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Wed Apr 28 2021

Update on Traveling to Study in Italy

As Covid cases in Italy continue to drop after their peak last November, and vaccination rates increase steadily, it is important to read travel advisories very closely.  Even State Department officials attending the national meetings of study abroad professionals such as NAFSA and the Forum on Education Abroad have stated as much as they are aware that conflicting information can be presented in government documents and announcements which originate in different offices. This is especially true when dealing with countries like Italy comprised of very different regions. 
It is important that the US international education community, students, and their families recognize the complexity of these sources as the State Department issues additional recommendations that go beyond simple travel advisories. 
For example, the CDC published guidelines for International Travel on April 2 and in that note distinguished between “Fully Vaccinated People” and “Unvaccinated People.”  While the State Department’s April 21 Travel Advisory recommends that Americans not travel to Italy, it does not appear to include this distinction so we assume the April 2 CDC guidelines are still in effect. 
Please note that these April 2 CDC guidelines for international travel do not discourage international travel by “Fully Vaccinated People.”   
Rather, in the case of “Fully Vaccinated People” they simply state what have become common sense recommendations for handling Covid-19 (wear masks, distance, wash hands…).
Gustolab asks all students planning to attend its courses this fall (2021) to arrive in Italy fully vaccinated.  
An article in the New York Times published on April 25 stated that Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, stated that “American tourists who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will be able to visit the European Union over the summer.”
Even before this, though, American students have been welcomed to Italy with only a letter from their university to attend a valid study program here. At a recent meeting of the Association of American College and University Programs in Italy (AACUPI) the consensus seemed to point to the return of most programs this fall.
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