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Updated travel policy related to COVID-19 in the US and abroad (July 24)

UMass Medical School Communications

July 24, 2020

Coronavirus infections have been increasing in many areas of the United States in recent weeks. As a consequence, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts expects that all visitors or returning travelers self-quarantine for 14-days, except for those traveling from Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York and New Jersey.

The UMMS travel policy similarly excludes the need for quarantine from these states only; going forward, our travel policy will now require quarantine for UMMS employees currently working on campus, returning to work, new hires, nonclinical students, vendors and visitors who have traveled to or from any states other than these seven.

This change is effective immediately.

We recognize that this is an inconvenience for many, but the number of states considered to be ‘high risk’ has continued to expand, warranting this policy change.

This includes a 14-day quarantine following international travel, consistent with CDC recommendations. There is no health care worker exemption for those returning from international travel.

Domestic travel outside New England, New York and New Jersey; travel by air; and international travel are all discouraged. For those who do travel internationally, be aware that foreign nationals may not enter the United States if their travel in the previous 14 days has included a stop in a long list of countries, including most of Europe, the UK, Ireland, China and Brazil.

We are also now requiring that all travel outside of New England, New York and New Jersey be reported using this form.

All travelers should continue to monitor the  UMMS Travel Policy web page; state and territorial health department websites; and the CDC website  prior to and during travel as policies may rapidly change.

To summarize UMMS travel policies:

  • UMMS travel policies apply to both sponsored and personal travel.
  • Travel policies apply to all UMMS employees and nonclinical students at all sites, including individuals returning to work, new hires, vendors and visitors.
  • Employees (on campus, returning, new hires), nonclinical students, vendors and visitors will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days after air travel from any state.
  • Employees (on campus, returning, new hires), nonclinical students, vendors and visitors who travel or return to Massachusetts are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. Those returning from New England, New York or New Jersey are exempt from the 14-day quarantine.
  • Domestic travel outside of New England, New York or New Jersey is highly discouraged.
  • Health care workers working in clinical settings and vendors performing essential infrastructure work are excluded from domestic quarantine, but must self-monitor and are expected to report symptoms.
  • International travel is discouraged. International travelers will need to quarantine for 14 days and there is no health care worker or critical infrastructure worker exemption.
  • Testing for COVID-19 is not an alternative to quarantine. Returning travelers should not come into the Medical School building for their usual weekly testing.

Registering personal travel (outside of New England, New York or New Jersey):

  • Any personal travel outside of New England, New York or New Jersey must be reported in advance of travel using this form.
  • Employees/students should notify their supervisor of travel plans when requesting time off. If quarantine is needed, they should contact Employee Health Services or Student Health Services toward the end of their 14-day quarantine for approval to return to work.
  • Badge access to Medical School buildings will be deactivated (or limited to clinical areas for those who work in clinical settings) for the duration of the quarantine period for those for whom quarantine is required.
  • Employees or students who develop symptoms following travel should contact Employee Health Services (508-793-6400) or Student Health Services (508-334-2818).