In a response to a rise in cases in the region, currently isolated to small communities, government authorities in the Italian region of Lombardy have taken the decision to temporarily close university campuses for one week as a precautionary measure. In addition, on February 21, the U.S. State Department issued a health alert providing travel guidance and preventative health measures.
ISEP is continuing to closely monitor the situation in Italy. Students at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and Università degli Studi di Pavia have been provided with information about university status, health and safety measures and academic policies, and have been encouraged to contact ISEP and their host university coordinators with any questions or concerns they may have at this time. Classes at both universities are expected to resume on Monday, March 2. We will continue to communicate any updates or changes regarding our programs in northern Italy.
The nature of COVID-19 does merit additional precautions for travelers globally. Many countries have implemented health screening procedures, and some have advised travelers to request a clean bill of health from a medical professional and take this document when travelling internationally.
Students may experience closings of public offices and administration, cancellations of large gatherings, and precautionary measures during travel. We encourage all students traveling to follow the health and safety guidelines of the WHO.
The WHO currently offers the following advice:
Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands
Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough
If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider
When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals
The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices
ISEP is committed to making student safety our top priority and we urge students to follow all ISEP Emergency and Safety Protocols in addition to the advice of the World Health Organization (WHO) and local medical authorities.
We will continue to keep you informed of developments as needed and recommend following our website and #ISEPalerts on the @ISEPStudyAbroad Twitter feed for real-time updates.
For more information, please visit our ISEP Health & Safety Policy page
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any additional questions or concerns.