Campus Updates from the Spring 2021 Academic Season
FUA-AUF is pleased to share the following campus updates regarding on-campus operations, staff vaccination, and EU/Italy perspectives on Covid-19.
Institutional operations and academic activities are proceeding on campus for our staff, faculty, and students representing 28 nationalities this semester.
FUA-AUF is the first institution in Florence with a fully vaccinated staff and faculty thanks to the Region of Tuscany’s ongoing vaccine rollout that covers employees of the medical, police force, and education sectors.
EU and Italy Updates
EU and Italian protocols and current discussions point to positive signs moving forward.
As of March 2021, Italy continues to issue national decrees on a periodical basis that allow for a gradual and evolving Covid-19 response approach from a domestic standpoint. Internationally, all legislation and decrees, including the recently released March 6 – April 6 decree, have always maintained the student category within the exceptions for allowed entry despite suspended tourism.
The EU has announced a March 17 Commission session to initiate discussion regarding tourism travel for EU citizens. The proposal seeks to allow EU citizens and residents who are vaccinated to freely travel without restrictions within the EU for tourism purposes, provided that vaccine rollout and accessibility are increased. We believe this is an important development as a region-specific reopening of tourism that may be the first step of many towards global mobility.
While the March 17 outcome may positively impact EU citizens and residents, international students remain within the allowed exceptions and are subject to any applicable quarantine requirements as described in the next section.
Covid-Tested Flights / Self-Isolation
The Italian government has stated upon release of the March 6 – April 6 decree that the Covid-tested flight program is slated for expansion to additional countries/destinations. The first experimental phase connecting Rome Fiumicino to Atlanta, NYC area airports, Frankfurt, and Munich from December to February was largely successful and served nearly 5k passengers.
For flights labeled “Covid-tested” during the airline booking phase, passengers are required to provide a negative test within 48 hours of departure. They then take a rapid re-test upon arrival in Rome, after which the quarantine period is fully exempted. Some of our Spring 2021 students chose to fly this route and had a smooth experience throughout travel and upon arrival.
As outlined in the previous section, international students enrolled in academic programs are allowed to enter Italy along with other exemption categories and are currently subject to quarantine (unless taking a Covid-tested route) or a negative test (in the case of students arriving from some EU countries). As summer approaches, FUA-AUF will continue monitor Italian and EU policy decision-making especially regarding quarantine requirements and duly inform partners of any updates.
Ongoing Services and Palazzi Community Center
Covid-19 legislation continues to maintain a color-coded subdivision of Italian regions according to which measures are applied in addition to the national mask mandate. As regions are evaluated and assigned colors every 2 weeks, we wish to highlight an important aspect of student services.
Regardless of color category, our Palazzi Community Center, its facilities and gardens, and dining services will always be operational for all FUA-AUF students, staff, and faculty. Engagement opportunities and city/community involvement resources for cultural integration will be available to students through our SLD team.
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