Coronavirus disrupting travel plans in light of spring break

The COVID-19 virus is causing colleges nationwide to cancel classes and athletic events.

By Cole Archer
News Producer

TUSCALOOSA, AL—Colleges across the nation are adjusting their infrastructure around the ever-trending coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

CNN reported Monday that universities in Washington, California and New York have suspended in-person classes due to their reports of virus-carrying individuals in the vicinity.

In addition to class cancellations, many schools, including The University of Alabama, are changing their study abroad programs. UA canceled all university-sponsored international travel for the month of March.

“It honestly feels fake that I just had a trip canceled because of this [coronavirus],” said Sam Walker, a UA student planning to travel abroad.

The University’s message went as followed: “Effective immediately, UA is canceling all university-sponsored international travel that is scheduled to depart in the month of March,” a campus-wide email read. “Faculty, staff and students MAY NOT TRAVEL anywhere outside the United States for university business or academic purposes (“university-sponsored travel”), including but not limited to study abroad or other international academic work, research or grant activity; service projects; internships; conferences or presentations; teaching or training; performances; recruiting; or athletic competitions.”

While the University takes action, many students across the country must take it upon themselves to plan safely for current or upcoming spring break trips.

University of Georgia sophomore Olivia Richardson has had her spring break trip to Italy canceled since the end of February. UGA is also among schools who have canceled international travel.

“My family canceled our plans to Paris,” Richardson said. “This may be a ‘better safe than sorry’ situation more than anything.”

Those same precautions are being taken even for those who have plans to stay home. UA has sent emails to professors, giving them the heads up to plan for potential online classes. The problem has expanded into athletics as well as the SEC and Big 10 have cancelled their upcoming conference tournaments. The SEC is also cancelling all remaining athletic events until at least March 30.

The University of Alabama will indefinitely suspend all international travel come April.