Guidance for UCLA Faculty and Staff Planning to Travel to China

February 4, 2020

UCLA Office of the Excutive Vice Chancellor and Provost 

To: UCLA Faculty and Staff

Dear Colleagues:

UCLA has developed a review and approval process to provide guidance to faculty and staff considering travel to China, in light of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak.

This comes as the U.S Department of State last week raised its travel advisory for China to its maximum level, urging U.S. citizens not to travel there due to the public health concerns posed by 2019-nCoV.

Commercial airlines have also reduced or suspended routes to and from China, and late last week University of California President Janet Napolitano requested all UC campuses to temporarily “avoid all non-essential travel” to China (PDF). The UC Office of the President also asked all UC campuses to develop a review and approval process to determine whether travel to China is essential or can be postponed.

While the UC restrictions apply only to university-related travel, those traveling for personal reasons should be mindful of travel risks and the federal government’s advisory.

UCLA faculty and staff may send questions to, a dedicated email account that is monitored by the UCLA Office of Insurance and Risk Management, and the central point of contact for questions about UCLA-related China travel restrictions specifically.

Approval Process for Faculty and Staff Prior to Travel

In light of UC’s directive to avoid all non-essential travel, faculty or staff who would like to engage in essential travel to China will need to obtain prior approval.

For faculty, essential travel is defined as that which is required to:

  • preserve the safety of a research subject and which is not possible to be postponed; or
  • preserve the results of a research activity and which is not possible to be postponed.

Please be aware that educational conferences are not considered essential travel, even if you are a presenter. This is just one example of non-essential travel and does not include all other activities that would also be considered non-essential travel.

To request approval to engage in essential travel, faculty should contact their deans in writing for approval.

For staff: All staff must request an exemption as university-related staff travel to China is presumed postponable and therefore non-essential.

To request an exception, staff should contact their department’s vice chancellor in writing. Such an exemption may only be approved by a vice chancellor.

For more information about our campus plans for coronavirus preparedness, please visit the UCLA Bruins Safe Online website.


Emily A. Carter
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost