Off-Campus Residence Requirements

Students and personnel who may be moving to or already living in the area around campus (including in Harvard University Housing properties), but are not authorized to be on campus for work or for in-person academics will have limited access to the Harvard campus.

Comply with the Massachusetts Travel Order

All visitors 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.
  • Quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72-hours prior to your arrival in Massachusetts. If your COVID-19 test result has not been received prior to arrival, both visitors and residents must quarantine until you receive a negative test result.

Failure to comply may result in a $500 fine per day. Review the exceptions to the order.

Campus Access

A limited number of Harvard students and personnel will be authorized to live and/or work on campus. Only those students and personnel who are authorized to be on campus and who are undergoing frequent viral testing are allowed to be on-campus. Students and personnel living in the area around campus should not come to campus for any reason unless approved by your School or Unit's local leadership and/or manager.

If you are authorized to work in an office or lab on campus, see Office & Lab requirements.


Harvard is only providing regular screening testing for students and personnel who are living in on-campus housing, who are authorized to be on campus for work or in-person academics, or who are authorized to have a regular on-campus presence (4 hours or more per week). See the Testing & Tracing page for testing protocols and frequency.

Students and personnel who live near campus but do not fall into one of the above categories will not be provided with regular screening testing.

However, if Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) is your healthcare provider and you present at the HUHS clinic with symptoms or you are a close contact of someone who tested positive, you may be tested through HUHS. If HUHS is not your healthcare provider, then contact your primary care physician to discuss your testing options.

Community testing options are constantly changing. Please review the following resources.

State and Local Mandates

All Harvard students and personnel, including those who live off-campus, are required to follow Massachusetts state guidance on indoor and outdoor gatherings, as well as the Cambridge and Massachusetts orders for mandatory face coverings.

Indoor and Outdoor Gatherings
  • Governor Baker issued an order on limits to indoor and outdoor gatherings in Massachusetts. 
    • Indoor gatherings are limited to 8 people per 1,000 square feet of accessible, indoor floor space and never more than 25 people in a single enclosed, indoor space.
    • Outdoor gatherings in enclosed, permitted, or leased spaces are limited to 25% of the maximum permitted occupancy of the facility and never more than 50 people in a single outdoor space that is enclosed, permitted, or leased.
    • Outdoor gatherings in unenclosed spaces are not subject to capacity limitations.
  • All City of Cambridge-sponsored community events, athletic events, events permitted for the use of City parks, or other City-sponsored public gatherings will be cancelled through September 7, 2020, or postponed to a later date. All prior approvals for events or gatherings are revoked.
Face Coverings Indoors and Outdoors