U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesperson
March 12, 2020
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) will temporarily pause all ECA-funded programs that involve travel to and from countries with heightened U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Alert Level 2 (Practice Enhanced Precautions) and Warning Level 3 (Avoid Nonessential Travel) or heightened State Department COVID-19 related Travel Advisory Levels 3 (Reconsider Travel) and 4 (Do Not Travel).
- ECA-funded programs will be paused for CDC Alert Level 2 (Practice Enhanced Precautions) and Warning Level 3 (Avoid Nonessential Travel) countries due to COVID-19. Details of the travel notices issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for all locations are available at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices.
- ECA will pause ECA-funded programs in countries with COVID-19 related State Department Travel Advisory Levels 3 (Reconsider Travel) and 4 (Do Not Travel). Details on travel advisories for all locations are available at state.gov.
- In addition, ECA will also temporarily postpone or cancel large ECA-sponsored gatherings worldwide, if these gatherings include people who have traveled internationally in the past 14 days.
- ECA constantly reviews safety and operational constraints on its programs, and additional postponements or cancellations are possible on this basis.
- ECA views the health, safety, and well-being of program participants as its highest priority. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, ECA will pause programs for 60 days and review this decision every 30 days thereafter.
- ECA will continue to directly communicate information about the management and status of current and future programs and gatherings to relevant participants and stakeholders.
- ECA has already evacuated or offered voluntary departure for U.S. citizen exchange participants from countries or regions where there are elevated Centers for Disease Control Warning Levels or State Department Travel Advisories (Azerbaijan, China, Italy, Mongolia, Republic of Korea).
For further information about ECA programs, please contact ECA-Press@state.gov. For questions about State Department Travel Advisories, please contact CAPressRequests@state.gov. For additional information on COVID-19, please visit the CDC’s dedicated website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.