Highest Travel Warnings Now in Place, Travel to China Temporarily Restricted

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

With the continued spread of the novel coronavirus across the globe, health authorities are urging both vigilance and what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is calling an aggressive response to containing the outbreak and preventing “sustained spread” of the virus. Several agencies have issued new warnings that provide guidance to travelers. They include:

New Warnings

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, commonly referred to as a “global health emergency.”
  • The U.S. State Department has raised its travel advisory for China to Level 4—its highest level. Level 4 means “do not travel” to China.
  • The CDC has assigned a Level 3 Travel Warning for China (Avoid Non-Essential Travel). This is CDC’s highest risk rating.

New Travel Restrictions

Syracuse University, much like other American institutions, is taking additional steps to protect its campus community.

  • As such, all University students, faculty and staff are restricted from traveling to China for University purposes effective immediately. The University will actively monitor guidance from the State Department and the CDC with the intention of removing restrictions as soon as it is deemed safe to do so.
  • This restriction applies only to those traveling to China for University purposes. However, we strongly recommend that those who may have plans to travel to China for personal reasons reconsider their plans.
  • In addition to the risks posed by the virus, there are significant travel difficulties getting into, within and exiting China. We recognize there may be exceptional circumstances for individuals needing to be in China; if so, please contact Seth Tucker, director of global safety and support, at satucker@syr.edu or at 315.443.1968, who will provide guidance for submitting an appeal for consideration.

If You Have Been to China Recently

  • Out of an abundance of caution, anyone who travels to China during this temporary restriction will not be able to return to any University building or facility for a period of 14 days to allow for self-monitoring for any coronavirus symptoms. For students, please call the Barnes Center at The Arch at 315.443.8000 to coordinate with health and student support professionals.
  • As a reminder, if you have been to China in the last 14 days, please self-report this travel by contacting Seth Tucker, director of global safety and support, at satucker@syr.edu or at 315.443.1968. This information will be treated as confidential.

Safety Precautions

It’s critically important that all members of our campus community continue to exercise good health practices. To learn more about preventive health practices, please visit the Barnes Center at The Arch website. Students should call the Barnes Center at The Arch (315.443.8000), and faculty and staff should contact their primary care physician should they develop symptoms of a respiratory illness, including fever, cough or shortness of breath. At this time, we are not recommending the use of protective masks. However, we ask that you please be cognizant that just because a community member may be wearing a mask, that does not mean they’re ill. It is common—in many countries—to see individuals protecting their health and well-being by wearing masks.

We will continue to provide updates to our campus community about information, protocols and recommendations from the CDC and the New York State Department of Health.


Steven Bennett
Senior Vice President for Academic Operations

Tony Callisto
Senior Vice President for Safety and Chief Law Enforcement Officer

Dr. Karen Nardella
Medical Director, Barnes Center at The Arch