Covid Policies at Umbra

COVID-19
Policies and Guidelines

Your health and safety are our top priorities. Any chronic, persistent, or pre-existing health problems should be taken care of or disclosed to Umbra staff prior to arrival in Italy. We ask that you fill out the health and special needs section from the student info form so that Umbra staff is better able to assist you with any health issues during your time abroad.

The Institute is fully committed to upholding the highest health and safety standards even as we operate during the Covid-19 pandemic. Umbra continuously monitors and follows health and safety guidelines defined by the Italian Ministry of Education (MUIR), advised by the European Community, and recommended by the American Association of University Programs in Italy (AACUPI).

Preparedness and arrival into Italy
Make sure you have all of the documents required for entry to Italy during the ongoing pandemic. All students should bring with them the following documents required for entry to Italy at this time. As of December 23rd, 2021 these include:

  • CDC Proof of Vaccination
  • A negative Covid test (either PCR or a rapid antigen test) that was done within 72 hours for a PCR and 48 hours for a rapid antigen prior to arrival;
  • EU digital Passenger Locator FormNote: Use the Umbra Institute address as your residence address in Italy for this form: Piazza IV Novembre 23, 06123 Perugia.

Arrival and orientation

Upon arrival at the Fiumicino (FCO) airport in Rome, students will be taken from the airport to Perugia in a private bus where they will be welcomed with a weekend orientation that will cover, among other, the latest health and safety guidance as they relate to the ongoing pandemic. At the apartments, students will find:

  • A covid-related poster infographic;
  • A starter supply of disposable masks, sanitizing gel and cleaning products.

Students arriving from or passing through countries for which there is a mandatory isolation or quarantine requirement at the time of arrival in Italy will be responsible for the costs of all isolation/quarantine expenses, including the cost of transportation from the arrival airport to their isolation/quarantine accommodation. They will not be placed in Umbra student apartments until after they have received a negative test result confirming their release from isolation/quarantine. Umbra staff will be available to assist these students in booking the test and with acquiring food or other necessities whilst in isolation/quarantine.

Students who test positive upon arrival to Italy but who followed all of Umbra’s guidance involving their arrival, layover location(s), etc. will be transported to Perugia separate from all other student arrivals. They will be immediately placed in temporary accommodation and provided with guidance for ordering food and other necessities for delivery.

Preventative measures at the Institute
The Institute will follow the current health and safety guidelines established by the Italian Ministries of Health and of Education. Institute policies and guidelines will be updated on a rolling basis and communicated to students by email.

Entering the Institute

  • Restricted Access: All Institute facilities have an entry security system;
  • Hand sanitizing and thermal-scanners at the entrance;
  • Regulations and guidelines posters at entrance;
  • Restricted entry for those with symptoms attributable to Covid-19.

For those entering the Institute that are not part of the Umbra community (visitors, repair personnel, etc.) the Institute will verify their proof of vaccination and maintain a log of their visit including the date, time, areas entered, and purpose of the visit for contact tracing. The Institute will seek to schedule such visits after hours when students are not present.

Regulations and guidelines inside the Institute: 

  • Certified medical or N95 equivalent masks must be worn at all times;
  • Social distancing must be respected at all times;
  • Frequent sanitizing or washing of hands required;
  • Posters and signs for rules and regulations for Covid-19 laws and policies will be placed at the entrance and throughout the Institute;
  • Sanitizing gel will be in all bathrooms, classrooms and common areas of the Institute;
  • Floor markings for social distancing;
  • De-densification of classrooms and social distancing on Institute premises: classrooms will have student desks spread out at least 1 meter from each other, the professor’s desk at least 1 meter from students;
  • Staff offices will be spaced out and the capacity for individual extra-curricular activities will be reduced;
  • Frequent cleanings of the common areas surfaces in the classrooms, restrooms, and high-traffic areas will be performed with products that meet Italian and EU anti-Covid sanitation requirements;
  • Daily deep cleaning and sanitizing of the entire Institute every evening.

Suspected or confirmed cases of Covid-19

If there are suspicions (but not confirmations) of positive cases among students, these students will be asked to self-isolate in a dedicated room at the Institute or in a separate room in their apartment (depending on where the student is when the symptoms are first detected). The Institute will assist in contacting the appropriate physician who will evaluate the situation. If the physician suspects a Covid-19 infection, the local health authorities will be contacted to perform a test.

In the event a student tests positive, the local health authorities will provide detailed guidance on the procedures to be followed. According to current regulations this may include quarantining in separate housing for a specified period (usually from 7 to 14 days) or until a negative test is confirmed. It is students’ responsibility to ensure if the costs for quarantine facilities is covered by their international health insurance plan.

In the event that a student requires medical care or hospitalization, the Institute personnel, the student and the appropriate personnel at the home university will work together to address this issue.

Vaccination against Covid-19

With the aim of mitigating risk of infection and severe illness during the ongoing pandemic, the Institute requires that all students, staff, and faculty be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Students are asked to pursue a vaccine currently approved by the EU for use as these are the vaccines that will be recognized by health and immigration authorities in Italy. These vaccines include: Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen Pharmaceuticals. They should plan to be fully vaccinated no later than two weeks before the semester begins in order to avoid quarantining upon arrival to Italy. Students are all asked to provide proof of vaccination to the Institute in advance of their arrival. Failure to do so could result in withdrawal from the program at the student’s expense.
All employees of schools in Italy, including those in higher education, are among those listed in the priority stage of vaccination roll-out. For their health and the health of our students, they have all been asked to be fully vaccinated before the program begins.

Academic continuity with remote resources

In case there is a need to deliver classroom content remotely, Institute professors are now, more than ever, capable users of the online learning platform Moodle (similar to Canvas and Blackboard). Our instructors have long used the online environment as a complement to in-person learning; that preparation has been useful and they will continue to use Moodle in the future. The use of Moodle and carefully-planned content and assignments means that we are also prepared to continue teaching online in the event a student needs to be quarantined or needs to return to the United States. In addition, quarantined students and students who are waiting for a test to be scheduled or performed may attend classes remotely and without academic penalty via Zoom or Skype.

Flexibility during the pandemic

The Institute seeks to manage the expectations of students and others in our community. All information provided in anticipation of student arrival and throughout their time in Italy is subject to change. All measures, particularly those relevant to travel, social distancing, and sanitation may change with little notice and in compliance with current Italian and EU laws and guidelines for public health and safety. All major changes will be communicated by the Program’s Director or designated staff to students and relevant contacts at their home institution by email.

The Green Pass and CDC Card for freedom of movement

As you may already know, starting from August 6th 2021, Italy has made the European Union Green Pass required to access several activities such as indoor restaurants, events open to the public, museums, indoor swimming pools and gyms, conferences, fairs, indoor cultural centers, and exhibitions.
Starting from September 1st 2021, this requirement has been extended to all public transportation, meaning on all long-distance public transportation. Moreover, again from September 1st, in Italy, the Green pass is mandatory for all university students and personnel. This rule is set to last until the pandemic emergency will be over.
Starting from December 6th, the Green Pass is mandatory on all public transportation, i.e. local and long-distance, and to stay at hotels, hostels, and guesthouses.
Since most, if not all, students studying abroad in Italy do not have an Italian health care ID (Tessera Sanitaria) or an Italian social security number (codice fiscale), it is not possible to obtain a Green Pass at this time. However, your CDC White Vaccine Card has been approved by the Italian Ministry of Health as a valid vaccination document, that fulfills the requirement of the Italian/EU Green Pass and can, therefore, be shown as valid documentation in this regard.
Some local operators (such as restaurant or bar managers, or even museum ticket collectors) may not be aware of this and may keep requesting to actually see the Green Pass. For this reason, it is important to refer to the relevant Government rulings on this matter that are the decrees issued on June 28, 2021, and issued on July 30, 2021, by the Ministry of Health where the White CDC Card is shown as approved proof of vaccination.
It’s thus important to carry the White CDC Card at all times but in particular, students are required to have their CDC card, along with a personal identification document, with them AT ALL TIMES when performing University activities and especially when traveling. We strongly recommend taking a photograph of your CDC card with your cell phone or scanning it with an app on your phone.
Finally, we would like to inform you that the self-kits for COVID-19 testing have NO legal validity in Italy. One can use them for personal curiosity, but they cannot qualify to obtain a temporary Green Pass or activate the Covid protocol. Tests performed by licensed pharmacies are, of course, fully valid, along with those offered by authorized private clinics, ASL, public test centers, and hubs.