October 26, 2021
Dear Faculty, Students and Staff:
Thanks to improving public health conditions and the extremely high rates of vaccination in our community, Johns Hopkins University will now allow food and drink at outdoor events. This means events at which food and drink is the primary purpose—such as picnics and cocktail receptions—are now allowed outside, subject to size restrictions. Any gatherings with fewer than 50 people, with or without food and drink, are allowed without the need for advance permission. Events that 50 or more people are expected to attend do require permission. Information on how to request approval is available on the JHU Coronavirus Information website.
Our policies related to eating and drinking indoors remain unchanged because of the greater risk of virus spread in that setting. Momentary unmasking for consuming drinks/snacks is permitted in all indoor settings, but events on campus may provide only prepackaged, grab-and-go meals to be taken away to eat outdoors or in physically distanced areas indoors. Sit-down meals, buffets, and platters at indoor events remain suspended. More details are available at the link above.
We also wish to clarify our policy on business travel. Recently, we announced a resumption of normal business travel policies, without the need for COVID-specific authorization. That policy change does not extend to JHU-sponsored group travel involving students, which still requires advance permission from COVID-Events@jhu.edu. More guidance about travel is online.
We thank you for your continued diligence in following best practices for COVID safety. The fact that we have not documented any spread of the virus within our classroom or laboratory settings is a testament to your conscientiousness and care for others in our community. As always, we will continue to monitor conditions and adjust our policies to allow for greater flexibility where possible or to tighten restrictions where needed.
Stay safe and be well,
Professor and Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Professor, Vice Provost, and Chief Risk Officer