Stanford issues spring break travel guidelines restricting travel to China, South Korea

Feb. 25, 2020, 11:11 p.m.

Vaden Health Center emailed students a list of spring break travel guidelines regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) on Tuesday, adding South Korea to the list of restricted countries along with China. 

Vaden director James Jacob also recommended against travel to Hong Kong, Macau, Japan and Italy, writing that “it is possible that the 14-day self-isolation period may be extended to these locations.” Stanford currently encourages those who have recently returned from China to self-isolate for 14 days.

According to the World Health Organization, there are now over 80,000 reported cases in 34 countries, including one in Santa Clara County and over 300 in Italy. On Monday, Stanford announced that students participating in the Stanford in Florence program will have to return home before the start of next week.

In addition to restricting specific countries, Stanford encouraged students who are traveling internationally during spring break to be aware of the evolving situation and to consider the following four guidelines.

First, Jacobs wrote, COVID-19 may spread in current areas or into new regions. Stanford recommends checking for travel updates using International SOS, which has a comprehensive list of travel restrictions. 

“Recently, community spread that is not linked to other cases or recent travel to mainland China has been observed,” Jacobs wrote. “Stanford continues to assess risk based on the number of cases, community spread, public health infrastructure, as well as other factors.” 

Second, Stanford urges students traveling abroad to monitor travel advisories daily. According to the announcement, re-entry into the U.S. and one’s ability to return to campus could be affected by sudden changes to travel restriction policy, canceled flights or additional quarantine measures put in place. 

Third, Jacobs warned that visa status may be impacted for international students and foreign nationals if they are unable to return to the U.S. by the start of the quarter. Stanford recommends checking immigration documents before leaving the country. 

Lastly, he recommended that students register their travel with Stanford, allowing the University “to contact [them] in the event of a major emergency or changing circumstances related to your travel destination.”

Contact Ujwal Srivastava at ujwal ‘at’

Ujwal Srivastava '23 is from Palo Alto, Calif. He is a Science & Technology Desk Editor interested in the intersection of healthcare and technology. He is majoring in Computer Science on the Biocomputation track. Contact him at usrivastava 'at'

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