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CORONAVIRUS UPDATES AS OF MAR. 11, 2020

 

On March 11, the White House announced travel restrictions from 26 countries in the Schengen area of Europe to the United States that will go into effect this Friday, March 13. This does not apply to American citizens studying abroad, permanent U.S. residents, and others.

These restrictions came after the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a pandemic, meaning it is now present in countries around the world and not just in isolated regions.

Here’s what this means for students currently traveling or planning to travel abroad:

  • Texas A&M is advising students, faculty, and staff in the Schengen area of Europe to return to the United States. This area of Europe does not include the United Kingdom (UK), but we are asking students in the UK to return as well.

  • Education Abroad is working to assist participants of university-sponsored education abroad trips in Europe to return to their homes.

  • Any Texas A&M University faculty, staff, or students in Europe – whether on university-sponsored travel, third-party programs, and/or personal travel should register their travel on the university travel reporting portal.

  • Anyone returning to the United States from Europe must self-isolate for 14 days before returning to campus. Students returning from the UK must self-monitor.

  • Students, faculty, and staff returning from Spring Break should keep their current itineraries in the days to come. Due to the travel ban, it will be challenging to try to leave any earlier than scheduled.

  • At this time, Texas A&M has not canceled summer programs departing after May 1. The university is actively monitoring countries with increased levels of COVID-19 to determine the best course of action. A decision about programs departing in May will be made after Spring Break.


We understand that the outbreak and spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is concerning to all travelers, and we want to assure you that we are working to make informed decisions about Texas A&M Education Abroad programs.

Here are the Texas A&M policies and restriction enacted to date:

  • All programs traveling to areas listed by the CDC as Level 1, 2, or 3 for COVID-19 continue to be suspended. To date, those destinations include China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, Japan, and Hong Kong. Programs in Spain and Qatar have also been suspended or relocated back to College Station.

  • Effective March 16, the university will suspend all Texas A&M-sponsored international travel through May 1. This means that if you are a student or a faculty member preparing to depart for an international experience abroad between March 16 and May 1, your trip has been suspended and you should make alternative arrangements.  We will be communicating with students impacted by this restriction as soon as possible.

  • We understand that some colleges may choose to cancel their programs scheduled to depart after May 1 independently of the university’s current policy. Communication about any change to or cancellation of a program will come from Education Abroad, your affiliate provider, the lead faculty member for your trip, or any combination of the three. If you have not received any such communication, please plan to depart as scheduled.  

  • Texas A&M has created a mandatory reporting portal for all students, faculty and staff traveling from or through any location that's been designated as Level 1, 2 or 3 by the CDC for COVID-19, Qatar, or any country in Europe. The registration is required for both personal and university business travel before leaving or immediately upon return.

 

Please be aware that Texas A&M University is currently closed for Spring Break and will reopen on Monday, March 16. During this time, Education Abroad will not be in the office to answer calls and will not be able to process any business transactions, including refunds.

Although not in the office, Education Abroad staff will be monitoring the abroad@tamu.edu and ea-covid19@tamu.edu emails regularly. While we will try to respond within 24 hours, some inquiries may take longer resolve.