Guidance on Travel and Summer Programs

Friday, April 3, 2020

Dear Members of the Yale Community,

We are heartened to see the Yale community’s unified response to the challenges posed by COVID-19.  We thank you for your adherence to the guidance that has been provided.

As we continue to focus on ensuring the health and safety of all members of the community amid uncertainty about the trajectory of the pandemic, Yale is implementing the following changes for all university-sponsored summer travel and campus-based programs: 

In-person summer programs at Yale cancelled through June 27
All in-person, campus-based programming through June 27 is cancelled. A decision on holding in-person programs from June 28 to early August will be made once more information on the pandemic becomes available and public health experts advise university leadership. Programs scheduled for the entire summer are encouraged to operate remotely or online, in case cancellations must continue beyond June 27. 

Students should consult their individual schools and programs to explore options for alternate summer study, research, and work. Some, such as Yale Summer Session, already offer an array of online choices. 

Visitors to Campus in Summer 

All visitors to campus are subject to the same guidelines as the campus community. The uncertainty surrounding when we will be able to resume normal operations dictates that all visits to Yale should be postponed at least until June 28.

Summer international travel prohibited
All university-sponsored international travel is prohibited through August 15. Please note that this guidance pertains to everyone – faculty, staff, fellows, undergraduates, and graduate and professional students. This includes study abroad (whether the program is operated by Yale or another institution), internships, fellowships, exchanges, business travel, group travel, and any other activities that involve university-administered funds (including grant funds) or credit. 

We urge you to consider carefully any personal travel and avoid all international travel if possible. Keep in mind that any travel may be disrupted in the coming months. We know from experience that travelers may be stranded when governments impose bans with little notice. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and many foreign governments have issued guidance to discourage travel or implemented travel restrictions. It is unclear when any of these will be lifted or, once lifted, whether they may be reinstated. You may have noted news of resurgent outbreaks in parts of Asia, a further sign of the unpredictability of the pandemic and another reason to limit travel. 

Summer domestic travel discouraged
At this time, the university is asking all members of the community to avoid non-essential domestic travel. Please note that the CDC has issued a travel advisory urging residents of Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York in particular to refrain from non-essential travel. COVID-19 is also present in all 47 other states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and other U.S. jurisdictions. The pandemic may evolve in different ways and at different times in various parts of the United States. The advisory notes that crowded travel settings, like airports, may increase chances of getting COVID-19 if there are other travelers with coronavirus infection. The CDC website contains a list of things you should consider when deciding whether it is safe for you to travel.

Therefore, we suggest that you limit domestic travel. Please do not make any advance, non-refundable purchases of airline, hotel, or other services until further notice. Please consider other options in case domestic travel turns out not to be safe or feasible. 

International Student Visas 

Routine U.S. consular services worldwide remain suspended, which will make obtaining a visa challenging for international students and scholars. When making travel plans, returning students should consider the risk of delays in any necessary visa renewals. The Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) continues to process visa documents for newly admitted students, so that when visa services reopen students will have the documents they need to schedule their visa appointments. OISS is monitoring this situation daily and is posting all updates on the OISS COVID-19 page. The university will provide further guidance on these matters in early summer.

We understand fully that many of our students—and students at partner institutions around the world—rely on activities during the summer as an integral part of their academic program. It is difficult to impose restrictions on these activities, but these extraordinary times necessitate extraordinary measures to ensure everyone’s safety and health. We know this will present some disruption and stress for students, families, faculty, and staff, but we also trust that many of our programs will confront this challenge by conceiving and executing innovative approaches that continue our educational and research missions.


Scott Strobel
Henry Ford II Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry

Pericles Lewis
Vice President for Global Strategy
Douglas Tracy Smith Professor of Comparative Literature