February 3, 2020


SUBJECT:    2019 Novel Coronavirus Update: Interim UC San Diego Travel Policy Related to the Coronavirus Outbreak

Over the past six weeks, a coronavirus (2019 novel Coronavirus, nCoV) closely related to the coronaviruses responsible for the SARS and MERS outbreaks, has spread from Wuhan Province to other parts of China and, more recently, beyond China. We strongly support our Chinese community and their families in this difficult time and hope that this outbreak can be brought to a swift conclusion.

With increasing concern about global spread of the nCoV, the US State Department has issued a Level 4 travel advisory ( related to travel to and from China. Under this advisory, all non-essential travel to China by U.S. Government personnel has been suspended. President Napolitano has directed that the UC community temporarily avoid all non-essential travel to China. Each UC campus and medical center has been directed to develop a process to determine if travel to China is essential or can be postponed.

UC San Diego’s interim policy, outlined below, has been drafted to be consistent with this policy. It is not intended to be a travel ban since UC San Diego faculty, staff and students may have legitimate reasons to travel to China for essential purposes and/or personal emergencies.

Members of the UC San Diego and UC San Diego Health faculty, staff and student communities should not travel to China for non-essential purposes. As directed by President Napolitano, UC San Diego has developed a process by which personnel who wish to travel to China on essential business may request designation of their travel as being in the “essential” category.

We recognize that UC San Diego and UC San Diego Health are world-class institutions and that members of our community may be called upon to travel to China to assist in control of the nCoV outbreak or to conduct other ongoing critical activities. Those wishing to travel on official university business for essential reasons will be asked to submit to their department head a written “Request for Essential Travel Designation” to include the name and position title of the university/UC Health traveler, a detailed statement of the reason for the travel, the dates and locations of the travel, and a justification for why the travel cannot be deferred or the business conducted by electronic communications. An electronic form is available at

The department head or dean and vice chancellor of the traveler’s unit will determine whether the travel is deemed to be essential in nature. If it is determined that the travel is not of an essential nature, the traveler can appeal to the Chancellor’s Office for a final determination.

If travel is deemed essential, the traveler will register with the UC International Travel Registry at before their departure date and update any deviations from the information deposited in the registry before, during and after their travel occurs. The University will provide support to the traveler according to existing university travel policies for those traveling on essential university business and who are registered in the UC International Travel Registry.

Travelers must obtain “Essential Travel Designation” AND register in the UC International Travel Registry in order for the university to provide reimbursement of travel expenses and in order for the university travel program (Connexxus) to provide emergency assistance.

When travelers return to the U.S., whether or not they are traveling on essential university business, they must comply with all U.S. re-entry and quarantine requirements in place before returning to the university community.

UC San Diego recognizes that many members of our community have family and other close personal ties in China. This interim UC San Diego travel policy is not intended to impede travel related to family and other personal obligations. Travel of this nature is considered (as in the past) to be personal travel. It will be subject to any regulations and advisories of the U.S. government and other relevant agencies. Personal travelers will be required to comply with all U.S. re-entry and quarantine requirements in place before returning to the university community.

We look forward to seeing this outbreak brought under control by the efforts of the global community, and we will continue to provide all possible support to affected members of our community.

For up-to-date health and campus policy information concerning 2019 novel Coronavirus, please visit the campus resource page at

Pradeep K. Khosla

Elizabeth H. Simmons
Executive Vice Chancellor

Maripat Corr
Chair, Academic Senate,
San Diego Division

David A. Brenner
Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences

Margaret S. Leinen
Vice Chancellor for Marine Sciences

Sandra A. Brown
Vice Chancellor for Research

Gary C. Matthews
Vice Chancellor for
Resource Management and Planning

Pierre Ouillet
Vice Chancellor and
Chief Financial Officer

Becky R. Petitt
Vice Chancellor for
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Alysson M. Satterlund
Vice Chancellor – Student Affairs

Patty Maysent
Chief Executive Officer,
UC San Diego Health