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Updated Travel Policy Related to COVID-19 in the US and Abroad

UMass Medical School Communications

June 26, 2020

The prevalence of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has been decreasing since its peak at the end of April 2020. We have emerged from stay-at-home orders and are currently in Step 2, Phase 2 of the re-opening plans ordered by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. Other states across the country are currently experiencing dramatic rises in numbers of COVID-19 infected individuals, as well as hospitalizations. Internationally, COVID-19 has expanded at dramatic rates in South America and Africa. The CDC continues to issue a global COVID-19 pandemic notice which lists international travel advisories to all countries at Level 3, which means that all nonessential travel to international destinations should be avoided.

Due to these emerging conditions, we are adapting our UMMS travel policies to maintain the safety of our community from COVID-19. Travel of any kind increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. For those who must travel, please be aware of and adhere to restrictions for your destination. Per Massachusetts law, anyone arriving or returning to the commonwealth from elsewhere must quarantine for 14 days. Within the U.S., check the state and territorial health department websites for the latest information. Measures that we are taking at UMMS represent our contribution to public health efforts to maintain the decline in community spread of the virus.

Policy changes pertaining to both UMMS-sponsored and personal travel are highlighted below:

  • Airline travel is highly discouraged at the present time.
  • Individuals who travel by air or who travel to states with a high risk for COVID-19 transmission* are required to quarantine and will not be permitted to return to work at the Medical School for 14 days after their date of return home. Health care workers in clinical settings are currently excluded from this requirement due to the nature of their work.
  • Our current ban on all University-related international travel to CDC Level 3 countries is extended until December 31, 2020.
  • Domestic University-related travel is banned until December 31, 2020. Any exceptions must be approved in advance by the provost.
  • All University-related travel must be registered at https://travelregistry.umasscs.net/.
  • Any personal travel outside of New England must be reported in advance of travel using this form.

*Determination of ‘high risk’ will be performed weekly and will take into account the COVID positive test rate reported by the state, as well as other measures of transmission of the virus within the state. Due to the nature of COVID-19 epidemiology, designation as ‘high risk’ will likely change frequently. As of today, these states include Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Washington. This information will be updated weekly on the coronavirus website.