Last updated: January 25, 2022

We anticipate that the global travel landscape will remain volatile for some time to come. In particular, international travel will be complicated at best and potentially unfeasible in some instances. We urge all travelers to understand the risks and local conditions, carefully plan for contingencies, and exercise caution while in transit and once they arrive at their destination. Travelers should not feel compelled to travel to or remain in locations of heightened risk.

Information on planning travel during the pandemic may be found in Resources for MIT student travel during Covid-19.

International students should consult with the International Students Office for the latest guidance on visas and travel restrictions.

MIT community members who travel are encouraged to test upon return to campus through MIT’s on-demand testing.

Vaccination and booster requirements

Anyone participating in MIT-related travel must comply with MIT’s vaccination and booster policy in order to travel.

This requirement applies to undergraduate and graduate students, staff, faculty, and postdocs. The requirement does not apply to MIT travelers with an approved medical or religious exemption from the vaccination requirement.

MIT employees who have been granted any exemption from the vaccine requirement other than a medical or religious exemption are not eligible for MIT-related travel.

Guidance at a glance

All domestic and International MIT-related travel must be registered in the MIT Travel Registry. Travelers should be aware that, if the Department of State risk level for your destination changes prior to departure, you may be required to request an exception or you may need to postpone or cancel your trip. Travelers are urged to plan accordingly. Planning resources for travelers are available on the ICC website.

“MIT-related” travel is defined as:

  • Travel funded entirely or in part by MIT sources
  • Travel organized primarily by MIT (e.g., MIT selects the participants)
  • Travel conducted at the behest of MIT or in furtherance of MIT objectives
  • Travel related to scholarly activities (whether paid for by MIT or not)
  • Travel that requires the use of MIT equipment, supplies, or personnel

Local and domestic MIT-related travel

Local and domestic travel are allowed for all with no exceptions required (undergraduate students, graduate students, staff, faculty, and postdocs).

Before departure, travelers should talk to their program or faculty sponsor about what happens if they test positive and need to isolate while away from campus (e.g., logistical arrangements, who pays, etc.).

International travel

Travel to countries with CDC Covid risk level 4 is no longer restricted and does not require an exception for students and programs. However, undergraduate and graduate student travelers should 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).

Students traveling to countries at a DOS level 3 or 4 — high or very high risk for reasons other than Covid-19 — must apply for a high-risk travel exception.

Exception requests with the required endorsements will be reviewed by the MIT High-Risk Travel Committee and then forwarded to the vice chancellor for a final decision.

Undergraduate and graduate students
Exception required for:International travel to countries with Department of State risk level 3 or 4 for reasons other than Covid-19
Required endorsementFaculty advisor/PI, department head, or dean of school/college
Risk review and recommendationHigh-Risk Travel Committee
Final decisionVice chancellor

Staff and faculty members may travel to DOS level 3 and 4 countries with no exceptions required. If you have questions, please contact Program Manager for International Safety and Security Todd Holmes for assistance.

When students are on MIT-related travel, “side trips” to DOS level 3 or 4 countries are not permitted.

Personal travel

Use personal judgment and register travel (encouraged).

Additional resources

If you have questions about travel, or any other Covid-related policies, please email covidapps-help@mit.edu.