Update on Travel Restrictions - Message for International Students

Feb. 1, 2020

Dear USF International Students,

I hope this message finds you well. In response to the spread of the Coronavirus, the U.S. federal government declared a public health emergency and is implementing travel restrictions. These travel restrictions are temporary and it is unclear how long they will be in place, but we wanted to reach out immediately because we know this news may concern you. This message will outline the following:

  • The new U.S. government travel restrictions
  • Who to contact at USF if you have recently traveled to mainland China
  • Where to get health screenings and talk to a doctor

Travel Restrictions for Foreign Nationals Outside of the U.S.

As of Sunday Feb. 2 at 5pm (EST), foreign nationals who have been in mainland China in the last 14 days will be denied entry into the U.S. If you are an international student on an F1, J1, or another non-immigrant visa who has been in mainland China recently, you will be denied entry under the new restrictions. If you are currently outside of the U.S. and have been in mainland China in the last 14 days, please contact ISSS immediately so we can advise you. The above restrictions do not apply to immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

For more information on these US travel restrictions visit this NAFSA: Association of International Educators resource page.

Foreign Nationals in the U.S.

Foreign nationals (international students) who have been in mainland China in the last 14 days and are present in the U.S. are asked to do the following: If you entered the U.S. after Jan. 19, 2020 and have been to mainland China during the last 14 days, please contact the ISSS office immediately so we can provide support and advise you on what further steps are needed. If you are returning to the U.S. on or after Jan. 31 and have been to mainland China in the last 14 days, USF asks you to voluntarily self-quarantine. Self-quarantine means to stay inside in a private room with a private bathroom during this time. Students in this second situation (entering after Jan. 31), please contact the USF designated staff person, Kamal Harb, director of health promotion services (HPS) at (415) 422-6702 or harb@usfca.edu. More information about the self-quarantine process can be found on the USF Coronavirus resource page.

USF has created a resource page with updates on the coronavirus situation and healthcare resources for students, faculty, and staff. This page will be regularly updated as the situation unfolds.

USF Policy on Travel to China

On Jan. 30, the U.S. Department of State issued a travel advisory level 4 (do not travel) for mainland China. In accordance with this advisory, USF recommends that our community members, including students, faculty, and staff, do not engage in non-essential travel to mainland China. We recognize that for those of you who have family and friends in China there may arise essential reasons to travel. If you have an urgent reason to travel to China, please contact ISSS so we can discuss your plans. Depending on how long these new restrictions stay in place, travel to mainland China could impact your ability to return to campus and finish the semester. We want to provide our support and assistance given these new restrictions.

Stay Healthy and Contact a Health Provider as Needed

The risk of getting the coronavirus in the U.S. is still low, however, prevention is the best way to keep our community healthy. If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, including shortness of breath, fever, or coughing, contact a health care provider immediately.

Follow these steps to prevent the spread of illness:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Keep your distance. Respect the personal space of others and keep an arm’s length distance, especially if you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Get the flu shot to prevent the spread of the regular flu.

If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms visit a doctor. All USF students regardless of their health insurance plans can go to the student health clinics.

USF Student Health Clinics


Location: 2250 Hayes Street, 3rd Floor
Appointments: Call (415) 750-5995 or request an appointment online (St. Mary's)
Hours: Monday to Friday: 8am to 5pm
Closed weekends and major holidays


Location: 24 Willie Mays Plaza
Appointments: (415) 947-3096 or request an appointment online (AT&T Park Care Center)
Hours: Monday to Friday: 8am to 5pm
Closed weekends and major holidays


Locations: 585 Buckingham Way
Appointments: (415) 379-2000 or request an appointment online (Stonestown)
Hours: Monday to Friday: 8am to 5pm
Closed weekends and major holidays

Download your USF Student Health Insurance card here and present it when you go to the clinic.

Students who are experiencing increased anxiety or stress may see a counselor for free at the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) office located in Gillson Hall, Lower Level. Please call (415) 422-6352 to schedule an appointment Mon – Fri 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

We are committed to providing support as our community navigates these challenging circumstances and ensuring that every community member is treated with dignity and respect. The exchange of ideas and people across borders is a vital part of USF and international students make essential contributions to our campus. If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me or the ISSS office at isss@usfca.edu or (415) 422-2654.

Marcella Pitcher DeProto, ISSS Director