Ohio University

Emergency Messages for Travelers


Updated March 13, 11:49 AM EDT

OGO is closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19. We are working in partnership with colleagues across campus to provide timely information. As new information is available, we will update this page as often as possible.

General Information

The World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, and international and domestic agencies are closely monitoring the outbreak of the COVID-19, also known as Novel Coronavirus. COVID-19 causes severe respiratory illness, including pneumonia. There is currently no vaccination available. It has sickened thousands of people in China, where the illness originated, and cases have now been identified in growing numbers and locations worldwide.

On March 11, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issues a COVID-19 Outbreak Notice with a Level 2 Global Alert (read the full alert) and a Level 3 alert for most of Europe (read the full alert). The U.S. Department of State issued a Global Level 3 Health Advisory “Reconsider Travel” (read the full advisory). In accordance with guidance from the CDC, Ohio University has temporarily restricted University-sponsored travel to any countries that are under a CDC Warning Level 2 or 3. 

The Office of Global Opportunities continues to closely monitor developments. For up-to-date travel advisories and information, please visit the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Department of State (USDOS), and the International SOS website (OHIO’s membership number is 11BCAS000010).

University Response

University-related travel alerts and restrictions can be found at the Ohio University Alerts website. 

A set of frequently asked questions is available on the university's Health Alert page. 

Spring Break Travel


  • Friday, February 28, 2020 - University-sponsored Spring Break programs to Italy are canceled.
  • Friday, March 6, 2020, 5:35 PM EST - South by Southwest Arts and Technology Festival is cancelled by event organizers.  Ohio University SXSW program cancellation is announced.

All student participants have been notified via email.

Continuing programs:

All other Office of Global Opportunities spring break programs remain on schedule. The Office of Global Opportunities is working with University partners in a continued effort to evaluate the feasibility of travel for all spring break programs and destinations. Students will be notified of any potential updates and changes, which will also be posted here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020, 6:34 PM EDT: Ohio University is not asking that spring break programs return early. Spring break programs can continue programming onsite.  When returning from the program, students should follow President Nellis’ directive and should not return to the Ohio University campus as all regular spring semester courses will be moved online through at least March 30, 2020. You are advised to return to your permanent address.  If you are living in a Residence Hall and have questions or concerns, please contact housing@ohio.edu or call 740-593-4090. 

Spring Semester Travel

As of February 29, 2020: Students studying abroad in Italy for spring semester on affiliate programs have been instructed to return to the U.S. no later than March 8.

As of March 12, 2020, 11:13 AM EDT: Ohio University has cancelled all University-related student programs and travelers currently onsite are currently being recalled.  All spring semester travelers need to return from abroad by March 20, 2020

Upon return, travelers should follow CDC’s guidelines

  • If returning from a CDC Level 3 country (ChinaIranSouth KoreaEurope)): Travelers returning from the specified countries in Europe must stay home for 14 days after returning from travel, monitor their health, and practice social distancing.
  • If returning from a CDC Level 2 country(opens in a new window): Travelers should monitor their health and limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning from travel.
  • Travelers that are sick with fever, cough, or have trouble breathing should stay home and call ahead before seeking medical care.

Summer Travel


  • Wednesday March 4, 2020, OHIO credit Summer programs in Italy are canceled.
  • Thursday, March 5, 2020, the Japan: Marching 110 Music Tour are canceled. 
  • As of March 13, 2020, 3:05 PM EDT: Ohio University has cancelled all University-related summer study abroad and away programs and travel experiences.  This includes domestic and international study away program offerings, travel with third-party providers, and other global experiences.

Fall Travel

The Office of Global Opportunities is working with University partners in a continued effort to evaluate the feasibility of travel for all  Fall programs and destinations. Students will be notified of any potential updates and changes, which will also be posted here.

International SOS/Chubb Insurance Coverage

University-Sponsored travelers are covered by the University's insurance policy with Chubb. Student travelers can learn more at OGO's health and safety page. Faculty and staff travelers, please visit OGO's faculty/staff page.

All travelers should be registered with the Office of Global Opportunities. This is automatic for travelers on University-sponsored programs provided by Office of Global Opportunities, the College of Business and the Global Health Initiative. Other travelers must register with MyTrips. University staff and faculty traveling on University business should register here.

Evacuations for reasons of “Pandemics” or other cases of widespread infectious disease are a common exclusion under most international medical insurance and assistance plans and is not covered by the University's International SOS/Chubb Insurance. However, treatment for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 (or any other illness) while enrolled with International SOS during university-sponsored travel will be covered, including evacuation if deemed medically necessary (and logistically feasible).


Questions or concerns about current or future, planned international travel can be sent to global.opportunities@ohio.edu. Questions by travelers currently abroad will be answered first. We will reply to other messages based on departure date. The University is currently evaluating Summer and Fall programs and travel.

For emergencies associated with student, staff or faculty members currently abroad, contact the Office of Global Opportunities emergency line 740-593-4583.