MIT summer policies (testing, access, and travel)
April 7, 2021
Below you will find an important update on key future policies regarding:
Unless otherwise noted, these policies become effective on June 1.
- Policy decisions took into consideration the most conservative scenarios, as early summer on campus will be similar to spring (even though late August will likely look very different).
- Policies were designed to best position the Institute for success in the fall, which given the expected return of students and staff to campus, is more central to MIT’s mission than the summer.
- Granting access to campus facilities and opportunities while limiting demands on staff.
- Anticipating that compliance fatigue, increased vaccinations, and better weather will make traditional enforcement harder.
- Recognizing that travel (especially international) will remain restricted to and from many places, with lots of variation and flux in local conditions and rules.
All policies were approved by senior leadership and are subject to change, both in the sense that activities at MIT might be dialed up (e.g., fewer restrictions) or dialed down (e.g., additional restrictions) depending upon the course of the pandemic.
Testing and other Covid protocols
To ensure the safety of the campus and surrounding community, requirements for mask wearing, social distancing, and routine testing (with the potential for reduced frequency toward the end of summer) will remain. In addition, a quarantine week (Q-Week) will be required for new campus residents or those returning to campus after an extended period away. MIT community members who travel outside of Massachusetts for more than 24 hours and who reside or work on campus should consult the travel reentry policy for more details on testing and quarantine requirements.
Campus access policies
All those accessing campus will need to observe density limits and continue to be vigilant with public health practices. Moreover, managers should keep in mind that there may be more limited staff support for programming and activities, as many staff will want to take vacation time and simply slow down after a very challenging year.
Faculty, researchers (including graduate students and postdocs), and staff already authorized to access campus (i.e., in Covid Pass) will retain that access, provided that they comply with testing and attestation protocols. More guidance on undergraduate student access is below.
New and returning campus residents will, after Q-Week, be able to access campus as well – again, provided they maintain testing and compliance protocols.
While summer is typically a busy time at the Institute, with dozens of programs, activities, and visitors on campus, campus access will remain limited for summer 2021. Specifically:
- No K-12 students or programs will be allowed on campus this summer, whether as residents, visitors, DAPER program participants, etc. Programs serving K-12 students are encouraged to explore remote/virtual options.
Undergraduate student access
- Summer residential programs will be limited to MSRP, MSRP-Bio, InterphaseEDGE, and students approved for SHARP housing. Only these students will be eligible to live in campus housing in summer 2021.
- Students participating in in-person UROPs will not be eligible for on-campus housing (unless they qualify through SHARP).
- The FSILGs will remain closed for the summer months. The Division of Student Life will work with the chapters and their alumni corporations to prepare for an anticipated fall re-opening of these houses.
- If you are interested in exploring off-campus housing options in the Greater Cambridge area, you are encouraged to visit www.mitoffcampus.com (MIT certificate or credentials required) to view off-campus rental listings and other tenant resources.
- ALL undergraduates who are living off campus this summer may access campus to:
- Participate in an in-person UROP, contingent on PI approval AND/OR
- Use other campus facilities (such as DAPER, MIT libraries, or makerspaces/shops) at the discretion of the space manager
The process for undergraduate students wishing to request access to campus for the reasons listed above will be announced soon.
DAPER indoor and outdoor facilities will remain open during the summer. Only Covid Pass holders may access DAPER facilities (indoor and outdoor). DAPER will not be hosting sports camps or sponsoring events and rental opportunities this summer for outside groups. More information regarding updated DAPER policies and procedures is available on DAPER’s website.
The current visitor policies will remain in place for summer.
We recognize that MIT is a global institution, and travel is an essential element of MIT’s operations. At the same time, after gatherings, travel is the second most common cause of Covid-19 transmission and can bring health risks to the traveler, to life on campus, and to the broader community.
With the above in mind, until the pandemic is under control worldwide, a modified Covid-19 travel policy will remain in effect in addition to the existing Institute travel policy. All MIT-related travel must be registered; registering personal travel is encouraged for MIT community members.
The current Covid travel policy will remain in place through the end of the spring semester. Effective June 1, 2021, the following travel policy will go into effect:
International travel (MIT-related/sponsored)
Step one: CDC Covid risk assessment
Please refer to the CDC website for updated country Covid-19 risk ratings.
- Travel to countries with CDC risk levels 1 and 2 (low or moderate Covid risk)
- Undergraduates: Not allowed except with specially approved programs or exception process for essential travel
- Graduate students/staff/faculty/postdocs: Allowed
- Travel to countries with CDC risk levels 3 and 4 (high or very high Covid risk)
- Undergraduates: Not allowed; no exceptions
- Graduate students/staff/faculty/postdocs: Exception process for essential travel
Step two: Department of State risk assessment
If travel is allowable by the policy above, undergraduate and graduate students should then check the Department of State (DOS) website for the overall risk rating of their destination. (This rating takes into account a wider variety of factors, including crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and natural disasters, along with other non-Covid health risks).
If the country is a DOS level 3 or 4 (high or very high risk), undergraduate and graduate students must apply for a high-risk travel waiver. Staff and faculty members may travel to DOS level 3 and 4 countries with no exception or waiver required.
Local, domestic, and personal travel
- Local (MIT-related/sponsored within six New England states: CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT)
- Allowed for all; follow Massachusetts guidelines or guidelines of originating location
- Domestic (MIT-related/sponsored)
- Undergraduates: Not allowed except with specially approved programs or exception process for essential individual travel
- Graduate students/staff/faculty/postdocs: Allowed
- Use personal judgment and register travel (encouraged)