Health and Safety

LdM was one of the first international institutions to welcome students back to Florence in Fall 2020.

Beginning with preparations for the Fall 2020 semester, LdM has worked diligently to create a safe environment that allows students to make the most of their study abroad experience, in compliance with the guidance from the Italian government and the local health authorities.

The LdM staff is committed to assisting and guiding students through their stay in Florence and at LdM, while prioritizing their health and personal safety.

LdM continues to monitor the pandemic and update its safety and health protocols according to the guidance of the Italian (national, regional, and local) and global health authorities. All members of the LdM community will be advised of any such changes.

In this page, latest COVID updates will be continuously published throughout the semester.

Latest Covid Updates - June 6th

Italian government has recently issued a new decree and new policies related to Covid -19 prevention measures and international traveling.

Italy is still using a four-tier system that classifies its regions into color-coded zones that correspond to the critical nature of the current COVID-19 rate of transmission. The colors are red, orange, yellow, and white. Red indicates areas with the highest transmission rates while white represents regions with the lowest transmission rate. The colors themselves are important to determine what restrictions are in place in any location.

At the present time, our region Toscana, or Tuscany, is designated as Yellow.

Below are the main regulations currently in place.

  • Face masks are mandatory to wear indoors and outdoors.
  • Curfew from 12am to 5am 7/7. You are not allowed to leave your apartment unless you have a health emergency. The restriction will be removed on Monday, June 21.  
  • All bars, cafes, restaurants, and pizzerias are open for both indoors and outdoors service until the closing hours. A maximum of four persons can sit together, unless more than 4 people all live together.
  • Museums and temporary exhibitions are open 7/7, but the reservation is recommended.
  • Cinemas and theatres are open with 50 percent capacity.
  • Malls are regularly 7/7.
  • Gyms and sporting centers are regularly open with reduced capacity and reservation required to access them.
  • You can travel between Italian yellow regions.
  • Currently, entry into Italy is allowed from countries of the European Union, the Schengen Area, and United Kingdom without the need to quarantine. Travelers are still required to produce on arrival a negative PCR or rapid antigen test, taken in the 48 hours prior to arrival in Italy.

White Zone Regions: Abruzzo, Friuli Venezia-Giulia, Liguria, Molise, Sardegna, Umbria, and Veneto.

These regions will drop most of the restrictions in place in Yellow Zones, including the curfew and the restrictions on opening hours for businesses and eateries. So far, only mask-wearing and social distancing rules must remain in place in White Zones.

Throughout the past semesters, LdM students demonstrated responsibility in following guidance communicated by LdM staff, adapting to any applicable changes in health and safety measures on and off campus.

We are proud of the cohesive and respectful response of the entire LdM community and we expect the commitment and resilience of LdM students, faculty, and staff to continue for the success of Spring 2021 semester and of upcoming sessions.

PRE-ARRIVAL/ARRIVAL

  • LdM will facilitate the students’ arrival and will send relevant arrival information via email, including instructions to complete any forms required by the Italian government/authorities.
  • Students who are required to quarantine will receive specific instructions via email before they arrive in Italy. LdM staff will assist them on site during the self-isolation period and the LdM emergency line will be available 24/7 should the students need any help. Attending classes virtually is required until the end of the quarantine period.

QUARANTINE

Students may be subject to quarantine, depending on current Italian government regulations. Students arriving via confirmed COVID-tested flights are exempt from the quarantine requirement.

LdM is continually monitoring travel guidelines, including entry/quarantine requirements and COVID-tested flight options. LdM Housing will provide the most updated travel-related guidance from the Italian government, but advises students to consult to their home country, airline, and local Italian Consulate for further/additional detail.

Students who should  need to quarantine upon arrival in Florence will be required to follow procedures according to current COVID-19 regulations. The period of quarantine includes restrictions on the movement of people and remaining separated from others to help protect the public by preventing exposure to and spread of COVID-19. Students must follow guidelines which include remaining in their quarantine lodging and preventing non-residents/visitors from entering the lodging. Additionally, leaving the quarantine lodging (including for shopping, exercise, or to visit friends) and use of public transportation are prohibited during this time.

LdM staff will assist the students and provide support throughout the period of quarantine with practical guidance, resources for ordering meals/groceries from food and grocery delivery providers, and access to student advisors, organize online activities, medical care, and a 24/7 emergency line.

LdM HOUSING

  • LdM will offer double and single rooms in shared apartments. In case of any requirements for the Covid-19 emergency evolution (quarantine etc), the rooming arrangement may be subjected to changes.
  • Common areas and bathrooms in the apartments will be professionally cleaned 1 time during the period of the summer session 2021, once a week during the Fall semester 2021. Additionally, apartments will be furnished with sanitizing products and students will be instructed on best practices regarding the sanitizing of the apartment, with particular attention to the common areas.
  • Prior to their arrival, the LdM Housing Office will provide students with guidance for following health and safety measures in their apartment.

LdM CAMPUS FACILITIES

At the entrance of all premises, checkpoints will:

  • require all students, faculty, and staff members to have their body temperature taken;
  • provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
  • and distribute face masks as needed.
  • It is mandatory to wear face masks inside all LdM premises at all times.
  • Students may access the LdM building where their courses are held no earlier than 20 minutes prior to the start of the class.
  • Classroom capacity follows social distancing protocols among students and the professor.
  • Classroom layouts are in compliance with social distancing regulations. Physical barriers, such as plastic flexible screens, have been installed where the social distancing rules cannot be guaranteed.
  • LdM manages the use of space and provides physical guides and signs to ensure that social distancing rules are respected when entering and exiting the LdM premises and accessing the common areas.
  • Alcohol-based sanitizer stations are continuously available inside all LdM premises.
  • In addition to constant ventilation and aeration, routine cleaning and sanitization are conducted.
  • Open Studio hours will be available for practical courses. After the start of the courses, the school will announce the official schedule for Open Studios. Students attending Open Studio will be required to book their spot in advance with the LdM Front Desk staff. To ensure proper social distancing, only a limited number of students are permitted to access the studios. Safety and health protocols apply to all Open Studio hours on the LdM campus. Students are responsible for sanitizing their seating/lab workstation, including any shared lab equipment/materials, before, during, and after their session. LdM staff monitor and reinforce safety protocols during Open Studio hours.

ACADEMICS

  • Students must have a laptop or other suitable technological device (i.e., tablet) to access and complete coursework as assigned.
  • Shared lab course equipment/materials will be sanitized before, during, and after the lesson.
  • Due to Governmental Covid regulations, on March the 1st our theoretical courses will start on-line, while our practical courses will take place in the laboratories. LdM is constantly monitoring the evolution of the epidemiological emergency and will update students regularly on the government measures on containment and management of COVID-19.
  • As much as possible, do not use material that comes into contact with other people unless otherwise specified.
  • Students experiencing flu-like symptoms (i.e., sore throat, cough, fever, difficulty breathing, chest pain, etc.) should stay home and not go to school or to other places. Students should inform the school by calling and/or emailing their LdM Advisor during office hours (Mon-Thu 8:30am-5:00pm and Fri 9:00am-1:00pm) or calling the LdM emergency line outside of advising hours and/or when the school is closed. Students should seek immediate medical attention with the support of their LdM Advisor and maintain consistent communication with LdM, informing the school of any development regarding their health. See also Student Health and Well-being.
  • Students who test positive for COVID-19 will receive assistance to complete their courses remotely until they have completely recovered and are able to attend classes in person. Learning plans will be arranged on an individual basis.

STUDENT SERVICES

  • The office for LdM Advisors is located on Via Faenza 71red (2 doors to the right of Via Faenza 43). Students who wish to meet with their LdM Advisor should book an appointment. During office hours, LdM Advisors can be reached via email, telephone, video call, and/or chat. Outside of office hours, students who need assistance can call the LdM emergency line available 24/7.
  • LdM Advisors will send weekly COVID-19 updates to students via email, including all applicable updates related to decrees that are instituted by the Italian government, including travel restrictions. 

STUDENT ACTIVITIES

  • Students must wear face masks during LdM-sponsored activities.
  • The number of available spots per activity has been adapted to comply with social distancing protocols.
  • The use of public transportation for LdM-sponsored activities has been limited.
  • The meeting point is at Via Faenza 43, where each student’s ‘ temperature will be taken before beginning the activity. Following safety precautions, any student with a temperature above 37.5° C – 99.5° Fahrenheit) will not be permitted to participate. 

LdM is dedicated to offering student activities to the extent permitted by current government decree. Prioritizing their health and safety, the LdM Activity Manager coordinates activities aligned with all regulations in place at the time of the activities, which might include:

  • Guided tours of the city;
  • Thematic tours;
  • Urban hikes;
  • Cooking activities – discovering Italy’s regional food tradition;
  • Visits to local markets;
  • Historical palaces and museum visits;
  • Artisan boutiques and artist studios visits;
  • Hands-on creative workshops; 
  • Online meditation activities. 

STUDENT HEALTH AND WELL-BEING

  • If a student tests positive for COVID-19, LdM will facilitate their quarantine/self-isolation and comply with the protocols recommended by local health authorities.
  • During a student’s period of quarantine/self-isolation, LdM staff will assist the student by:
    • providing practical guidance for ordering meals and groceries from food and grocery delivery providers;
    • purchasing medications on behalf of the student;
    • facilitating laundry service;
    • and reinforcing guidelines for cleaning/sanitizing procedures.
  • If a medical professional advises that a student with COVID-like symptoms be removed from their LdM shared apartment to self-isolate, LdM will accommodate the recommendation.
  • LdM recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic might impact the students’ mental health and well-being. LdM Counselors and psychiatry services are available to students 
  • For aiding students in the case of any illness (COVID-related or otherwise), LdM facilitates access to/coordinates with English-speaking medical professionals.
  • The city of Florence has four hospitals located in different areas. Santa Maria Nuova, the hospital in the city center, is 10 minutes walking distance from the main LdM building. Some private clinics perform antibody (serologic) and swab tests. The private clinics closest to the LdM Campus are Fanfani Ricerche Cliniche (on Piazza dell’Indipendenza 18/b) and Ambulatori della Misericordia (on Vicolo degli Adimari 1).  
  • Persons accompanying patients to emergency rooms are not permitted to remain in the waiting rooms.
  • Hospital visiting hours are suspended, except in particular cases of patient fragility and vulnerability and where prior hospital authorization is granted. 

ITALIAN AND REGIONAL GUIDANCE

On January 16, the Italian Government issued a new decree extending Italy’s State of Emergency until April 30, 2021. 

In compliance with the latest Italian government decrees, Italian regions have been divided and classified into three different risk levels according to the Ministry of Health, and will be monitored and periodically updated. The Italian government and the national health authorities will take into consideration the RT factor (reproduction number – COVID spread) as well as other criteria when classifying a region’s risk level.

A region’s level of risk is identified by one of the following colors: Red (high risk), Orange (medium risk), or Yellow (lower risk). Each color signifies different regulations that apply within the color-coded region. A nationwide curfew is in effect from 10:00pm to 5:00am, during which it is forbidden to leave your house, except for health-related issues or for work purposes.


Yellow Zone

Below are the regulations in place in the Yellow Zone.

  • Mandatory Curfew from 10:00pm to 5:00am, seven days/week.( During this time, you are not allowed to leave your apartment unless you have a health emergency.)
  • Face masks are mandatory to wear indoors and outdoors.
  • All bars, cafes, restaurants, pizzerias, and gelato stores are open daily until 6:00pm and table service is available during the opening hours. Between 6:00pm and 10:00pm take-away and delivery service are possible. After 10:00pm delivery is the only option available.
  • It’s not possible to travel outside of the region limits.
  • All gyms, sporting centers, pools, discos, theaters, and movie theaters remain closed. 
  • Practicing outdoor individual sport activity is allowed
  • Gathering either outdoors or indoors is not permitted.
  • Museums and temporary exhibitions are open Monday – Friday.

Orange Zone

Below are the regulations in place in the Orange Zone.

  • Mandatory Curfew from 10:00pm to 5:00am, seven days/week.  7 During this time, you are not allowed to leave your apartment unless you have a health emergency.)
  • Face masks are mandatory to wear indoors and outdoors.
  • All bars, cafes, restaurants, pizzerias, and gelato stores are open daily until 6:00pm only for take-away.  Between 6:00pm and 10:00pm, some may remain open for take-away, and delivery service is possible. After 10:00pm delivery is the only option available.
  • It’s not possible to travel outside of the city limits.
  • All gyms, sporting centers, pools, discos, theaters, movie theaters, and museums remain closed. 
  • Practicing outdoor individual sport activity is allowed.
  • Gathering either outdoors or indoors is not permitted.

Red Zone

Below are the regulations in place in the Red Zone.

  • Mandatory Curfew from 10:00pm to 5:00am, seven days/week.  During this time, you are not allowed to leave your apartment unless you have a health emergency.)
  • Face masks are mandatory to wear indoors and outdoors.
  • All bars, cafes, restaurants, pizzerias, and gelato stores are open daily until 6:00pm only for take-away.  Between 6:00pm and 10:00pm, some may remain open for take-away, and delivery service is possible. After 10:00pm delivery is the only option available.
  • It’s not possible to travel outside of the city limits.
  • All gyms, sporting centers, pools, discos, theaters, movie theaters, and museums remain closed. 
  • Practicing outdoor individual sport activity is allowed.
  • Gathering either outdoors or indoors is not permitted.

As of February 15 Tuscany is currently classified as Orange.

FLORENCE

Florence has adopted the following measures for the safe cohabitation of its residents:

  • Crowds in both public and private places are banned, and it is required to keep a social distance of at least 1 meter (~3.3 feet) of space between yourself and others (who are not from your household) at all times.
  • It is permissible to exercise and practice outdoors sports individually while respecting the social distance of at least 2 meters (~6.5 feet). While practicing outdoor sports and exercise, wearing a mask is not required, but individuals should always carry one. All gyms and swimming pools are currently closed.
  • While utilizing public transportation, it is necessary to respect the regulation of each bus/taxi/tram company regarding service access and to maintain a social distance of at least one meter (~3.3 feet) and wear a face mask. Tram weekend night rides after 12:30am are currently suspended.
  • It is recommended to buy public transit tickets online, at the automatic vending machines or through the appropriate app. Purchasing tickets on board is no longer an option.
  • When possible, it is advisable to move about the city by foot.
  • In some circumstances/locations, the measurement of body temperature could be required for entrance (e.g., in some shops, hotels, public offices, museums etc.).
  • All museums, exhibitions, cinemas, discos, concerts halls and theaters are closed.
  • All congresses, festivals, civil or religious ceremonies are suspended.
  • Parties (both outdoors and indoors) are forbidden.
  • Access to places of worship and religious functions is allowed in compliance with national protocols and respecting proper distancing.
  • It is strongly recommended to avoid receiving outside guests in private homes, except for emergency situations.
  • Shops and premises open to the public must display a sign at the entrance with the maximum number of people admitted.
  • Restaurants, cafés, bars, gelato shops will close all sit-down services at 6:00pm but food establishments may continue take away service until 10:00pm. Home delivery is still allowed with no time restrictions.

Face masks must be used in the community within enclosed spaces that are publicly accessible, including public transport, and all other times when it is not possible to guarantee social distancing. It is also mandatory to wear face masks even outdoors (except as specified above/related to outdoor exercise/sport). Fines may apply to those who fail to observe the face mask regulations.

  • Masks are especially important in times when physical distancing is difficult. Pay attention to any physical guides, such as tape markings on floors or signs on walls, directing attendees to remain at least 1 meter (~3.3 feet) apart from each other in lines or at other times. Allow other people 1 meter (~3.3 feet) of space when you pass by them in both indoor and outdoor settings. It is strongly recommended to stay at home and seek for medical attention in case of fever (above 37.5° C – 99.5° Fahrenheit). Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, throw used tissues in the trash and if you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow (not into your hands). Wash or sanitize your hands frequently.

(NOTE: Single-use face masks must be disposed of in the “indifferenziata” trash cans.)

CARRY A FACE MASK AT ALL TIMES, as it is mandatory to wear one:

  • in indoor public or private (open to public) spaces, when multiple people are present;
  • in outdoor public or private (open to public) spaces, when multiple people are present, if it is not possible to keep a social distance;
  • on local means of transportation, taxis, and private driver service.

Should any region color changes be mandated by the Italian government, more restrictive measures may be in place.

Further information is available on the Comune di Firenze website 

TRAVEL

Travelling during a pandemic requires planning and careful consideration of the status of the virus in the destination.The Italian government monitors the pandemic spread and updates its guidelines regarding travel from/to Italy. The latest information is available on the Crisis Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.  

The current Italian government decree prohibits travel between regions. Persons may only travel between regions for urgent work or health purposes or other serious necessities, not for tourism. 

Given LdM’s mission to keep its community safe, LdM cannot freely allow or encourage international travel, since travel is one of the primary sources of the spread of COVID-19. LdM expects its students will travel in accordance with the guidelines of Italian government and health authorities, not only to help prevent the spread of COVID, but also to ensure students are able to finish their semester in Italy. LdM encourages its students to fully embrace exploring the Italian culture, people, and sights (only as permissible).

To use public transport correctly, it is fundamental to follow some important rules:

  • Buy your ticket online whenever possible.
  • When travelling, maintain 1 meter (~3.3 feet) physical distance from other people.
  • Sit only in the places allowed and indicated by appropriate signs.
  • Wear face masks to cover your nose and mouth.

During travel, everyone should wash hands frequently, cough or sneeze into a bent elbow or tissue, and try to maintain a physical distance of at least one meter (~3.3 feet) from others. Travelers should follow the recommendations of the travel authorities regarding policies in the airport, as well as those of the airline/s.

LdM strongly recommends against travelling outside of Italy in these uncertain times due to the possibility of new pandemic outbreaks and unanticipated travel restrictions/quarantine protocols imposed by individual European countries. LdM will send weekly updates to all students on the status of COVID-19 in the various Italian regions. Should travel outside of Italy be deemed necessary, students must inform LdM of their itinerary, potentially sign a travel-specific waiver, and commit to taking every reasonable precaution while traveling and upon return. 

STUDENT RESPONSIBILITY

Students are expected to do their part in the collective effort to minimize the impact of COVID-19 and to take individual responsibility for complying with measures set forth by the Italian government and LdM, both on and off campus (including but not limited to those within LdM Housing and/or related to travel). 

LdM will review all COVID-related guidelines and expectations as well as all general LdM rules and regulations (e.g., Academic Regulations and Rules of Conduct) with students during Orientation. Students will be advised of governmental and institutional consequences for failing to adhere to such guidance.

Accordingly, students will sign a commitment form/waiver, whereby they recognize their obligation to their own health and safety as well as to the overall health and safety of the Florence and LdM communities.

RESOURCES