The Baker administration announced a COVID-19 Travel Order effective Aug. 1, 2020. This requires all travellers, including Massachusetts residents, arriving from certain locations to:
- Complete the Massachusetts Travel Form prior to arrival.
- Quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in the state or acceptable region, or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72 hours prior to their arrival in Massachusetts.
In response to these regulations and increased risks, and to maintain the health and safety of the university community, we are issuing this update to previous university guidance. The university continues to require a 14-day quarantine of all travellers returning from an international or high-risk domestic destination without an option to substitute a negative COVID-19 test result in place of a quarantine.
This guidance applies to faculty, staff and students until further notice and will be modified as the situation evolves and with additional input from stakeholders.
- University-related travel is restricted for all students, faculty and staff. 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 domestic locations that are not classified by the Commonwealth as low risk is permitted only with an exceptional approval (see below).
- Exceptional approvals will generally 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 reimbursement is requested or not.
- Travelers are responsible for following any governmental or public health directives in effect at their destination, such as quarantines on arrival.
- Travelers returning from any international locations or any domestic locations that are not classified as low risk must self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Massachusetts. Please also see additional state requirements, including the Massachusetts Travel Form, but note that the university requires a 14 day quarantine even in the event of a negative test in order to mitigate the risk to the campus population.
- Domestic travel to areas that are classified as low risk requires standard approvals, except for commuting by employees or students, which does not require approval.
- 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 for University-related Travel
Domestic Travel: Travel to locations that are not classified as low risk will require exceptional case-by-case approval. Note that the risk classifications may change frequently, and additional regulations apply returning from these travel destinations. Exceptions for faculty, staff or student travel will require approval from the supervisor department, 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 will 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 Checklist along with additional guidance as applicable, e.g., for research involving fieldwork, human subjects, etc. Deans should send their recommendations concerning exceptions to Kalpen Trivedi, associate provost for international programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Any additional approvals required, e.g., for research activities, will be arranged by the IPO.
- Personal travel to international or domestic locations that are not classified as low risk poses increased risks to the community, and quarantines may interfere with an individual’s commitments at the university. UMass Amherst faculty, staff and students are therefore strongly urged to postpone personal travel to such locations.
- 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.
- Travelers returning from any international or domestic locations, except domestic low risk locations, must self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Massachusetts. Please also see additional state requirements, including the Massachusetts Travel Form. Note that the university requires a 14-day quarantine even in the event of a negative test in order to mitigate the risk to the campus population.
- Employees who must self-quarantine because of personal travel are required to use accrued personal or vacation time if they cannot perform their university duties during the quarantine. Employees who must quarantine and can perform their duties remotely are not required to use accrued personal or vacation time.
All travelers are strongly encouraged to keep careful records of their itineraries, including any close contacts (within six feet for 10 to 15 minutes) arising during the travel, to facilitate contact tracing should the need arise.