Dorm & House Residence Requirements

The majority of Harvard students will continue to learn remotely for the fall semester. However, several Schools are welcoming a reduced population of students to live on campus and attend courses remotely or through a hybrid format.

Below are the steps that individuals living in on-campus housing must take before returning to campus and while living or working on campus for the fall semester. Please note that Harvard University Housing properties are considered off-campus housing.

Before you arrive:

Step 1: Prepare for your trip

In the 2 weeks before your trip to Harvard, you must do everything possible to prevent COVID-19 from impeding your ability to travel.

  • Check yourself for symptoms every day, and seek testing and medical advice if you develop fever or other symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If you are not already doing it, begin wearing a face covering (over your mouth and nose) whenever you are with people beyond your household or spending time in public spaces. Get used to wearing face coverings; they will be part of your daily life at Harvard.
  • Get a supply of masks: Purchase washable cloth face coverings and/or disposable multi-layer masks. Wash your reusable cloth face coverings after each day of use.
Step 2: Complete the Massachusetts Travel Form

All visitors (including students) and returning residents entering Massachusetts are required to complete the Massachusetts Travel Form prior to arrival, unless you are arriving from a lower-risk state as designated by the Department of Public Health.

The Massachusetts Travel Order also includes quarantine requirements for visitors and returning residents; however, due to the density of Harvard's on-campus housing, the University is requiring quarantine measures beyond the state requirements. Any individual arriving from outside of Massachusetts and moving into an on-campus dorm or House will be required to quarantine in two phases. See “Complete the Harvard Quarantine” below.

Step 3: Complete the required COVID-19 training

Complete the state-mandated COVID-19 safety awareness training, available on the Harvard Training Portal. It takes about 30 minutes to complete. You must complete the training before you can complete step 4.

Step 4: Complete an attestation through Crimson Clear

No more than 23 hours before coming to campus, you must complete an attestation through Crimson Clear, a web-based application developed in partnership with HUIT.

  • If you successfully complete Crimson Clear, you will receive a “clear” pass, valid for 23 hours.
  • If you are not cleared, an HUHS clinician will call you to determine next steps before you can come to campus.
Step 5: Get to campus safely

Get here safely! Wear a cloth face covering or disposable mask at all times while in transit to Harvard. This includes time spent in transit/rail, airports, planes, and taxi/rideshare. Keep hand sanitizer with you and clean your hands after touching anything that is touched by other people (doorknobs, handrails, elevator buttons, etc.).

Step 6: Prepare for your test

Harvard has partnered with Color, a health testing company, to administer the University’s testing procedures, including providing testing kits, managing alerts for regular testing, and delivering test results to individuals.

  • A critical first step in this process is for you to create your Color account You will need to use your Harvard email account to create your Color account. If you have questions about creating your Color account, please contact:

Upon arrival:

Step 1: Get tested immediately

All affiliates who are authorized to live in on-campus housing are required to get tested immediately upon arrival.

Beginning August 23: Undergraduate students must go to the Science Center plaza to receive a baseline test prior to checking in and moving to their residence.

  • For all other returning students, schedule a test at one of two observed sites.
Step 2: Complete Harvard's arrival quarantine

Any individual moving into on-campus dorm or House residences will be quarantined in two phases.

Phase 1 (~24 hours):

  • Once you have moved in, you must stay in your room until you get results from your initial viral test.
    • You can only leave your room to use the bathroom, if you have an urgent medical need, or if there is a life-threatening emergency. If you must leave your building for an emergency, wear a mask and follow protocols for physical distancing and good hygiene at all times.
    • Each School will initiate meal delivery while you are quarantining for the first 24 hours.
  • If you receive a negative test result from your initial test, you will then start phase two of the arrival quarantine plan.
    • If you receive a positive result, HUHS contact you and follow the isolation protocol.

Phase 2 (7 days):

  • As long as you follow all public health guidelines, including wearing a face covering and practice physical distancing, you will be allowed to:
    • Move about your room and suite, or into the hallway if your bathroom is located there.
    • Go to dining halls to pick up “to go” food; go to the mailroom; go to the nearest viral testing locations. Outside of these activities, you should not access any indoor spaces aside from your residence hall room.
    • Go outside alone or in pairs, utilizing a 6-foot physical distancing guideline, for short (30 minute) periods of time in space contiguous to their residence, meaning the courtyard, quad, or area immediately adjacent to the dorm or house.
  • You will continue to follow your prescribed testing schedule during phase 2 quarantine. After your third negative test, your Phase 2 quarantine will be complete.

Learn more about quarantine and isolation protocols.

While living or working on campus:

Step 1: Get regular viral tests

All affiliates who are authorized to live in on-campus housing, who are authorized to work on campus, or who have a regular on-campus presence (4 hours or more per week) are required to get regular viral tests. See the Testing & Tracing page for testing protocols and frequency.

Step 2: Use Crimson Clear every day you are on campus

Every day before entering any Harvard building, you must complete an attestation through Crimson Clear. For individuals living on campus, you will need to attest each day prior to leaving your dorm room/suite and entering another Harvard building.

  • If you successfully complete Crimson Clear, you will receive a “clear” pass, valid for 23 hours.
  • If you are not cleared, an HUHS clinician will call you to determine next steps before you can enter a Harvard facility.
Step 3: Keep yourself and Harvard healthy

Everyone returning to campus has the responsibility and the power to keep themselves and the Harvard community healthy, especially those most vulnerable. Use the safety protocols described in the COVID-19 training, including:

  • Wearing a cloth face covering
  • Physical distancing and limiting gatherings based on Massachusetts state guidance
  • Hand washing and using sanitizer
  • Following posted guidance around campus

Learn more about health and wellbeing.

Step 4: If you travel while living on campus, comply with post-travel policies
  • Please note: All University-related travel, both international and domestic, is prohibited until further notice and should not be planned or scheduled at this time. We also strongly discourage personal travel, both international and domestic. Note that international travel is defined as the crossing of any national border.
  • If returning to Massachusetts: Comply with the Massachusetts Travel Order.
  • If returning to Harvard’s campus: Adhere to Harvard’s Post-Travel COVID Testing and Quarantine Policy which requires testing and quarantine measures beyond the state’s requirements.