VANCOUVER -- The head of the University of British Columbia's school of population and public health is apologizing for travelling during the school's winter break.

Dr. Peter Berman wrote in a public letter that he recognizes he should not have travelled and he truly regrets the decision.

He reaffirmed his “sincere” support for the efforts public health officials are making to contain COVID-19, and said he followed pandemic control protocols during his trip and continues to do so.

Matthew Ramsey, a spokesman for the university, says the institution is aware some administrators, students, faculty and staff may have travelled over the holiday break.

Ramsey, the director of university affairs, says the school doesn't have jurisdiction over decisions on how staff spend personal time, but it expects them to follow health guidelines.

A university biography says Berman worked for the World Bank and spent 25 years as a faculty member at Harvard University.