Pandemics and Borders: How to Manage Travel Restrictions More Effectively

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The complex challenge of whether and when to adopt or lift travel restrictions during a fast-moving public health emergency

About this event

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of countries adopting travel restrictions, and the types of measures used to restrict travel, have been unprecedented. In some countries, including Canada, restrictions have also been imposed on domestic travel. While many people have supported travel restrictions to control the spread of the coronavirus across different jurisdictions, there has also been strong opposition to the substantial economic and social disruptions they cause.

Decision-making on whether and when to adopt or lift travel restrictions, especially during a fast-moving public health emergency involving a novel pathogen, is a complex challenge. How might these decisions be supported in the future through improvements in available data and methods for weighing trade-offs between public health and other policy goals?

About Kelley Lee

Kelley Lee (DPhil, FFPH, FCAHA, FRSC) is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Global Health Governance in the Faculty of Health Sciences at SFU. Her research focuses on collective action to address the impacts of globalization on population health and disease. Trained in international political economy and public administration, she has received grants from the US National Institutes of Health, Canadian Institutes for Health Research, New Frontiers for Research Fund, Wellcome Trust and others. She has chaired a WHO scientific resource group, co-directed a WHO Collaborating Centre and served as Associate Dean. She has published more than 200 papers, more than 60 book chapters, and 15 books.

About the Series

The President’s Faculty Lecture Series shines a light on the research excellence at Simon Fraser University. Hosted by SFU president Joy Johnson, these free public lectures celebrate cutting-edge research and faculty that engage with communities and mobilize knowledge to make real-world impacts.

Examining the themes of resilience and recovery from a variety of disciplines, each short lecture in the 2020-2021 series will be followed by a conversation between our presenter, president Joy Johnson, and the audience.

Learn about all of the upcoming lectures in the series here.




Closed captioning will be available for this event.

Registration and password

A password to access this webinar will be sent to all registrants via email in the days and hours preceding the event.

Technology requirements

This workshop will be presented in a participatory webinar format. To engage fully you will need:

  • A laptop, computer, or smartphone
  • A webcam
  • A microphone
  • Speakers or headphones

Protecting your privacy

To ensure that we are using online meeting technology in a privacy-conscious way, we are following best practices for this online event series:

  • We will only circulate the meeting link to those who are registered for the event
  • We will password protect the meeting
  • We will enable end-to-end encryption
  • We will not use attention tracking
  • We will ask that participants use their first and last name as their display name on the webinar, so we can check incoming participants against the event registration list

To protect your own privacy we suggest that:

  • You use a unique email address to log into the webinar. This is so that the webinar platform can’t cross-reference your profile with the rest of your digital profiles under your email address.
  • We suggest you do not use your Facebook profile to log into the webinar. This is so that the webinar platform can’t cross-reference you with your Facebook account.
  • We remind you that whatever you say in the webinar is public and recorded, so please do not share sensitive information about yourself or others, and do not say anything you do not wish to enter the public domain.

To protect the privacy of others we ask that:

  • You do not record or photograph yourself, other participants, or the hosts during the webinar, unless permission is requested and given.

If you have any questions, concerns, or comments regarding this event’s accessibility or privacy, feel free to connect with us at


Commitment to community guidelines and social accountability

All participants are asked to participate as socially accountable community members. We ask that you provide your full name as your display name during the online meeting and that you review our community guidelines ahead of your participation in the event. This is to ensure the safety of our guests and speakers as well as foster honest and accountable dialogue between people in this space. Thank you for respecting our community guidelines!

  • Above all, there will be zero tolerance for those who promote violence against others on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation, or different ability. Anyone who incites harm towards other participants (be it through the chat, video or audio functions) will be removed at the discretion of our technical team and moderator.
  • Be as present as possible (put away phone, close/mute tabs).
  • Thoughtful questions are welcome in the chat throughout the session. If your question is for a particular speaker, type “@name” at the beginning.
  • Don’t assume pronouns/gender/knowledge based on someone’s name or video image. We can refer to people using the usernames they provide!
  • Step up, step back: if you’ve asked a question or shared a comment, ensure that new voices are heard before you contribute again.
  • Practice self-care: if you need to get up or take a break, please feel free.
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