August 20, 2020
Dear Members of the Harvard community,
With the continued public health uncertainty across the United States and around the world, we write with updated domestic and international travel guidance.
For the foreseeable future, the global pandemic will continue to hamper travel. Consequently, we are extending the current prohibition on University-related travel, both international and domestic, until further notice. We also continue to strongly discourage personal travel, both international and domestic. These measures are among the steps the University continues to take, with the aim of lowering the risk of coronavirus transmission on campus and helping ensure the health and safety of the Harvard community, as well as slowing the worldwide spread of COVID-19. Because there is so much uncertainty about the future course of the pandemic, we plan to keep travel to a minimum until conditions change.
We understand that members of our community may need to travel for work that is directly and immediately related to the COVID-19 pandemic or that enables critical research activity. The Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs (OVPIA) has established a petition process for these cases, which we expect to be rare. Under the current petition process, faculty, postdoctoral fellows, doctoral students, and staff may petition the OVPIA to undertake University-related international or domestic travel only of the utmost urgency.
Please note that the travel prohibition and petition process do not affect students and personnel who are authorized to return to Cambridge/Boston and who must travel to do so for the purposes of regular work or moving into on-campus housing. Anyone traveling or returning to Massachusetts must comply with the Massachusetts Travel Order, and all students and personnel authorized to come to campus must adhere to the University’s return policies for offices & labs and dorms & residences.
As always, we will continue to monitor the public health situation and adjust our travel guidance accordingly.
Alan M. Garber AB '77, PhD '82, MD
Executive Vice President
Giang T. Nguyen, MD, MPH, MSCE, FAAFP
Executive Director, Harvard University Health Services