South Korea and Italy Travel Advisory

Author: Erik Runyon

Note: Dated communications are archived here for reference, but may not reflect the most up-to-date information available.

Dear Notre Dame Students, Faculty, and Staff,

The wellbeing of all members of the Notre Dame community is our highest priority. To that end, for the past six weeks, University officials have been closely monitoring the global threat posed by the new coronavirus (COVID-19). Now, with Notre Dame’s spring break approaching and the virus spreading beyond China, we are writing to provide new information and updates.

South Korea travel advisory

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 travel advisory for South Korea due to the spread of COVID-19 in that country. As a result, Notre Dame is immediately prohibiting all University-sponsored travel to South Korea and strongly advises against personal travel there. The ban on University-sponsored travel to China continues.


The increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Italy is being monitored by University officials and, should the CDC or State Department raise their risk levels in the country, we will take swift and appropriate action related to study abroad students in Italy and University-sponsored travel.

Spring break travel advice

Based upon guidance from the CDC and State Department, the University strongly recommends against personal travel to China, South Korea, Italy, and Japan during spring break (March 7 to 15) or anytime in the foreseeable future. This situation remains very fluid and other countries could be added to these advisories in coming days and weeks.

If you do choose to travel internationally, please keep the following in mind:

  • Understand and routinely check any travel and border restrictions in transit, at your proposed destination, and upon your return, such as denial of entry or a mandatory 14-day quarantine on arrival.
  • Allow additional time for arrival procedures, or when passing through affected area airports, taking into account temperature and health screenings.
  • If you are traveling or transiting from COVID-19 affected areas, anticipate more stringent scrutiny and reconfirm the status of flights with your carrier or the airport.
  • Follow all official directives by authorities.
  • Monitor developments through the U.S. State Department and CDC websites.
  • Do not travel if you are sick; travelers who are sick risk being quarantined and health testing.

Study abroad students

With the increasing spread of coronavirus outside of China, Notre Dame International is urging all study abroad students to strongly reconsider personal travel to areas currently experiencing a coronavirus outbreak or have been assessed as high risk.

Health advice

It cannot be emphasized enough that good self-care habits are vitally important, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with at least 70 percent alcohol
  • Cover your cough
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Don’t share food or drinks
  • If you get sick, stay home and rest

On campus

After consulting with local and state health department officials, we have no reason to believe there is any risk to anyone on the Notre Dame campus, and the American College Health Association has advised that there still is “no basis for changing business as usual regarding housing, campus events, and other circumstances under which large groups of people will be gathering.”

However, many members of our community have deep concerns about their families and friends in China, South Korea, Italy, Japan and elsewhere. They also may have to cancel spring break or summer plans due to the spread of the virus. Our staff in Notre Dame International is working closely with these students to help reduce their concerns. Please offer support should you interact with anyone who is impacted.

More information about COVID-19 and University policies is available on the websites for University Health Services, the Wellness Center, and Notre Dame International. Staff members in those offices are also available for questions and consultation. National resources include the CDC and U.S. State Department.

The University will continue to closely monitor this health risk and provide updates when warranted.