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Arrival and Travel Quarantine Reminders

Office of Global Learning

Dear international students,

We hope this finds you well as we get prepared for the start of the spring semester. This message is specifically for students who are coming to the Ithaca campus.

Please note the utmost importance of adhering strictly to the testing and travel quarantine guidance you received prior to arrival. Your cooperation is critical to supporting the health and safety of the Cornell community and our ability to start the semester successfully.

Get Tested Prior to Your Arrival

New York state requires students arriving from noncontiguous states or abroad to either take a COVID-19 test within three days of departure or be prepared to self-quarantine for 10 days upon arrival. A new order from the CDC mandates that, effective Jan. 26, all passengers traveling to the U.S. on an international flight produce a negative COVID-19 test before boarding their flight.

On-Campus Housing

For students staying on campus, you received guidance here. You are allowed break quarantine to use the bathroom, to pick up your meals at the designated location, or to obtain a COVID-19 test. If you have items shipped to the service desk, you can pick them up if they include bedding or other essentials, such as medications or important papers. You are asked not to do laundry until after the five-day quarantine ends because the laundry areas are shared spaces. If you have questions regarding your travel quarantine period, you should contact your resident advisor.

For more information about navigating your first week on campus successfully, see the resources on this page. And let us know in International Services if we can help!

Off-Campus Housing

For students staying off-campus, you received guidance here.

Important Note: Travel Quarantine

When you are in travel quarantine, you may not leave the quarantine location, with exception of traveling on your own, by foot, for testing, to seek medical care, or to pick up your food at designated dining hall locations (for students in campus housing). We know from Cornell’s fall semester experience that travel increases the risk of COVID-19 eight-fold, so adherence to quarantine guidelines is vital to keeping yourself protected from infection and reducing further community spread.


Students need to remain in quarantine until they receive a message from the Daily Check system that they are compliant. Once you have been released from quarantine, your adherence to campus policies on testing and preventative measures remains critical.

Orientations and Life in Ithaca

For international undergraduate, graduate, and professional students that are new to campus and Ithaca, you should attend our New International Student Orientation on February 2 (register here), as well as any orientation sessions provided by campus or your college or department. You can find further resources regarding life in Ithaca here. See below for a list of businesses that will deliver food and other essentials to your door.

Thank you for your diligence in following the above guidance. Please let us know if you have questions or concerns.


Laura Taylor, Senior Associate Director
Brandon Lanners, Executive Director

Office of Global Learning