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Faculty, Staff, and Doctoral Students May Petition for Exceptions to University Travel Prohibition

Harvard extended previous travel policies, administrators wrote in an email Thursday.
Harvard extended previous travel policies, administrators wrote in an email Thursday. By Ryan N. Gajarawala
By Camille G. Caldera and Michelle G. Kurilla, Crimson Staff Writers

Harvard established a petition process for “rare” exceptions to its prohibition on domestic and international travel — measure which it has extended “until further notice,” according to an email Thursday from administrators.

University Provost Alan M. Garber ’76, Executive Vice President Katherine N. Lapp, and Harvard University Health Services Director Giang T. Nguyen’s message comes as the prohibition on all University-related travel enters its third month.

“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 trio of administrators wrote.

They added that they expect exceptions will be “rare.”

The Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs will administer the petition process, which will be available to faculty, postdoctoral fellows, doctoral students, and staff for “travel only of the utmost urgency,” per the email.

It does not apply to students and staff who have already been approved to return to Cambridge and Boston and must travel to do so.

Students and staff who are traveling to Massachusetts must adhere to the Massachusetts Travel Order, which mandates that travelers entering the state complete the Massachusetts Travel Form and quarantine for 14 days or present a negative coronavirus test administered up to 72 hours prior to arrival. Failure to do so subjects travelers to a $500 fine.

Harvard students and personnel living on campus will receive three tests a week, while affiliates who work on campus non-residentially will be tested once or twice a week. Testing frequency for the latter group will depend on their activities and the amount of time they spend on campus.

Garber, Lapp, and Nguyen also wrote that they “continue to strongly discourage personal travel, both international and domestic.”

“Because there is so much uncertainty about the future course of the pandemic, we plan to keep travel to a minimum until conditions change,” they wrote.

—Staff writer Camille G. Caldera can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @camille_caldera.

—Staff writer Michelle G. Kurilla can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @MichelleKurilla.

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