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Coronavirus leads to IU travel ban to Italy and Iran, required self-quarantines



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An illustration of a coronavirus strain. IU is banning all travel to countries that have been placed on a level three travel advisory by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to an IU public safety advisory email sent Feb. 28. Illustration by Carson TerBush

Italy and Iran have joined the list of countries IU has restricted travel to, according to a Saturday public safety advisory email sent to students. IU also announced required self-quarantines for people returning from China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea.

IU banned travel to China, Iran, Italy and South Korea, according to Protect IU’s website. All four are Centers for Disease Control and Prevention level 3 travel alert destinations, which means there's an ongoing outbreak of respiratory illness caused by coronavirus, and the illness can be spread.

The CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China and Iran. Entry of foreign nationals from China and Iran has been suspended, according to its website. The CDC also recommends travelers avoid nonessential travel to Italy and South Korea.

Anyone returning from a country with a confirmed case of coronavirus must complete the IU Traveler Information Form before returning to IU.

Anyone traveling back from a country with a CDC level 2 or 3 travel alert will be required to self-quarantine off campus for 14 days before returning to IU, according to the Protect IU website. These countries include China, Iran, Italy and South Korea, as well as Japan, which has a CDC level 2 alert. Level 2 destinations are experiencing sustained community transmission of a coronavirus-caused respiratory illness. The CDC recommends older adults or those who with chronic medical conditions consider postponing travel to level 2 alert destinations, according to its website.

Hong Kong is at a CDC watch level 1, which means travelers do not need to cancel or postpone travel, but they should practice “usual precautions,” according to the CDC website.

The CDC lists Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand as destinations where there's a risk of the virus spreading. This means people have been infected with the virus, and some don’t know how or where they became infected. However, the extent of virus spread is not sustained or widespread enough at this time to meet the criteria for a travel health notice.

IU recommends referring to the CDC and U.S. Department of State’s websites for the most up-to-date advisories.

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