently prohibiting travel to these locations, we may do so if circumstances change in the coming weeks.  By April 1, 2020 we plan to provide updated guidance related to summer travel to these locations.


The CDC currently requires anyone coming from mainland China to self-quarantine for 14 days.  At this time, there are no federal restrictions on travelers returning from other locations. However, the situation is a dynamic one and requirements and restrictions may be imposed by state/federal authorities in the future.

Besides the guidance listed in the table above, any individual who has been in close contact with a patient diagnosed with COVID-19 is expected to complete a short form as well as self-quarantine for 14 days using these guidelines.

If you have questions about incoming travelers, please contact


Anyone currently in one of the countries listed above, to which travel is prohibited, should be in touch with their program director or the Global Safety and Security (GSS) office.

The above advice is focused on University-sponsored travel.  We strongly recommend deferring personal travel to the above locations for the foreseeable future.  The University’s ability to support those on personal travel is severely limited.

Given the dynamic nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, the University is monitoring the situation closely.  We acknowledge that the uncertainty of your travel plans can be challenging and appreciate your flexibility as we update guidance based on the latest information.  If additional restrictions are imposed, we will issue further guidance to the community.

Aly Kassam-Remtulla, Ph.D., Associate Provost for International Affairs and Operations

Irini Daskalaki, MD, Infectious Disease Physician, University Health Services

Robin Izzo, M.S., Executive Director, Environmental Health and Safety

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