Guidance for UCR Faculty, Staff and Students Planning to Travel to China

February 4, 2020
Thomas Smith and Gerry Bomotti
February 4, 2020

UCR faculty, staff and students should be aware that the U.S. Department of State issued its highest advisory level 4 alerting a “do not travel to China due to the novel coronavirus” on Jan. 31, 2020.

In addition, commercial airline carriers have reduced or suspended routes to and from China.

University of California President Napolitano directed the UC community to temporarily “avoid all non-essential travel” to China on Jan. 30, 2020.

The campus was required to develop a review and approval process to determine if travel to China is absolutely essential or if it can be postponed. UCR’s prior review and approval process for travel to China is provided below.

University of California restrictions do not apply to travel that is solely personal-related, but such travelers should be aware of travel risks and of federal government warnings on any type of travel to/from China.

Approval Process Prior to Travel

All non-essential travel to China is restricted until further notice. All travelers who would like to engage in essential travel to China (defined in the following categories) must obtain prior approval as follows:

Faculty: 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.

By way of comparison, faculty essential travel does not include travel to attend educational conferences. 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 Dean in writing. Such travel may only be approved by one of the school Deans. The Deans may consult with the UCR Risk Management.

Staff: Staff travel is considered non-essential.

To request an exception to the determination that UCR-related travel to China for staff is non-essential, staff should contact in writing one of the following cognizant offices depending on where they are assigned organizationally: Chancellor (for staff in University Advancement, University Communications, Governmental & Community Relations, Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Office of Legal Affairs, Research and Economic Development, Student Affairs, and Chief Compliance Office); Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost; Deans; UCR Health CEO; or Vice Chancellor Planning, Budget & Administration. Such an exemption may only be approved by one of the University officials listed above. UCR Risk Management is available for consultation.

Students and Trainees (Clinical and Non-Clinical): Student and trainee essential travel is defined as that which is necessary to meet a graduation requirement and which is not possible to be postponed.

To request approval to engage in essential travel, students and trainees should contact in writing the Dean of their respective school or of the Graduate Division. Such essential travel may only be approved by the Dean of the relevant school or the Graduate Division.

Deans of the schools and the Graduate Division are responsible for ensuring that students and trainees are aware of this requirement, and Department Chairs/Directors are responsible for ensuring that their faculty are aware of and adhere to this requirement.