Travel and Commuting
Out-of-state arrival on campus
Rhode Island travel guidelines require that anyone coming to RISD from US areas with a COVID-19 positivity rate higher than 5% either self-quarantine for 14 days or provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Students and families are encouraged to stay up to date with the latest Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) guidance when planning travel to campus.
Per state regulations and RISD’s testing protocols, community members must abide by the following:
- On-campus students: All students who will reside on campus this fall, regardless of origin, must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. At the start of the semester they will receive a COVID-19 test, which will be paid for and administered by RISD.
- Off-campus students and employees: Students who live off campus, as well as faculty and staff, must abide by Rhode Island guidelines for interstate travel. They will also receive a COVID-19 test at the start of the semester, administered and paid for by RISD.
- Family or friends accompanying students: Anyone assisting students in moving to campus must adhere to Rhode Island travel restrictions. Depending on state of origin, they may need to quarantine for 14 days or show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test, to be taken either before or upon arrival in Rhode Island and at their own expense.
- During the 14-day quarantine: Students cannot leave their residence hall except to walk or exercise outdoors.
- After quarantine: Students may leave campus for personal business but must observe social distancing regulations. Due to RISD, Rhode Island and other quarantine policies, out-of-state travel, including during Thanksgiving and spring break, is strongly discouraged. If you travel out of state you may need to quarantine, making you unable to attend in-person classes, work in your studio, or access shared workspace.
In light of pandemic-related health risks and uncertainty around US border policy and international travel, RISD will extend the suspension of all RISD-sponsored international travel for the foreseeable future. RISD-sponsored domestic travel, such as for conferences or outside-research is strongly discouraged.
Non-essential personal travel
Students, faculty, and staff are likewise strongly discouraged from personal travel, especially international travel.
Field trips and other course-related, out-of-state and international travel, including for independent and collaborative study projects (ISPs or CSPs), are suspended for the fall 2020.
European Honors Program (EHP)
EHP is cancelled for fall 2020. We will assess shortly whether to resume the program for spring 2021.
Global Exchange Programs
RISD has cancelled all Global Exchange and Mobility programs for fall 2020, including both RISD students applying to other institutions, and vice versa.
Given that even local travel may bring commuters into increased contact with more people, commuting to and from work can potentially increase the possibility of COVID-19 transmission. To reduce risk as much as possible, commuters expected to:
- Stay home if you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with a person with COVID-19 within the past 14 days.
- Follow RIDOH guidance if you commute from out of state.
- Receive a baseline COVID-19 test between August 24-September 16 and participate in RISD’s surveillance testing program.
Forms of transportation that minimize close contact with others (e.g., biking, walking, driving by car alone, or riding by car with household members) reduce virus risk the most.
If traveling by bike:
- Disinfect helmet before and after trips.
- Wipe down bicycle before and after usage – especially if using a bike rack or riding a bikeshare bike or scooter.
If traveling by car:
- Be sure to set the air ventilation or air conditioning on non-recirculation mode.
- NOTE: There will be no cost for RISD parking permits through December 31, 2020. Given space reconfiguration on campus, usual parking spots may be devoted to other uses.
Public Transportation (Bus, Train, Ride-Share)
Commuters who rely on public transportation should familiarize themselves with the protocols of the transportation services they use. If commuting by bus and train, follow agency and public health guidelines and travel during off-peak hours if possible.
If you commute via taxi or ride-share service, limit the number of passengers as much as possible. Note that the RISDRides shuttle service will operate according to Rhode Island COVID-19 guidelines for passenger cars and vans, which may include reduced capacity per car.
Please see the CDC guidelines on using transportation.