Texas A&M system issues new restrictions on foreign travel

The Texas A&M University system issued new restrictions on foreign travel Monday due to concerns over the coronavirus. The restrictions impact the students, faculty, and staff of the system's 11 universities and eight state agencies.

“We have no greater responsibility than to promote the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff,” wrote Chancellor John Sharp in a letter to university presidents and agency directors. “We also are responsible for promoting public health, especially during this period of global uncertainty.”

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Effective immediately, all foreign travel by Texas A&M System students, faculty and staff is strongly discouraged and payment for system-sponsored travel to all countries identified as Level 1 or greater risk by the CDC (which includes China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan, and South Korea) is prohibited, excepting for “mission-critical” personnel working on the coronavirus response.

All students, faculty, and staff currently in those countries are encouraged to return to the U.S. as soon as can be practically arranged. Students, faculty, and staff are also directed to report all personal travel to those countries to the university.

Students, faculty, staff, and visitors traveling from Level 2 and 3 countries (China, Iran, Italy, Japan, and South Korea) are required to isolate themselves for 14 days before returning to school or work. Texas A&M says monitoring and isolation should follow the CDC's guidelines, which currently suggest at least 14 days without symptoms.

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Students are required to self-monitor and isolate at an off-campus or family residence if possible. If not, students should contact the university. Students with symptoms should call ahead to campus health centers to allow medical personnel time to prepare or direct them to local health authorities.

Students will also be reimbursed for reasonable expenses associated with canceled school-sponsored trips.


The new restrictions follow the cancelation Friday of Spring Break trips to Italy for Texas A&M Education Abroad programs.