2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Statement

The COVID-19 Virus is an ongoing outbreak of respiratory illness that was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019. Since December, thousands of cases have been identified in other parts of China and in other countries, including the United States.

What is BYU’s current position on travel to affected countries ?

BYU has placed a travel ban on ALL of CHINA and SOUTH KOREA for all of its students and employees until further noitice as the situation remains very fluid. All education abroad programs to China and South Korea for spring and summer terms have been cancelled or re-routed to other countries. BYU's position on travel to other countries has not changed.

BYU closely follows travel recommendations from the CDC and the U.S. Department of State and other experts: 

Currently, the CDC has issued its highest travel notice for China and South Korea, WARNING - Level 3, Avoid nonessential travel to China. 

The U.S. DOS has issued a Level 4 Travel Alert - Do not travel to Chiina.

The World Health Organization has declared the COVID-19 Virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern as the outbreak continues to spread outside China.

The University is urging all its travelers to practice usual precautions and follow the advice of the CDC, World Health Organization, U.S. Department of State, and other travel experts when considering travel at this time. Some of these recommendations include:

  • Avoid travel while sick.

  • Prior to travel, consider meeting with your primary care physician.

  • Make sure to have international health insurance with medical evacuation coverage.

  • Avoid contact with sick people.

  • Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. There is no evidence that influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent coronavirus, practice diligent basic health precautions.

  • Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues may be at risk for more severe disease and should discuss travel to China with their healthcare provider.

  • Avoid crowded areas, if possible. If traveling in an enclosed space like a train or plane, consider wearing a mask for protection.

  • If feeling ill with symptoms of a fever, cough, sore throat, or respiratory issues, visit a doctor right away.

  • All BYU students and employees traveling abroad should enroll in the U.S. State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive messages and alerts from the U.S. Department of State specific to their destination.


For additional information on the virus and tips for staying healthy while traveling, please see the following resources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Novel Coronavirus in China

CDC Travelers Health Page – China

​World Health Organization: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Page

WHO COVID-19 Daily Situation Reports

United States Embassy in Beijing (Scroll down for latest health updates)

U.S. State Department China Travel Advisory

National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China​​

European Center for Disease Prevention

John Hopkins University Virus Tracker

The Wuhan Virus Tracker

News Asia Tracker

           WorldOWare Tracker



For additional questions, contact BYU International Security, Health & Safety, 280C HRCB. 801-422-0286; 801-422-4302 during business hours.