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Southern Africa Travel Restrictions

Office of Global Learning

Dear international students and scholars, 

We hope this finds you well in the final weeks of the semester. We write regarding the recent news on the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 and the U.S. government’s response to travel from and through Southern Africa.

On November 26, President Biden issued a presidential proclamation restricting entry to the U.S. for non-U.S. citizens or permanent residents who were physically present in the following countries in the 14 days prior to their entry to the U.S.: Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents are not subject to the proclamation, which lists other exceptions as well. At this time, no exceptions have been announced for student or scholar visa holders. Please be aware of these restrictions as you make plans to travel to or transit through those countries since it could be difficult to reenter the U.S. 

Ithaca campus’s Housing and Residential Life recognizes that recent and possible future Omicron travel restrictions could impact winter break plans for students living in the dorms. Consequently, the winter break application will remain open for students with a current on-campus housing assignment. Visit the Housing Portal for winter housing dates, rates, and to apply. If you have questions, please get in touch with the Housing office.

We recognize the challenges and additional stress this may create for students and scholars from the impacted region, especially with potential upcoming travel plans during winter break. The Office of Global Learning will continue to monitor the situation, and we will communicate any updates as we receive them. We hope this situation calms over the coming weeks and disruptions subside. 

Please continue to check the campus COVID site for updates on the Omicron variant. Let us know if you have any questions or needs related to the current situation by emailing us at

All the best,

Laura Taylor, Senior Associate Director, Office of Global Learning
Brandon Lanners, Executive Director, Office of Global Learning
Gustavo Flores-Macías, Associate Vice Provost for International Affairs