MIT lifts many COVID-19 restrictions, removing capacity limits and lowering testing frequency

Additional policy changes expected in July following more vaccinations

MIT lifted several COVID-19 related restrictions, following the decisions of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Cambridge to end most restrictions, in an email to the MIT community on June 7. The email noted that relaxations were also made possible due to “high vaccination rates reported” by those accessing campus. 

Most notably, MIT eliminated capacity limits and “policies on social distancing” for “both indoor and outdoor spaces” and relaxed testing protocol for individuals “living on campus or accessing campus buildings at least weekly.” They are only required to test for COVID-19 once a week, a reduction from twice a week. Access is now no longer “limited to an assigned subset of buildings.” 

“Events sponsored by MIT departments, labs, centers, offices, and student organizations are now permitted” if all attendees are registered for contact-tracing purposes. All attendees must also wear “well-fitted face coverings” if events are held indoors.

Indoor dining is encouraged to be limited to “four people” while maintaining “6 feet of distance between individuals.”

Visitors may “now enter non-residential campus buildings” if “escorted” by an authorized Covid Pass user. “All visitors must follow MIT’s pre-Covid visitor policies, as well as posted Covid safety precautions.” Unescorted visitors are only “allowed in outdoor spaces on campus.” 

Several previously existing policies are still in place. Face coverings “remain required indoors” unless an individual is “eating, drinking, or alone in a fully enclosed spaces.” In residential buildings, “face coverings need not be worn when with podmates, or in gatherings of fully vaccinated groups.” Retail dining on campus “remains paused,” though most seating is available for eating. 

If “public health conditions deteriorate in the coming weeks, either on campus or in the surrounding communities,” policies are subject to change.

Additional policy changes are expected in July once “more members” have the “chance to get vaccinated” and MIT can better evaluate “how the lifting of state and city restrictions impacts Covid’s prevalence on campus and locally.”

MIT had announced enforcing a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for all students enrolled in Fall 2021 on April 30.