For Immediate Release

Washington, January 31, 2020 — Today, at a White House press briefing on the coronavirus, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar declared a public health emergency in the United States. U.S. citizens returning from Hubei province will be subject to up to a 14-day quarantine. All foreign nationals, except those that are immediate family members of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, who have traveled in China within the last 14 days, will be denied entry into the country. The temporary measures take effect February 2 at 5 p.m. EST. The following is a statement by Dr. Esther D. Brimmer, Executive Director and CEO of NAFSA: Association of International Educators.

“Today’s global health crisis requires prompt action and a measured and targeted response to ensure that clear information and resources are delivered to all affected by this serious health threat. At this stage, the only source of information on these travel restrictions is a video and transcript of today’s press briefing. We await additional administration guidance and official communication on this matter in order to better advise the field of international education.

“What is clear is that this public health crisis and any future response will have wide-reaching and dramatic effects on international education immediately and in the long-term. Even as the country takes steps to respond to this urgent situation, we must remember that international cooperation is part of the solution. As with previous international health emergencies, I have no doubt that international engagement among the world’s scientists and researchers will lead the way forward.”


About NAFSA: With more than 10,000 members, NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the world's largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education. Visit us at To learn more about our advocacy efforts on behalf of international education, visit Resources to guide our members on these issues can be found at