University of Alabama cancels sponsored international travel due to coronavirus concerns

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak, the University of Alabama has suspended all university-sponsored international travel for March and beyond.

“Faculty, staff and students MAY NOT TRAVEL anywhere outside the United States for university business or academic purposes (“university-sponsored travel”), including but not limited to study abroad or other international academic work, research or grant activity; service projects; internships; conferences or presentations; teaching or training; performances; recruiting; or athletic competitions,” according to an email sent to students and faculty from the university Wednesday.

In the email, UA said the decision on when to resume sponsored travel overseas would be complex and would have to be based on the best information available.

“Due to the expanding global coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the significant risk of exposure during international travel, and guidance from experts in public health and infectious disease, we expect full cooperation and compliance with this updated interim policy to maintain a safe and healthy environment for everyone,” the email read. “Faculty, staff, students, and visiting students and scholars who fail to comply with this policy may be subject to disciplinary action.”

The email went on to list that although the university cannot ban individuals’ freedom to travel on their own, it strongly encourages students and faculty to consider its policy and to be mindful of news coming from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the virus.

“The global situation is rapidly evolving, and risk of acquiring COVID-19 may change abruptly,” the email read. “Please be mindful of potential associated risks of disruptions to reentry to the United States, including possible quarantine.”

UA is also reminding students and faculty returning to the United States for university programs must comply with all U.S. re-entry and quarantine requirements.


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