UC Berkeley Lifts Ban on Students From SARS-Affected Regions

Friday July 18, 2003

With SARS fears dwindling worldwide, UC Berkeley has lifted the last of its summer school travel restrictions on students from the southeast Asian nations affected by the disease. 

The university came under fire in early May after announcing that it would ban students from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. On May 10, the campus partially lifted its ban, allowing about 80 students to attend the academic courses offered through the Berkeley Summer Sessions program. 

Students still faced a ban on attending English as a second language courses, slated to start in July. Normally, about 500 students from SARS-affected countries take the English classes, most of them signing up just before the session begins. On May 17, the university announced it was prepared to admit the 124 students who had pre-registered for the courses. 

This week, after U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lifted its last SARS travel alert, which pinpointed Taiwan, UC Berkeley announced that it would admit all summer school students. 

“The risk for the students has gone down dramatically since we started,” said Tomas Aragon, director of the UC Berkeley Center for Infectious Disease Preparedness and a member of the university’s SARS task force.