Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update #4: 2/26/2020

February 26, 2020

Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, authorities in several countries have introduced travel restrictions and health screening measures at various airports. These restrictions are currently being applied to travelers arriving either directly or indirectly from China, Iran, Singapore, and South Korea. Some airlines have suspended flights to and from China and Iran. Additionally, there has been a significant increase in cases in South Korea, Italy, and Japan. Travelers are advised to reconfirm their itineraries prior to traveling and to contact the airlines and appropriate immigration authorities for up-to-date information before departing. 

The top countries currently impacted as of this update are mainland China, South Korea, Italy, Japan, Iran, Singapore, and Hong Kong. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a Warning Level 3 (Avoid Nonessential Travel) for South Korea. As a result, South Korea is now a UT Restricted Region. Undergraduate travel to South Korea has been suspended, and any graduate student or faculty/staff member traveling to South Korea on university business must apply for approval from UT’s International Oversight Committee (IOC). UT will continue to monitor this global event closely.

To get updates about the Restricted Regions List, please subscribe to the IOC’s listserv.

Precautionary Measures

  • Avoid non-essential travel to China
  • Maintain flexible itineraries when traveling and allow for extra time to go through screening procedures at airports, railway and bus stations, and other transportation hubs
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when sneezing and coughing (do not cough or sneeze into your hands)
  • When using a tissue, throw it in the trash immediately after use
  • Do not travel if you are sick
  • Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Thoroughly cook meat and eggs
  • Avoid wet markets and farms
  • Keep a distance from people who are obviously sick or exhibiting flu-like symptoms
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or hand sanitizer
  • Try to get sufficient sleep, exercise regularly, manage stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious foods
  • Stay home when sick
  • Don't eat, drink, or smoke after others
  • Avoid direct contact with animals (dead or alive)
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Seek medical attention if you develop symptoms, especially a fever or shortness of breath
  • Monitor up-to-date information about the virus from the CDC, International SOS, and local media