Messages sent to Registered Travelers

Sent March 19, 2020, following the Worldwide Global Health Advisory Level 4 announcement:

Dear Notre Dame registered travelers,

A short while ago, the US Department of State announced that its Worldwide Global Health Advisory has been raised to Level 4, “Do Not Travel.” This message advises those who are abroad to return to the US as soon as possible by commercial means while still available and, if you cannot, to shelter in place until you are able to depart safely. 

This advisory also means that the US Department of State may not be able to provide diplomatic services, including assistance with travel or other difficulties overseas. Other practical outcomes could include unpredictably disrupted transportation networks, access to local healthcare systems may be reduced, and day-to-day services like banking and grocery could be limited. Notre Dame’s ability to support or to assist in leaving the country could also be very limited.

Returning to the US

The situation remains fluid with new travel restrictions or bans, border closures, and flight suspensions for countries around the world changing by the hour and without little to no notice. If you are currently abroad on University-sponsored international travel and are able to depart, you should make arrangements to depart your destination country by commercial means as quickly as possible.

Notre Dame International is in the process of reaching out to all registered travelers in the Travel Registry system and/or faculty and staff abroad based at Global Gateways and Centers to assist in returning them to the US, if they are able. If you are currently abroad on University-sponsored travel and did not receive a message from Notre Dame International because your international travel is not registered in the Travel Registry, please contact travelregistry@nd.edu or 574-631-1138.  

Travel Reminders
  • Do not travel if you are sick; travelers who are sick risk being quarantined and undergoing tests. 
  • If you are returning from or have transited through a Level 3 country as designated by the CDC, be prepared to follow CDC guidance to self-quarantine upon your return.
  • Understand and routinely check any travel and border restrictions for your current location, while you are in transit, at your proposed destination (i.e. denial of entry or 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. Reports indicate that travelers have waited 6+ hours for pre-departure and/or on-arrival 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.
  • Keep your mobile devices fully charged at all times.
  • Stay in touch with your emergency contact back home.

Shelter in Place

We understand that returning to the US immediately might not be possible right now for some of those who are currently abroad due to travel restrictions or bans, border closures, and flight suspensions. In case you face a situation where you have to remain where you are for a period of time until you are able to depart safely, please follow the general recommendations below. This is referred to as “sheltering in place.” 

Recommendations
  • Please update your contact information (in-country mobile and/or landline) and emergency contact information in the Travel Registry system. If you are unable to do so, please contract travelregistry@nd.edu
  • Diligently check your Notre Dame email and cell phone messages regularly, in case Notre Dame attempts to reach you should the safety of an environment deteriorate.
  • Connect with the embassy of your nationality. If you haven’t done so already, sign up for the U.S. Embassy’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive updates directly from the Embassy (you can sign up for STEP even if you are not a U.S. citizen, just leave your passport number blank). The U.S. Embassy website may also provide a list of recommended medical providers or hospitals. 
  • Monitor local news and reputable international outlets for updates. 
  • If you have a medical condition that prevents you from sheltering in place, send an email to travelregistry@nd.edu. For urgent matters, call the NDPD Emergency Line at 574-631-5555. 
  • If you must shelter in place, acquire safe food, water and other necessary supplies to last you several days (ideally two weeks) in case of acute shortages
  • Expect long wait times for the most basic of items and services. Bring your own food and personal hygiene items (toilet paper, wipes, hand sanitizer, etc.) if possible to avoid being left without.
  • Should you present with COVID-19 symptoms, understand COVID-19 reporting protocols for your current location, including the phone number to call or if you should report directly to a local hospital with your symptoms.
  • Follow all official directives by authorities.
  • Keep your mobile devices fully charged at all times.
  • Stay in touch with your emergency contact back home.
  • Monitor updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Department of State
  • IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, contact the Notre Dame Police Department (NDPD) Emergency Line at 574-631-5555. Calls are initially answered by NDPD, who will relay your message to the on call duty officer and Notre Dame International.  

 

Best,  

Jaime Signoracci
Associate Director, International Travel & Safety

Notre Dame International
105 Main Building
Notre Dame, IN 46556


Sent March 11, 2020, following President Trump's announcement at 9:00PM:


Dear Notre Dame Registered Travelers:

We are actively monitoring the European travel restrictions announced tonight by President Trump. These travel restrictions go into place at midnight on Friday, March 13th. The statement from the Department of Homeland Security indicates that these restrictions apply to foreign nationals traveling to the United States, and they do not apply to both U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents of the U.S. These restrictions also do not appear to apply to any travel from the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The CDC has also raised most countries in Europe to a Level 3 travel health notice. We advised earlier today that should this happen and if you are in one of these countries, you should depart immediately and be prepared to self-quarantine for 14 days. Please do so now.

Sincerely,

Jaime Signoracci
Associate Director of International Travel & Safety
Notre Dame International

 


Sent March 11, 2020 at 1:20 PM, prohibiting all University-sponsored travel through April 13, 2020:


Dear Notre Dame Registered Travelers,
 
A few minutes ago, you received a message from Fr. John Jenkins, C.S.C. While there are no known cases of COVID-19 among our students, faculty, or staff, the University has made the decision to suspend in-person classes after spring break until April 13, 2020.
 
This has prompted the University to make the difficult but necessary decision to prohibit all University-sponsored international travel through April 13, 2020. Please note that if you are currently abroad on a University-sponsored trip over spring break you are not required to return home immediately; however, you are expected to return home by Monday, March 16, 2020 at the latest. In the meantime, should the CDC issue a Level 3 health notice and/or the Department of State issue a Level 3 or 4 travel advisory for the country in which you are traveling, you must depart immediately and be prepared to self-quarantine for 14 days.
 
In the immediate future, please be advised of the following: 

  • If you are an F-1 visa holder and cannot return to your home country, please contact the Office of Residential Life at residentiallife@nd.edu.
  • Upon entry into the U.S. or at another international airport, please be prepared to be screened for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • If you have traveled to Italy or any other Level 3 country in the past two weeks, upon returning home, please follow CDC recommendations to self-quarantine for 14 days at your home after your first screening. Information on what this entails is located on the University Health Services’ website
  • If you have not traveled to Italy or any other Level 3 country in the past two weeks, you are not required to self-quarantine. 

We understand your disappointment with this decision; however, your safety and well-being are the University’s top priority.  If you have any urgent questions, please write to travelregistry@nd.edu or call 1-574-631-1138.
 
Sincerely,
 
Jaime Signoracci
International Travel & Safety, Notre Dame International


Sent February 28, 2020, discouraging all travel to Italy:


Dear Notre Dame Registered Travelers:
 
We are writing to inform you that the decision today by the CDC and the State Department to raise the travel advisory for Italy to Warning Level 3 due to an increasing spread of the COVID-19 has prompted Notre Dame officials to end all programming in Italy, including the Rome Global Gateway programs, for the remainder of the semester.
 
Please be assured that travel can proceed unless the CDC or the U.S. Department of State raises the level of alert for your country.  Please remain aware of the rapidly evolving public health risks wherever you may be.
 
Given that your safety is the University’s top priority, we want to strongly discourage you from traveling to Italy at this time. We are in regular contact with the gateways and centers, our global partners, as well as your host institutions. The University’s safety and security team continue to monitor world responses to the current COVID 19 outbreak.
 
As you continue your journey abroad, we encourage all of you to be extra vigilant as you plan your travel and follow CDC guidelines, register your personal travel and keep your program or university contacts informed. We are here to support you and please feel free to reach out if you have any concerns or need assistance. We encourage you to share this message with your parents and guardians.
 
Best regards, 

Notre Dame International
travelregistry@nd.edu 


Sent February 26, 2020, providing a FAQ document for travelers:


Dear Notre Dame registered travelers,

Notre Dame International continues to closely monitor the coronavirus outbreak, which has now spread beyond mainland China with sizable outbreaks in several countries. This FAQ document was created to answer any questions you may have.   Please carefully review it in its entirety, share the information with your emergency contact and your parents, and contact travelregistry@nd.edu should you have questions.

Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus named COVID-19. The CDC has now classified several countries as Level 2 (practice enhanced precautions) and Level 3 (avoid non-essential travel).
 
More information about this coronavirus has been posted on the CDC website and U.S. State Department website.
 
What is a coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, much like the common cold and flu. Coronaviruses can sometimes cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle aches, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
 
Because this is a new virus, information is still developing, including all the ways it is transmitted. Anyone who has symptoms described above and has traveled to areas affected by the COVID-19 outbreak within 14 days prior or who has had contact with someone known to be infected with coronavirus (or who is currently being tested), is encouraged to contact a health care provider. Please note that reporting suspected cases to local health authorities varies from country to country.
 
How can it be prevented?
As with any virus, it is important to use good self-care habits, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use 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 

What if I get sick while abroad and have traveled to COVID-19 affected areas?
At this time, anyone presenting with a fever, cough, aches/pains who has recently traveled to the affected areas or has been in contact with people coming from the affected areas should adhere to local health authority reporting procedures.
 
If you have flu or cold-like symptoms, you can help protect others by doing the following:

  • Stay home while you are sick
  • Don’t share food or drinks
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces 

You can also do some things to relieve your symptoms:

  • Take pain and fever medications
  • Use a room humidifier or take a hot shower to help ease a sore throat and cough 

If you are mildly sick, you should:

  • Drink plenty of liquids
  • Stay home and rest 

How is Notre Dame monitoring COVID-19 globally?
University officials in South Bend continue to monitor the outbreak of COVID-19 worldwide and have met regularly since early January 2020 to review the constantly evolving situation. Since the very recent spike in COVID-19 cases confirmed in Northern Italy, officials at our Rome Global Gateway have also joined these meetings, and they have become more frequent. Notre Dame utilizes a number of resources to assess international health and safety risks, including government alerts and advisories (U.S. and foreign), open source news, alerts and reports from our international insurance and security providers, benchmarking with others in higher education, and more.
 
Has the University suspended any international travel or study abroad programs since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak?
Notre Dame has suspended all University-sponsored travel to mainland China and South Korea in response to the outbreaks of COVID-19 in these countries. These announcements and any future University-wide announcements can be found at coronavirus.nd.edu and international.nd.edu.
 
If I already have plans to travel this weekend or during spring break, should I continue my trip?
As you prepare for spring break and any personal travel you may have planned already, we encourage you to contemplate the fluidity of the COVID-19 outbreak beyond the borders of those areas most significantly affected and assessed as high risk areas, and carefully review the guidance listed below. Your travel plans, personal health, and academic experience could be seriously affected if you do not fully research or consider the following: 

  • Strongly reconsider personal travel to areas currently experiencing coronavirus outbreaks or are assessed as high risk.
  • Register all personal travel (deviations from your registered travel itinerary) using the Personal Travel While Abroad registry. This is out of an abundance of caution so that NDI can quickly locate and contact you in the event the situation suddenly changes at your study location or at your destination while you are away.
  • Do not travel if you are sick; travelers who are sick risk being quarantined and undergoing tests.
  • Diligently check your Notre Dame email and cell phone messages regularly, in case Notre Dame attempts to reach you should the safety of an environment deteriorate.
  • Understand and routinely check any travel and border restrictions in transit, at your proposed destination and upon your return (i.e. denial of entry or 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.
  • Monitor developments through the U.S. State Department and CDC websites.
  • Follow all official directives by authorities.
  • Keep your mobile devices fully charged at all times.
  • Stay in touch with your emergency contact back home.
  • Pack any important documents and necessities, like your passport, visa, health insurance card, and an ample supply of any maintenance medications taken on a regular basis. 

How does Notre Dame decide to suspend travel or study abroad programs?
The University’s Undergraduate Student International Student Policy has a mechanism for mandating early departure or evacuation from locations for health, safety, or security reasons. During the decision-making process, the University takes into consideration all information, advice, and alerts issued by the U.S. Department of State, the CDC, and our international insurance and security providers, in addition to established escalation triggers that are situation dependent. We also benchmark with peer institutions and our partners, when applicable.
 
What would happen if Notre Dame decided my study abroad program or other University-sponsored travel was suspended?
In the event of a program or travel suspension, the University would return students, faculty and staff to the United States and work directly with them and departments to minimize disruption to their academic studies, if applicable.
 
Who does Notre Dame send these messages to?
If international travel is registered with the University, the University will provide updates to students, faculty, and staff abroad via email to their Notre Dame email addresses. Please note that the University only contacts designated emergency contacts in very specific situations. These updates can be found at international.nd.edu. Please consider sharing this information with your parents or guardian.
 
Who can I contact if I have questions about spring 2020 travel and the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak?
For questions, please contact travelregistry@nd.edu.

Travel Registry
Notre Dame International . University of Notre Dame
105 Main Building . Notre Dame . IN . 46556
travelregistry@nd.edu