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I am planning to travel for research or for a program in the future.  Should I book my travel and accommodations?

If you are traveling domestically or internationally, you should discuss this plan with your supervisor in advance to understand whether you will need to work from home and self-quarantine prior to returning to work. It is difficult to predict how the spread of COVID-19 will evolve in the future, and what measures will be taken by local and national authorities (both in the US and in other countries). If you book your travel, try to find airlines, hotels or rentals that are offering flexible cancellation and refund policies.  You are highly encouraged to book through the university’s preferred travel provider, Travel Collaborative.

Last update: Friday, Jun 26, 2020 - 5:54pm
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What about visitors who travel to Tufts?

Our goal is to reduce the number of people on campus as much as possible in order to minimize the risk of transmission of the virus and protect vulnerable faculty, staff and students on campus from exposure.  We continue to urge strongly that all meetings and events, including with people external to Tufts, be conducted virtually if they can be accomplished in this manner.

If visitors are invited to campus for a function, event or meeting, approval by the Dean/EAD or VP of the school or department hosting the visitor will be needed.  All visitors and all meetings must comply with campus policies, including those outlined in the Return to Campus guide.  Individuals, programs, and groups hosting the visitor(s) are responsible for informing their guests about Tufts’ coronavirus policies and taking steps to ensure the policies are followed.

Vendors coming on to Tufts campuses are required to comply with Tufts policies for vendors.  This includes adhering to CDC, Department of Public Health and/or WHO recommendations for protecting their personnel and the Tufts community from COVID-19, including providing and ensuring that their personnel wear PPE (face masks, eye protection, gloves) and social distancing at all times, as well as informing Tufts (through covid19@tufts.edu) of any confirmed or presumed (symptomatic) case of COVID-19.


 [CDV1]Cory Pouliot to provide a contact person in case there are questions.

Last update: Thursday, Jun 25, 2020 - 2:25pm
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A colleague/peer has just returned from travel and has come back to work or school.  Shouldn’t they be in quarantine for 14 days?

Your concern is understandable, as travel can increase the risk that your colleague or peer may contract and spread COVID-19.  Your colleague should discuss his/her travel with a supervisor to determine if quarantine is needed.  While commuting from one’s home in New Hampshire or Rhode Island is not a basis to require a quarantine; quarantining may be necessary in other situations depending on the mode of travel and destination among other factors (see below). This determination should be made by the supervisor in consultation with the Human Resources Business Partner.

The underlying rationale for quarantine, and the university’s primary concern, is to prevent inadvertent transmission of the virus to others in our community.  The university’s policy remains that the MA and CDC guidance provide the overarching guidance to be followed by travelers, issues and processes related to how quarantine guidelines should be enforced. Schools and divisions should take into consideration a number of factors relevant to the traveler’s risk of exposure while traveling and options for mitigating risk, such as: degree/trends in COVID-19 spread, the degree to which the travel allowed for social distancing, other precautions taken by the traveler and the destination and transportation, and the availability of testing, among others.

In addition, the University has put into place measures that we believe mitigate the risk of spread to our campus even if a COVID-19 positive person is on campus:

  • We have instituted social distancing guidelines, which are supported through signages and re-arranging of office and classroom space
  • We have instituted mandatory use of masks whenever on campus
  • We have instituted guidelines and HR policies to minimize the number of people on campus – remote work, staggered work schedules are examples of policies that allow for social distancing
  • We are encouraging good hygiene principles: Reminders to wash your hands are on every bathroom door, and we are supplying hand sanitizers
  • Testing is increasingly available, and Tufts will be testing high risk populations frequently—including those with underlying medical conditions and other defined vulnerabilities to COVID-19 and those (e.g., students) at risk of transmitting the virus
Last update: Thursday, Jun 25, 2020 - 2:23pm

Should I buy travel insurance?

You will need carefully check the policy to ensure that pandemics are not excluded, particularly during a current event of this magnitude. Some carriers cover “cancel for any reason” policies, which may cover this event, however, they tend to be significantly more expensive. Booking a refundable ticket may be the preferred method of accounting for potential changes in your travel plans.

Last update: Thursday, Jun 25, 2020 - 2:22pm
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Will the university pay for charges incurred if a trip is extended or needs to be changed (e.g., extra costs for accommodation in the event of a quarantine at the destination, or additional travel incurred of because new government restrictions, etc.)?

For travel on sponsored programs, higher costs for refundable tickets and additional costs that may be incurred if you are quarantined or need to change your travel plans because of the COVID-19 situation in your destination are allowable.  The charges will need to be booked to the applicable project, grant, or Dept-ID. For charges on non-sponsored programs or activities, the university will not pay for charges unless you have previously received explicit permission from your EAD or VP (or their designee).  

Last update: Thursday, Jun 25, 2020 - 2:20pm
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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.

Last update: Thursday, Jun 25, 2020 - 2:18pm
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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: Thursday, Jun 25, 2020 - 2:16pm

I am a student and plan to travel for research, study or work related to or supported by Tufts.  Can I travel?

Until August 20, 2020, based on guidance from international, national and local agencies, including the Governor of Massachusetts, all University-sponsored, connected, or funded international or domestic travel by students is prohibited.  After that date, student travel may be permitted with restrictions:

  • You should consult student handbooks or guidance from their school’s policies and guidance regarding domestic and international travel. You will be required to follow guidance on allowable travel and on what you need to do when you return to campus from travel[CDV1] 
  • If you plan to travel internationally, you will be required to register any international travel in the Tufts Travel Registry.  All student travel to countries, or regions within a country, that are rated Level 3 or 4 by the U.S. Department of State are reviewed by the International Travel Review Committee (ITRC).  The Department of State has issued a global Level 4 health advisory; as a result, all university-related international student travel needs to be reviewed and approved by the ITRC. Domestic travel does not need to be registered with the Travel Registry and is not reviewed by the ITRC.

 [CDV1]If there are school student guides that have travel regulations/guidance it would be good to link to them here.

Last update: Thursday, Jun 25, 2020 - 2:15pm
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What precautions should I take if I travel?

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—coughing, fever, difficulty breathing.
Last update: Thursday, Jun 25, 2020 - 2:14pm
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Do I need to self-quarantine when I return from travel?

Travel is not without risks.  If you are able to work from home after travel, we believe it is still prudent to do so.  At the same time, the underlying rationale for quarantine, and the university’s concern, is to prevent inadvertent transmission of the virus to others in our community; we thus are most concerned about whether you may have been exposed while you have been traveling. If you commute to work from another state, or if you are planning to drive to your house in Maine for the weekend or visit your parents in New Hampshire, you would not be expected to self-quarantine.  However, you should be aware that traveling – along with other factors - can significantly increase your risk of exposure—e.g., destination and 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. 

The university’s policy remains that the MA and CDC guidance provide the overarching guidance to be followed by travelers, issues and processes related to how quarantine guidelines should be enforced. 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.

You should 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) during the 14 days prior to your return to the United States, you will not be allowed to enter the country.

Last update: Thursday, Jun 25, 2020 - 2:13pm
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I am a Tufts employee (faculty, staff).  Can I travel for university-related or funded business?

Until June 30, 2020, based on guidance from international, national and local agencies, including the Governor of Massachusetts, all University-sponsored, connected, or funded international or domestic travel by faculty and staff (including post docs) is prohibited. Beginning July 1, this prohibition will be lifted.

We continue to discourage strongly 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 risk potential 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, after July 1, you will be 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: Thursday, Jun 25, 2020 - 2:11pm
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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.