Campus & Community

University lifts travel moratorium for Vietnam and Toronto:

4 min read

Taiwan is added to restricted list

Harvard University has lifted its moratorium on travel to Vietnam and Toronto, Canada, based on the World Health Organization (WHO) changing its travel advice. Given that there are still SARS cases in these areas, travelers to Toronto and Vietnam should observe precautions to safeguard their health. This includes avoidance of settings where SARS is most likely to be transmitted, such as health-care facilities caring for SARS patients. Anyone experiencing SARS symptoms should check in with University Health Services (UHS).

Harvard’s moratorium on travel to China, including Hong Kong and Singapore, remains in effect, based on the latest information from the WHO and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Harvard has added a moratorium on travel to Taiwan based on a travel alert from the CDC ( and information from the WHO that the number of probable cases of SARS in Taiwan has more than doubled, from 37 to 78, over the past week (

University travel

Based on the advice of the WHO and the University’s senior health officer, David Rosenthal, the University will continue its temporary moratorium on University-related or funded travel to China, including Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan, for all members of its community – faculty, staff, and students – but has lifted its ban on travel to Vietnam and Toronto effective April 30.

This means that University funds will not be used to support trips to China, Hong Kong, Singapore, or Taiwan, nor will the University facilitate or otherwise endorse travel to these areas until further notice

If you believe there is a compelling University-related reason for travel to these regions, please contact University Health Services, and confer with the dean of your school, or in Central Administration, your vice president.

If you have specific questions about study abroad to areas that previously were prohibited, please contact your dean.

Personal travel

The University strongly advises that you avoid any travel to China, Hong Kong, Singapore, or Taiwan. However, if you feel that you must travel to these areas for personal reasons, you are required to notify the dean of your school, or in Central Administration, your vice president. In addition, you must consult with University Health Services prior to your departure, and before re-entering the Harvard community, you must receive medical clearance. University Health Services can be reached at (617) 495-8414 and (617) 495-2001 during the day, and at (617) 495-5711 after hours and on weekends. Alternatively, you can contact UHS via email at There is a possibility that you may be asked to stay home for a period of up to 10 days as a precaution.

Visitors to the University

Any person with SARS poses a threat to the University community. Our policy with respect to visitors is under consideration, but UHS is recommending that visitors from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, or Taiwan refrain from coming to the Harvard campus until at least 10 days after they have departed those areas. The University is requiring that all University members who are expecting visitors to the campus from these regions contact (or have the guests directly contact) UHS prior to arrival. Particular caution should be exercised in situations in which those coming from affected areas would reside in Harvard housing.


Harvard continues to monitor the SARS situation. The University Web site will be updated with new information as it becomes available.

More information about SARS can be found at the University Health Services Web site.

SARS is an acute respiratory illness believed to be caused by a newly identified virus and spread by close contact with an infected person, most likely through coughing or sneezing. The disease has spread rapidly from country to country. The World Health Organization posts regular updates about the number of cases and number of deaths. SARS has a significant fatality rate and public health officials are concerned that international travel could lead to further outbreaks.

Anyone who has traveled since March 1 to countries where SARS has been identified and is experiencing sudden onset of symptoms of fever, cough, headache, and muscle aches should be evaluated. The incubation period is typically two to seven days, but can be as long as 10 days.

Care at Harvard University Health Services is available 24 hours a day. Please call for assistance with assessment of symptoms and to make visit arrangements that would lessen the risk of exposure to others. If you have any questions or concerns, triage nurses and clinicians can be reached at (617) 495-8414 and (617) 495-2001 during the day, and at (617) 495-5711 after hours and on weekends.