New MIT Covid policies take effect today

June 7, 2021
Ramona Allen, Vice President for Human Resources | Cynthia Barnhart, Chancellor, 2014–2021 | Cecilia Stuopis, MD, Medical Director, MIT Medical | Martin A. Schmidt, Provost, 2014–2022 | Glen Shor, Executive Vice President and Treasurer | Krystyn Van Vliet, Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for Research, 2021–2022 | Maria T. Zuber, Vice President for Research |

To the members of the MIT community:

We write to share important information on changes to MIT’s Covid-19 policies on campus for the summer. These changes take effect today, and follow recent decisions by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Cambridge to end most of their Covid-era restrictions. These relaxations of MIT’s Covid policies are also made possible by the high vaccination rates reported by members of our community who are accessing campus. (A reminder: If you haven’t yet done so, please upload proof of your vaccination status to

What’s new on campus, as of today:

  • Capacity limits: MIT has lifted all of its Covid-era limits on building occupancy, returning spaces to their pre-Covid capacities. This applies to on-campus spaces including residence halls, laboratories, offices, meeting rooms, classrooms, public spaces, restrooms, and elevators. MIT has also eliminated all capacity limits for outdoor spaces on campus.
  • Social distancing: MIT has lifted all Covid-era policies on social distancing, except when eating.
  • Eating indoors: Eating indoors is now permitted in all campus buildings. When dining indoors with others at MIT, members of the community are encouraged to limit group size to four people; maintain 6 feet of distance between individuals and 8 feet of distance between groups of people dining together; and limit the time spent eating together to 20 minutes. MIT continues to encourage those on campus to dine outdoors whenever possible.
  • Reduced testing: All individuals living on campus, or accessing campus buildings at least weekly, will now need to be tested for Covid once a week. In many cases, this is a reduction from twice-weekly testing.
  • Access points: Individuals in Covid Pass who are authorized to access campus buildings can now do so through any card reader-enabled door, as shown on the MIT map; access for Covid Pass users is no longer limited to an assigned subset of buildings.
  • Campus visitors: Visitors may now enter non-residential campus buildings from any access point if accompanied by a Covid Pass user who is authorized to access buildings; such visitors must be escorted by a Covid Pass user while inside campus buildings. Unescorted visitors continue to be allowed in outdoor spaces on campus. All visitors must follow MIT’s pre-Covid visitor policies, as well as posted Covid safety precautions.
  • Campus events: Events sponsored by MIT departments, labs, centers, offices, and student organizations are now permitted. Event sponsors are expected to register all attendees for events that include non-MIT visitors; for contact-tracing purposes, all attendees at such events must provide their name, contact information, and voluntary information on their vaccination status. Visitor access for events must be managed as described above. All attendees must wear well-fitted face coverings while at indoor events on campus. While events that include food are permissible, buffet-style serving is not permitted.

What remains unchanged on campus for now:

  • Campus access: Access to campus buildings remains restricted to members of the MIT community who are authorized to access campus using Covid Pass, with regular testing and attestation required.
  • Face coverings: Regardless of vaccination status, well-fitted face coverings remain required in all MIT buildings except when an individual is eating, drinking, or alone in a fully enclosed space. In residential buildings, face coverings need not be worn when with podmates, or in gatherings of fully vaccinated groups. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts continues to require that face coverings be worn in specific spaces on our campus, including at MIT Medical, at MIT Medical testing facilities, and on MIT shuttle buses. Face coverings are not required outdoors.
  • Retail dining: Retail dining at locations on campus remains paused, although seating in many such areas is available for eating.

Please note that if public health conditions deteriorate in the coming weeks, either on campus or in the surrounding communities, all of the above Covid policies are subject to change.

We expect additional policy changes to take effect in July – after more members of our community have had the chance to get vaccinated, and as we can evaluate how the lifting of state and city restrictions impacts Covid’s prevalence on campus and locally. Together with the changes that go into effect today, these steps will prepare MIT to resume close-to-normal operations during the fall. We will share more details as new Covid policy changes take effect.

We thank you for your continued adherence to our remaining Covid-19 protocols. We can all be proud of the success we have achieved together in keeping our community safe over the past 15 months.


Ramona Allen, Vice President for Human Resources

Cynthia Barnhart, Chancellor

Martin A. Schmidt, Provost

Glen Shor, Executive Vice President and Treasurer

Cecilia Stuopis, MD, Medical Director, MIT Medical

Krystyn Van Vliet, Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for Research

Maria T. Zuber, Vice President for Research