Regents lift international travel ban on Iowa public universities

One year and one week after the state Board of Regents halted university-sponsored international travel last March in light of the “quickly evolving impact of COVID,” board President Mike Richards lifted the travel ban “effective immediately.”

“Conditions related to COVID-19 continue to improve,” Richards said in a statement, highlighting “sustained improvements” in COVID-19 conditions across Iowa, which has administered nearly 1 million doses of vaccine to date. By lifting international travel restrictions, the board returns control of university travel-related business to its campus presidents — who’ve seen regent-imposed limitations hinder academic and research endeavors, hamstring international student recruitment, and decimate study abroad programs.

“As of now, decisions regarding university-sponsored student, faculty, and staff travel shall be made by the president of each university,” Richards said, stressing the board’s larger state of emergency order — allowing for sick leave accommodation and virtual instruction, among other things — remains in effect.

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