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UPDATED 5/5/2021: COVID vaccine and in-person requirements for Autumn 2021

Dear Students,

We have been receiving many queries about autumn quarter 2021 in-person course and vaccine requirements. We hope the information below will help answer your questions based on what we know right now.

UW President Cauce announced in January and again on April 1 that the University intends to return to largely in-person instruction for autumn quarter 2021 as long as conditions continue to improve here in Seattle. Further details and plans will be announced throughout spring and summer as UW leadership monitors the situation. It is anticipated that many of the in person restrictions currently in place will be removed before September 2021, making it possible to return to in-person instruction. As additional information and decisions are made, we will continue to update our Coronavirus Information page. You can also review updates from the Back to School Task Force.

Update: As announced by UW President Ana Mari Cauce on 5/3/2021, the UW will require all students to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

  • Students will need to verify that they’ve been vaccinated before the start of autumn quarter.
  • Exemptions will be granted for medical reasons or for religious or philosophical objections, similar to the current tri-campus requirement for other vaccines.
  • Students should get vaccinated as soon as possible, wherever they are currently living. Vaccines authorized by the United States, by the World Health Organization or by other nations will meet this requirement.
  • Vaccinations will be available this fall if students can’t get vaccinated where they currently live.

We encourage all students to get vaccinated when they have the opportunity, whether that is in your home country or when you travel to the U.S. If you are currently living in the state of Washington and you are 16 or older, you are eligible to get a vaccine. You do not have to be a citizen or a resident of the state of Washington to be eligible. All students, including international students, will be able to get a vaccine here in Seattle. Information about getting vaccinated in King County and through UW Medicine is available for your review.

As of January 26, the CDC requires all air passengers traveling to the U.S. to have a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 3 days before travel or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months before they board a flight to the U.S. If you have been fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine, you are still required to have a negative COVID-19 test before travel to the U.S. Currently, there is no vaccination requirement to apply for an F-1 visa or to travel to the U.S. Continue to review our Coronavirus Information for F1 and J1 students for updates.

Please review the CDC’s recommendations for traveling safely and get tested in WA 3-5 days after arriving in the U.S. If your port of entry is not Seattle, find a testing center near you. If you have been fully vaccinated prior to your travel, you do NOT need to self-quarantine after arriving in the U.S. If you have not been vaccinated, CDC recommends that you self-quarantine for a full 7 days after arriving in the U.S. even if you have a negative COVID test. If you do not get tested again after arriving in the U.S., the CDC recommends that you self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.

If you are planning to live on campus, UW Housing and Food Services has additional coronavirus information for on-campus residents. For the most up to date information and announcements, review CDC guidelines before travel. Visit the Washington State Department of Health’s COVID-19 page for more information about local state and city travel recommendations and requirements.

If you have additional questions, please let us know.

Kim Lovaas
Director of International Student Services