Coronavirus Travel information

Carolina is prohibiting University-affiliated travel outside the state of North Carolina. Within the state, University travel is permitted but it must be limited to gatherings of 50 or fewer people.

The University is continuing to prohibit University-affiliated travel to Level 3 and Level 2 countries due to COVID-19 as defined by the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Per recently revised CDC guidelines, any students, faculty or staff returning from Level 3 or Level 2 countries due to COVID-19 will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days off campus effective immediately. These advisories are subject to change so please be mindful of all upcoming travel. If you travel to a location that is increased to a Level 3 or Level 2 due to COVID-19 while you are there, you will be subject to a 14-day self-quarantine off campus

Carolina also encourages study abroad participants to follow the guidance of their host institution or organization.

Updated March 16, 2020

Frequently asked travel questions

What guidance are you giving visitors to campus?

The State of North Carolina is currently under a stay-at-home order. It means that movement is restricted for all residents of Orange County to stay at their place of residence except that they may leave to provide or receive “essential services” or engage in “essential activities” and work for “essential businesses” and government services.

What are the latest travel advisories from the CDC and State Department?

The State Department has issued a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory and advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. The CDC also recommends avoiding all nonessential international travel. The CDC is also urging residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days due to extensive community transmission.

Do the University’s prohibitions and restrictions on travel apply to my personal travel to a qualifying country or state designated by the University?

No, the University does not have the authority to either prohibit or restrict your personal travel. Please note the State of North Carolina is currently under a stay-at-home order.

What if I am a faculty or staff member who needs to cancel work-related travel due to COVID-19? How can I get reimbursed?

For those traveling on University business, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Policy 1504 on Transportation Expenses and Mileage Rates allows for reimbursement of cancellation and change fees if the “cancellation or change is made at the direction of and for the convenience of the department.” The policy goes on to say: “However, in the event of … critical circumstances beyond the control of the employee, the department will be obligated to pay the penalties and charges.”  The current coronavirus outbreak meets these requirements. Visit the Finance and Operations travel website for more information.

Which countries are affected by the recent presidential proclamation?

President Trump issued proclamations limiting entry to the United States to travelers from these countries: Austria, Belgium, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, which includes England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

How does the recent presidential proclamation affect US citizens?

U.S. citizens and permanent residents and, generally, their immediate family who have been in these countries will be allowed to return to the U.S. through select airports where the U.S. Government has implemented enhanced screening procedures.

All travelers returning from the specified countries must stay home for 14 days after returning from travel, monitor their health and practice social distancing.

When will the University’s prohibitions and restrictions on travel end?

There is no designated time at this point, but visit for regular updates.

Are there exceptions to the travel and event guidelines?

The University will continue to update its prohibitions on University-affiliated travel and large gatherings in connection with protecting against the transmission of COVID-19.

All exceptions for University-affiliated travel by faculty and researchers must be pre-approved by the Provost with a favorable recommendation from the appropriate academic dean or director of an institute or center.

All exceptions for University-affiliated travel by administrative staff and athletics events must be pre-approved by the chancellor with a favorable recommendation from the appropriate vice chancellor or the athletics director.

All exceptions for University-affiliated travel by students and student organizations must be pre-approved by the provost with a recommendation from the Office of Student Affairs.

All exceptions for University-affiliated gatherings, meetings or events of more than 50 people must be pre-approved by the chancellor or provost.

The chancellor or provost will consider all relevant facts and circumstances on a case-by-case basis to determine whether to approve an exception to the prohibition on University-affiliated travel or gatherings of more than 50 people. If an exception is granted, the chancellor or provost may impose additional requirements or conditions as necessary or appropriate to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

If University-affiliated travel is pre-approved, faculty, researchers, staff and students may be required to register their travel information, including their expected dates of travel and location. The approval of travel does not rule out the possibility that the University may ask students, faculty, researchers and/or staff to self-quarantine upon their return, and the University may modify these guidelines before, during, or after their travel to use its best reasonable efforts to keep them and our community healthy and safe.

This process will be updated, revised and modified as necessary to respond to changing conditions.