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Travel Guidance

All University-related travel, both international and domestic, is prohibited through May 14. This policy applies to all Harvard community members regardless of whether or not they have received the COVID-19 vaccine. The Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs (OVPIA) has established a petition process (outlined below) for certain Harvard-related travel that begins May 14 or sooner.

If you choose to travel for personal reasons, review the post-travel COVID testing and quarantine policy.

Note: For travel that begins May 15 or later, see the travel guidance and petition process effective May 15.

Petition to Travel

We understand that certain members of our community may need to travel for work directly and immediately related to the COVID-19 pandemic, for work that enables critical research activity, or for an extended single-country stay to undertake essential work. The Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs (OVPIA) has established a petition process for these cases, which we expect to be rare.

Who Can Petition to Travel

For travel that begins May 14 or earlier:

Faculty, postdoctoral fellows, doctoral students, and staff may petition the OVPIA to undertake University-related international or domestic travel that is essential to your work.

If your petition is approved, you must also complete the COVID-19 travel requirements.

Who Cannot Petition to Travel

For travel that begins May 14 or earlier:

All other graduate, professional, and undergraduate students are currently prohibited from Harvard-related international and domestic travel and cannot petition to travel at this time.

Criteria to Petition

For travel that begins May 14 or earlier, petitioners must meet the criteria in one of the following three categories:

COVID-19 work

  1. The petitioner is a medical, public health, or other professional who will be traveling for work directly and immediately related to the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  2. There are no alternatives to travel.

Critical research activity

  1. The travel is essential to the survival or long-term viability of significant research activity or academic work;
  2. The research activity is a substantial component of the petitioner’s academic or professional work at Harvard; and
  3. There are no alternatives to travel.

Extended single country stay

  1. The travel is to a single country for 90 or more consecutive days;
  2. The research or academic activities are an essential component of the petitioner’s degree program or professional work at Harvard; and
  3. There are no alternatives to travel.

If you believe you meet the criteria outlined in one of the three categories above, submit your completed petition form to the OVPIA at least 14 days, but not more than two months, prior to your proposed departure.

COVID-19 Travel Requirements

If the OVPIA approves your petition to travel, you must also complete the COVID-19 travel requirements outlined below.

Before travel:

All: Register your international travel with International SOS MyTrips.

Postdoctoral fellows and Doctoral students: Complete a COVID-19 Travel Waiver (international waiver or domestic waiver, as applicable).

Doctoral students: Comply with the graduate student travel policy.

During travel:

All: Follow the travel plan developed with Global Support Services (submitted as part of your petition form).

All: Follow local health and safety guidelines (which are changing regularly).

All: Keep your international travel plans updated in International SOS MyTrips.

After travel:

If returning to the United States: Comply with the CDC Travel Order.

If returning elsewhere: Follow the guidelines provided by your local jurisdiction.

 

If returning to Massachusetts: Comply with the Massachusetts Travel Advisory.

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.

An old globe

Travel Booking, Cancellation, & Reimbursement

If you’re travel is paid for by Harvard, consider using one of Harvard’s preferred travel partners to book your trip. When submitting your travel reimbursement request, include your completed vaccine attestation form or letter from the OVPIA approving your travel petition. If you had travel reservations for University business, the Harvard Travel Policy allows for reimbursement of cancellation or change fees due a valid business reason. The policy also allows the purchase of refundable tickets where there is a high likelihood that the itinerary may change.

Harvard Travel Services website

Airplane wing

CDC Travel Order

All air passengers arriving to the US from a foreign country (who do not meet an exemption) must get tested no more than 3 days before their flight departs and provide proof of the negative result to the airline before boarding the flight or provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19.

CDC travel order

Boston skyline

Massachusetts Travel Advisory

All visitors and returning residents entering Massachusetts (who do not meet an exemption) are advised to quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival.

Massachusetts travel advisory

A Harvard gate

Return to Campus Requirements

All Harvard students and personnel who are authorized to come to campus must adhere to the University’s campus access policies for facilities, offices, & labs and dorms & residences. If you’ve chosen to travel, you must comply with the the post-travel COVID testing and quarantine requirements. The University requires testing and quarantine measures beyond the state’s requirements.