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Due to the rapid spread of the Corona virus, the VUB believes that travelling to mainland China or Hong Kong is currently not justified. Taking into account the unpredictability of the evolution and spread of the virus, the Rector and Vice-Rectors have decided that no risks should be taken and therefore study stays will not be admitted until further notice.
Message to students and researchers
You might be planning a trip to mainland China or Hong Kong soon to study or do fieldwork there. However, you may be aware of the recent outbreak of the Corona virus. The situation in mainland China and Hong Kong is evolving faster than initially expected, with an increase in the number of sick people, also outside Wuhan, and - more importantly - with a proven human-to-human transmission. Since last night Wuhan is in full lockdown. The situation at this time is considered to be extremely serious and more alarming than last week because the spread is much faster than expected and infections have been detected in Shanghai, Beijing, Thailand, Taiwan … This evolution reminds us of the SARS epidemic in 2002/2003. Also the Chinese and Hong Kong authorities are particularly concerned about the travel during the Chinese New Year both within China and abroad.
Travel alerts are being posted with possible limitations to international travel. Our concern is that if the situation were to deteriorate very quickly, you could, for example, have to deal with the fact that certain airlines would avoid the region. In addition, we must also draw your attention to the limitations of travel and consular assistance in crisis situations. Our consular posts abroad and travel assistance insurers will never endanger their assistants.
Taking this into account as well as the unpredictability of the evolution and spread of the virus, the VUB has adopted the policy that no risks can be taken and therefore the planned study stays in mainland China or Hong Kong will not be allowed until further notice.
The VUB faculties are asked to guide you in the adjustments to your study programme. In case of non-compliance, the study programme is not considered as a VUB activity and, if necessary, disciplinary proceedings can be initiated. This also means that VUB insurances are no longer applicable.
We are well aware that this is a major setback, but we do not want to take any risks. We are following the situation closely and will keep you informed. We also hope that the situation will be under control soon.
Please do not hesitate to contact email@example.com with any questions you may have.