Revised Guidelines on Campus Visitors and University-Sponsored Travel

From Dr. Jean Morrison, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer,
Gary Nicksa, Senior Vice President for Operations,
and Dr. Judy Platt, Director of Student Health Services

As we plan for a return to in-person teaching and learning in fall 2021, we are writing to update you on BU’s policies for University-sponsored travel and campus visitors that will go into effect on August 16, 2021.

As you know, over the last year, BU instituted restrictions limiting sponsored domestic and international travel for faculty, staff, and students, as well as access for outside visitors to our campuses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These policies – in concert with testing protocols and coordinated safety measures – have been key to our success in maintaining healthy learning, living, and working environments across the University.

We continue to follow trendlines and remain in close conversation with medical and public health professionals as we approach updates to campus health and safety measures. Following consultation with experts and recent changes in federal and local guidelines, BU will be updating its University-sponsored travel and campus visitor policies as follows:

Campus Visitors

Beginning August 16, 2021, the more restrictive visitor policy instituted last year will be lifted. Moving forward, short-term visitors to campus, including those who are briefly on campus to attend a gathering or event, will simply be required to follow BU mask-wearing requirements, as well as municipal, state, and federal regulations. Hosts are responsible for ensuring that their visitors follow these rules.

As outlined in the visiting student and visiting faculty and research scholar policies, host faculty and departments are responsible for ensuring that longer-term visitors adhere to all University policies and external requirements related to the performance of work at Boston University, including regular COVID-19 testing and the vaccination requirement.

University-Sponsored Travel

Beginning August 16, 2021, previous restrictions on University-sponsored travel will be lifted for all members of the BU community who are in compliance with the COVID-19 vaccine requirement. The University advises against travel to high-risk destinations, including Level 4 high-risk COVID areas as defined by the Centers for Disease Control, but such travel may be approved by the appropriate dean or vice president if there is a compelling reason to do so.

Students and employees traveling abroad should follow the registration requirements in the International Travel Risk Policy, and undergraduate students intending to travel to high-risk destinations must seek permission through the Global Travel Risk Assessment Committee ( All University students and employees taking part in University-sponsored travel should also follow the BU travel and business expense policy that was in place prior to last year.

We are excited for a return to in-person, residential teaching and learning and to welcome our community back to Boston. At the same time, BU remains fully committed to ensuring that everyone is safe as we come back to campus, and, as a reminder, has instituted a number of important measures including required vaccinations and indoor masking, HVAC system upgrades, and enhanced building sanitation protocols. We will continue to follow federal and state guidance – particularly with an eye to emerging COVID variants – and update you on any changes to these protocols and policies as warranted. We encourage you to visit the Back2BU website for additional information on public health requirements for the fall term.

Revised Guidelines on Campus Visitors and University-Sponsored Travel for Fall 2021 – 8.4.21