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I am a Tufts employee (faculty, staff).  Can I travel for university-related or funded business?

Beginning July 1, Tufts’ prohibition on university-sponsored, connected, or funded international or domestic travel by faculty and staff (including post docs) has been lifted. We continue to strongly discourage any travel unless it is essential.  Your travel may be disrupted, you may become subject to government restrictions while you are away, or you may have difficulty returning home due to an unexpected quarantine or border closings. You also will likely need to quarantine once you return to the Boston area. We urge you to consider alternative ways to accomplish essential research, work or collaborations where these are possible

If you need to travel, you are permitted to travel with the following restrictions:

  • For university-related international travel, you will be required to register your travel in the Tufts Travel Registry.  You should not register domestic travel or any personal travel.
  • If you have contact with someone who has had a presumed or confirmed case of COVID-19 during your travels, you will need to self-quarantine for 14 days when you return, in accordance with the guidance issued by the CDC, and inform your supervisor or dean immediately.
  • For international or domestic (out of state) travel, you should be aware that you may need to self-quarantine for 14 days when you return. You should speak with your manager/supervisor prior to traveling on how quarantine guidelines issued by the State of Massachusetts and by the CDC for travelers returning either from domestic or international travel may affect your ability to return to work.
  • Other university, school or division restrictions (including restrictions on discretionary spending) will continue to apply and may affect your ability to travel.
Last update: Friday, Aug 7, 2020 - 10:44am

I am planning to travel for personal reasons. Is it OK to travel?

As the situation with respect to COVID-19 is evolving daily, there are risks to traveling both outside and within the United States, from being exposed to the virus to being restricted from reentering the country.

As a result, we strongly urge anyone considering personal travel, both international and domestic, for any length of time to reconsider their plans. If your travel is disrupted, or you become subject to government restrictions while you are away, or you have difficulty returning home, Tufts will not be able to intervene on your behalf. If you return from travel to an affected area, in addition to the risk of contracting COVID-19, you risk potential quarantine once you return to the Boston area.

If you do choose to travel, we urge you to:

  • Monitor both domestic and international destinations where COVID-19 is present, as well as information, travel warnings and health advisories on the CDC websiteThe European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)U.S. Department of State, and International SOS also provide updated information. Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering also has an excellent site with daily updates of cases worldwide.
  • Ensure that you take basic precautions recommended by the CDC:
    • Avoid close contact with sick people
    • Distance yourself from others—stay at least 6 feet away to prevent exposure through coughing
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a face mask
    • Cover your cough with your upper sleeve or elbow
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60 percent to 95 percent alcohol
    • Wipe down frequently touched objects (e.g., phones) and surfaces
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
    • Do not share drinks/food/cigarettes, utensils, vaping products, etc.
    • Monitor for symptoms and seek medical attention if you get symptoms—coughing, fever, difficulty breathing.
Last update: Friday, Aug 7, 2020 - 11:09am

Do I need to self-quarantine when I return from travel?

  • Probably yes. Tufts’ policy is that MA and CDC provide the overarching guidance to be followed by travelers. Massachusetts’ new travel order, effective August 1, requires all non-exempted travelers from out of state (including residents, and including from out of the country) to fill out a travel form and self-quarantine for 14 days or until they receive a negative COVID-19 test result, unless they can present a negative COVID-19 test that has been administered within 72 hours prior to arrival in MA. Exemptions include people commuting to work from another state and those coming to Massachusetts from a “low risk” state.  You should consult MA guidance for the latest updates, as exemptions and restrictions are likely to change.
  • The CDC continues to recommend a 14 day quarantine for travelers returning from international travel. The schools and divisions will determine if quarantine is necessary, taking into consideration a number of factors relevant to the risk of exposure while traveling and options for mitigating risk, such as: where you traveled, the degree to which the travel allowed for social distancing, other precautions taken both by you and the locations at your destination and transportation, the availability of testing, among others. Your school or unit may also have additional requirements or procedures (e.g., concerning testing).
  • You should therefore speak with your manager or supervisor (including prior to traveling, if possible) on how Massachusetts and CDC quarantine guidelines may affect your ability to return to work. 
  • Please NOTE that if you are foreign national and have been in a CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice country with restrictions on entry to the US (currently, Brazil, China, Iran, European Schengen area, UK, Ireland, and Iran), including as a transit passenger from a non-restricted country, during the 14 days prior to your return to the United States, you will not be allowed to enter the country, unless you are a student with a valid F-1 visa.
Last update: Friday, Aug 7, 2020 - 11:06am

What precautions should I take if I travel?

You should be aware that traveling—along with other factors—can significantly increase your risk of exposure—e.g., destination, mode of travel, ability to social distance, mask use, use of good hygiene resources and procedures, and avoiding large groups of people in close proximity for extended periods of time. If you do choose to travel, we urge you to exercise extreme caution.

We urge you strongly to:

  • Monitor both domestic and international destinations where COVID-19 is present, as well as information, travel warnings, health advisories, travel and movement restrictions (e.g., use of public transportation, border closings, screening procedures at airports/stations, etc.) and quarantine requirements and conditions at your destination. These do change frequently.

The CDC website, as well as the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)U.S. Department of State, and International SOS provide useful updated information. Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering also has an excellent site with daily updates of cases worldwide. 

  • Take basic precautions recommended by the CDC while you travel.  Your risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19 depends on your own behavior as well as your travel pattern, destination or means of transportation. Therefore, you should be sure to:        
    • Avoid close contact with sick people
    • Distance yourself from others—stay at least 6 feet away to prevent exposure through coughing
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a face mask
    • Cover your cough with your upper sleeve or elbow
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60 percent to 95 percent alcohol
    • Wipe down frequently touched objects (e.g., phones) and surfaces
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
    • Do not share drinks/food/cigarettes, utensils, vaping products, etc.
  • Speak with your manager/supervisor (including prior to traveling, if possible) on how quarantine guidelines issued by the State of Massachusetts and by the CDC for travelers returning either from domestic or international travel may affect your ability to return to work.
  • Seek medical attention immediately if you get symptoms, which include coughing, fever, and difficulty breathing.
Last update: Friday, Aug 7, 2020 - 11:42am

Who can help me if I get stuck while I am traveling?

If you are on university-related travel, please call International SOS at +1 (215) 942-8478. They can help you assess your situation and find suitable accommodation and medical advice or treatment, if needed.  You will need to follow local guidance on procedures and next steps.

For personal travel, it is highly recommended that you obtain a travel assistance provider. You can buy the International SOS coverage at 20% discount: https://www.internationalsos.com/MasterPortal/default.aspx?membnum=11BCPS000093.

Last update: Friday, Aug 7, 2020 - 11:41am

These FAQs are subject to change. Please check back here for the latest guidance. If you do not  find the information you are looking for, please send an email to COVID19@tufts.edu.