Novel coronavirus information

February 4, 2020

Official UW travel to China restricted until further notice

Dear UW community:

Effective immediately and until further notice, University of Washington students, faculty and other academic personnel, and staff may not travel to China using UW resources or in an official University capacity unless a waiver has been granted. This is due to the outbreak of novel coronavirus and in light of travel warnings issued by the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This includes all official employee travel, including travel funded by sponsored research, as well as all official student travel, such as for study abroad programs, UW-affiliated internships or trips to conduct research. This does not apply to personal travel, however we strongly recommend reviewing the travel warnings that advise against travel to China at this time. If you are unsure if this restriction applies to your travel, contact

This action has been taken after careful consideration of the risk of UW community members being exposed to the novel coronavirus if they were to travel to China, as well as the risk that various government travel restrictions and airline cancellations would severely hamper individuals’ ability to return to the United States.

Requests for waivers will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the UW International Travel Risk Assessment and Safety Committee (ITRASC). Without an official waiver, UW funds may not be used to support any travel to China and UW-sponsored travel insurance and emergency assistance will not be available. We have been in contact with those UW community members who were known to be already in China on official travel before the escalation of the outbreak. They, along with other students, faculty and other academic personnel, and staff – including those who have existing reservations for official travel to China – are welcome to contact for advice and support.

As a reminder, no one in the UW community has been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.  As reported previously, three students who presented symptoms after traveling to China over the winter break were isolated and tested. All tested negative for the virus. No additional individuals within the UW community have been identified for testing.

Thank you for observing this restriction. Additional information is available on the Office of Global Affairs website, and we will update the community when this restriction can be lifted.

Mark A. Richards
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Professor, Earth and Space Sciences