Update on University-Related Travel Guidance

Dear Faculty and Staff:

We are writing with an update on the latest university-related travel guidance as the campus community prepares for the start of the spring semester. Please note that while this communication pertains to university-related travel, we continue to strongly discourage all personal travel and to limit any travel beyond Massachusetts to states designated as COVID-19 lower-risk states.

Testing and Quarantine Requirements

To return to campus after traveling out of state, employees must adhere to one of two options: 

Option 1:  Receive two negative COVID-19 test results

  • Get a COVID-19 test upon arrival in the Commonwealth and limit all interactions.
  • Get second test on day four. Continue to limit all interactions until receiving a second negative test. Upon receipt of a second negative test result, you can return to work on campus.

Option 2:  Quarantine for 10 days from the date of arrival in Massachusetts

If you choose this option, please be advised that the university does not provide travel-related quarantine accommodations.

University-related Travel Procedures

  • University-related travel is restricted for faculty and staff, as well as students. Examples of university-related travel include conferences, research, colloquia, data gathering, fieldwork, archival work, human subject research, and student organization sponsored/organized travel, to any location.
  • Travel to international or to domestic locations that are not classified as lower risk is permitted only with an exceptional approval (see details below). Exceptional approvals generally will not be granted if a quarantine would interfere with the performance of university duties. All exceptionally approved travel, international or domestic, must be entered in the Travel Registry, whether or not reimbursement is requested.
  • Travelers are responsible for following any governmental or public health directives in effect at their destination, such as quarantine on arrival. Travelers returning from any domestic or international locations that are not classified as lower risk must adhere to the campus quarantine protocols described above.
  • Please also view additional state travel policies, but note that the university has a different testing requirement for employees to access campus, as noted above.
  • Domestic travel to areas that are classified as lower risk requires standard approvals, except for commuting by employees or students, which does not require approval. However, commuters are expected to comply with campus virus testing protocols.
  • All travel by air is strongly discouraged and public transportation should be avoided where possible.
  • Travel by auto to any location should be restricted, where possible, to one person or to members of the same household.
  • Environmental Health & Safety will work with departments on travel for instructional purposes.

Exceptional Approval Process

Domestic Travel: Travel to locations that are not classified as lower risk require exceptional case-by-case approval. Risk classifications may change frequently. Exceptions for faculty, staff or student travel will require approval from the department supervisor, college dean or unit director, and the appropriate vice chancellor. All exception requests must address the topics in the COVID-19 Travel Request Exception Checklists along with additional guidance as applicable, e.g., for research involving farms, fieldwork and human subjects.

International Travel: Requests for all university-related international travel require exceptional case-by-case approval. Exceptions for faculty, staff or student travel will require a recommendation from the dean and approval from the provost. All exception requests must address the topics in the COVID-19 Travel Request Exception Checklists along with additional guidance as applicable, e.g., for research involving fieldwork and human subjects. Deans should send their recommendations concerning exceptions to Kalpen Trivedi, associate provost for international programs, at ktrivedi@umass.edu. Any additional approvals required, e.g., for research activities, will be arranged by IPO.

Thank you for your assistance and cooperation.


Co-Directors of the Public Health Promotion Center (PHPC)

Jeffrey Hescock, Executive Director of Environmental Health and Safety

Ann Becker, Public Health Director