Post-Travel COVID Testing and Quarantine Policy

Effective: 11/4/2020

Travel can significantly increase your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19 and thus we strongly discourage personal travel internationally and domestically. We ask that you seriously consider if travel is truly necessary and explore alternate options. Some schools, including the College, have prohibited travel for all students living in residence until move-out.

Recognizing that there will be cases where individuals choose to travel, below you will find information on return-to-campus testing and quarantine requirements. This policy is out of an abundance of caution given the rising case rates across the nation and is in addition to the Massachusetts Travel Order. This policy applies to travel to all States including those deemed low-risk. If you travel for personal reasons and cannot work remotely, you should use personal, vacation or time at own expense (TOE).

Harvard post-travel COVID testing and quarantine policy may change as the course of the pandemic changes. If you fall into more than one category, you should follow the more restrictive guidance.

If You're Living On Campus

College Residential Students
  • Not permitted to travel beyond College distance restrictions. Overnight stays anywhere are not permitted. Those with questions about this expectation should consult with their Resident Dean
  • Students living in Harvard College residential facilities are expected to abide by the Residential Community Compact
College Residential Faculty and Staff
  • Receive permission to travel from your supervisor (if applicable)
  • Follow the Massachusetts Travel Order. Note: the quarantine exemption for lower risk states does not apply.
  • Test immediately upon return.
  • You must stay in your home until your first negative test
  • After 1 negative test result, you may leave the residential building for brief periods of fresh air in proximity to the building. Work must be done remotely at this time
  • Continue your regular testing cadence
  • Resume in-person activity after your repeat test on day 6-8 is negative
  • Plan ahead to have food available for the duration of your quarantine
All other Graduate Students, Faculty, and Staff living on campus
  • Follow the Massachusetts Travel Order. Note: the quarantine exemption for lower risk states does not apply.
  • In addition, all who travel outside of Massachusetts must:
    • Test immediately upon return
    • Have food delivered until first negative result is received
    • After 1 negative result may leave room to pick-up food, drop of test kit, pick up mail and for brief (15 minutes) periods of fresh air in close proximity to residence building. Working and learning must be done remotely during this time
    • Continue regular testing cadence
    • Resume in-person activity after the repeat test on day 6-8 is negative

If You're Living Off Campus

Students living off campus (includes Harvard University Housing) who are authorized for an on-campus presence
  • Follow the Massachusetts Travel Order. Note: the quarantine exemption for lower risk states does not apply.
  • Test immediately upon return, may come to campus solely to pickup/drop off test kit
  • No other on-campus activities for the subsequent week, aside from viral testing. Working and learning must be done remotely during this time
  • Resume in-person activity after a repeat test on day 6-8 is negative
  • Alternative to testing: quarantine for full 14 days
Faculty, Staff, and Academic Personnel living off campus and authorized to work on campus
  • Follow the Massachusetts Travel Order. Note: the quarantine exemption for lower risk states does not apply.
  • Test upon return, may come to campus solely to pickup/drop off test kit
  • No other on-campus activities for the subsequent week, aside from viral testing. Working and learning must be done remotely during this time
  • Resume in-person activity after a repeat test on day 6-8 is negative
  • Alternative to testing: quarantine for full 14 days; If your campus presence is ad-hoc (less than once/week) you should use this option or check with local leadership on testing availability and policy.
Students and other Harvard-affiliated people living off campus and not authorized for in-person activities on campus.
  • Follow the Massachusetts Travel order
  • Since you are not authorized to be on campus, you should not enter any Harvard facilities, with the exception of accessing necessary healthcare

If you have questions about the post-travel COVID testing and quarantine policy, please consult your local testing coordinator or HUHS.