In light of current events related to COVID-19, many students inquired about the Institute’s current response and policies. At the moment the Institute will continue to follow its normal semester calendar and schedule. This Thursday marks the last day of midterm exams and classes are scheduled to resume on the 9th of March. Rest assured however that we are in regular contact with local authorities and partner institutions and will continue to monitor the situation closely. Any changes in policy or relevant information will be communicated via email and the ISI App. Please check often for updates. Also, I would like to note that this afternoon, the Italian Prime Minister issued a directive to all regions not considered “at risk” (including Tuscany) supporting the continued normal operations of academic institutions.
Students Traveling During Mid-Term Break
As most of you will be taking the next 10 days or so to travel, we would like to share with you some useful information and advice received from the Association of American College and University Programs in Italy (AACUPI):
Students should constantly monitor official news sources, such as the U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Italy and that of the countries you wish to travel to. Students should also take into consideration the following risks if they choose to travel during mid-term break:
- Travel Delays: There may be travel delays affecting both buses and trains leaving Italy. Some long-distance trains, in particular those leaving Italy, have been delayed.
- Cancelled Flights/Trains: Your flight or international train may be cancelled if a sudden travel ban to certain countries is issued by the Italian/EU authorities. Countries may list Italy as an “at risk” location and thereby bar visitors entry if their travel originated or passed through Italy.
- Denied Entry/Being Sent Back: Countries may issue a mandatory quarantine for any visitors originating from Italy. Travelers may also be given the option to immediately return to their originating country to avoid a quarantine. For example, a recent flight from Italy to the Mauritius Islands was interrupted by local authorities there. Passengers were given the choice between going into quarantine for 14 days in Mauritius or flying back home.
- Quarantine: Italy may impose a quarantine for individuals returning to Italy in the event they show symptoms of the coronavirus, or simply because they arrived on a flight originating in a country Italy considers/will consider to be “at risk”.
For students planning on traveling to or through Milan and Venice (including in/out of these respective airports): Due to coronavirus cases reported near these metropolitan areas we urge you to change your travel plans. Please see the Student Services Office if you need any assistance rebooking your trip.
If you have not already done so, please register in STEP (U.S. Dept. of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program) and update your trip information to match your spring break plans. STEP will send you emails in the event any new health or safety alerts are issued for countries you are traveling to.
Once again, please do not forget to stay updated via email and the ISI App, and complete the Independent Travel Form prior to your travel (https://springbreak2020travelform.questionpro.com). If you have any questions or concerns please contact Miranda Mcdaniel, Coordinator for Health, Safety & Wellness, at [email protected]
UPDATED FEBRUARY 25, 2020