November 17, 2020
Dear Members of the Harvard Community,
As the end of the fall semester draws near, we write to share revised travel guidance for the upcoming holidays and the spring semester.
University Travel Prohibition & Petition Process
With COVID-19 cases rising across the United States and the world, the prohibition on University-related travel, both international and domestic, remains in effect until further notice. We also continue to strongly discourage personal travel, both international and domestic.
The policy recognizes that some travel, under limited circumstances, remains necessary. With this in mind, the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs continues to update the criteria to petition for Harvard-related travel. We expect exceptions for domestic and international travel to be rare.
Please note that the travel prohibition and petition process do not apply to students and personnel who are traveling to the Cambridge/Boston area for approved work or for moving into or out of on-campus housing.
Holiday Travel Guidance
Travel can significantly increase the likelihood of contracting and spreading the COVID-19 virus. As much as we all want to celebrate in the presence of friends and family during the upcoming holiday season, we ask that you seriously consider whether travel is truly necessary. If you are considering travel, please review Harvard University Health Services’ guidance for holidays and travel.
If you choose to travel, we ask that you comply with Harvard’s post-travel COVID-testing and quarantine policy if relevant, and with Massachusetts’ Travel Order (or your local jurisdiction’s equivalent). Please note that persons authorized to have an on-campus presence must follow the University’s post-travel policy, which is more restrictive than the state order.
Keeping Harvard Healthy
The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced many frustrations, inconveniences, and disruptions into our daily lives. Our ability to resume some semblance of normal activity depends on our continued commitment to the actions we take to protect ourselves and our communities. These actions include wearing face coverings correctly (over nose and mouth), practicing safe distancing, washing hands often, limiting in-person gatherings, staying home when sick, participating in high-frequency viral testing as applicable, and minimizing travel until conditions improve. With continued diligence and caution, we can each contribute to keeping ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities healthy and safe.
As always, we will continue to monitor the public health situation and adjust our travel guidance accordingly.
We wish you a safe and healthy holiday season.
Alan M. Garber AB '77, PhD '82, MD
Executive Vice President
Giang T. Nguyen, MD, MPH, MSCE, FAAFP
Executive Director, Harvard University Health Services