Covid-19 Information | SACI College of Art & Design Florence

About Covid-19 Information

General Covid-19 Information

Stay up-to-date on Covid-19 information, policies, and procedures at SACI and in Italy. This page will be updated as Covid-19 regulations change. SACI adheres to all rules mandated by the Italian authorities.

View or download the SACI General Covid-19 Prevention Procedures.

Current Students

During the Fall 2020 term, the Jules Maidoff Palazzo for the Visual Arts is open Mon–Fri 9:00am–5:00pm.

Palazzo dei Cartelloni, including the SACI Worthington Library, is closed. With a few days’ notice, a staff member will be available to provide books to students who wish to borrow them.

Anyone entering the Palazzo Maidoff building (students, faculty, staff, etc.) must adhere to the following:

  • A body temperature check will be taken by the Front Desk Staff

  • A form needs to be signed stating that, to your knowledge, you have not been in contact with anyone with Covid-19 symptoms in the last 14 days.

  • Everyone must wear a mask, to be kept on at all times when circulating in the building and when students are not alone in the studio.

  • Hand sanitizer is located at the building entrance.

  • Students have access to the studios on one floor only and will not be allowed to use the elevator.

Building access will be denied to anyone in one (or more) of the following categories:

  • Is in Quarantine

  • Has been somewhere in the last 14 days that is considered an epidemic risk

  • Has been in contact in the last 14 days with one or more Covid-positive individual and is not able to provide negative test results

  • Has a body temperature above 37.5°C (99.5°F) and/or shows symptoms of the virus (cough, respiratory problems, etc.)

Two Covid-19 tests are available:

  • Serologic (blood test)

  • Nose swipe (most reliable)

Free walk-through swipes are available in Piazza de l’Unità (a few doors from Palazzo dei Cartelloni) for passengers who arrive on a train from outside the Tuscan region. You must show a ticket with your name. Results are available in 24-36 hours, and you must self-isolate until you receive them.

Students who receive a positive Covid-19 test result must do the following:

  • Inform their Program Director

  • Call the SACI Emergency phone - a staff member will indicate how to proceed

Download the Rules of Conduct in SACI Facilities handout.

Rules of Conduct in Florence as of October 2020

Masks are always mandatory indoors (shops, offices, businesses, etc.), and outside at all times, with the exception of those engaged in sports activities or in situations of “continuous isolation." In restaurants and cafes, masks are mandatory when moving around inside and out of the restaurant, but not while seated at a table eating/drinking. Masks are also required in the home in presence of guests, which are strongly discouraged if not for work reasons or in case of need.

Mayors can impose a 9:00 pm curfew in town center streets and squares where gatherings typically form; exceptions are made for those leaving businesses that are regularly open or returning home.

Cultural sites throughout Italy (museums and monuments) are open with a limited number of accesses allowed, as are places of worship. Theaters and cinemas are closed.

School trips are not allowed as well as private parties in restaurants, bars, and other public spaces.

Bars, most restaurants, and cafes are open in Florence, following distance rules, between 5:00 am and 6:00 pm. No more than 4 people are allowed at the same table, unless part of the same household. Food businesses may continue to operate home delivery and takeaway services until midnight, but the food may not be consumed on site or in the vicinity after 6:00 pm. Hotels and other such tourist accommodations can serve dinner without schedule limitations to their clients only.

Clubs are closed until a later date. Nightclubs are seen by authorities to be significant transmitters of coronavirus. 

Local fairs and festivals are no longer allowed; national and international fairs can still run, as long as they abide by the current safety protocols. In-person assemblies and conferences are also not allowed, and generally all public or private meetings should be conducted remotely, unless there is a valid reason not to.

Health clubs, gyms, and pools are closed; sports activities are permitted in open air while maintaining social distancing. Exceptions are centers that provide essential health services (such as physical therapy). Personal care businesses (e.g. hairdressers) are open.

Public transportation in Italy is working normally, but it is recommended to avoid using it unless it is strictly necessary (work, study, or health reasons).

It is mandatory to wear a mask and to keep a safe distance in all shops including grocery stores. Some supermarkets deliver groceries upon purchase above a certain value per order. Many Florentines have adopted this practice as a way of limiting their exposure to supermarkets. 

Everyone living in Italy is encouraged to download Immuni, Italy’s Covid-19 tracing app, free and anonymous from the App Store or Google Play Store. The Immuni website has comprehensive information in English.

In the following cases, self-isolation must be implemented:

  • Positive but asymptomatic: can end quarantine after 10 days of self-isolation and a negative Covid test.
  • Positive symptomatic: can end quarantine after at least 10 days from the first symptoms (with the exception of loss of taste and smell, which can persist) and a negative Covid test which should be taken at least 3 days after the last symptoms have disappeared.
  • Long-term positive symptomatic: those who continue to test positive, but have had no symptoms for at least one week (with the exception of loss of taste and smell, which can persist), can end quarantine after 21 days from the first symptoms.
  • Those who have been in contact with someone who has a positive Covid test result, must self-isolate as follows:
    • 14 days from the last contact; Or
    • 10 days from the last contact with a negative Covid test on the 10thday

Traveling to/from Italy

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs website has up-to-date information on travel restrictions. A Self-Declaration is required when entering Italy from any country. A link to the document can be found on the website.

  • There are no travel restrictions for San Marino and Vatican City, EU countries (except for Spain, Romania, France, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, and the Czech Republic), Schengen, Andorra, and the Principality of Monaco.

    • If entering/returning to Italy from Spain, France, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, or the Czech Republic, a negative Covid-19 test result must be presented, which must be taken within 72 hours before entering Italy; or a Covid-19 test must be performed upon arrival at the airport, port, or border location, or within 48 hours of entering Italy at the local health authority.

    • Travel from/to Romania is allowed but requires mandatory self-isolation and supervision by health authorities upon return to Italy.

  • Travel to/from the US is allowed only for specific reasons, such as work, health or study, absolute urgency, or returning to one’s home. Travel for tourism is not allowed. When entering/returning to Italy, travelers must self-isolate and undergo supervision by health authorities. It is possible to reach your final destination in Italy only by private means (airport transit is allowed, without leaving the dedicated areas of the airport).

  • For additional countries not listed, please check the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

Spring 2021 Students

In addition to their passport, students will need the following documentation to travel to Italy:

  1. Letter of confirmation or enrollment issued by the home school, attesting that the student has been officially admitted and will be attending the study abroad program in Italy. This letter must include period of study, location, courses to be attended and housing arrangements in Italy;
  2. Letter of confirmation of enrollment issued by SACI;*
  3. Letters (two) of institutional partnership and authorization from SACI.*

*The above letters listed in 2) and 3) will be sent in early January.

Students must plan on flights landing at Florence Peretola airport as the final destination. As per current travel and self-isolation advisories for non-EU citizens and residents, it is not possible to arrive at an airport in a different city (for example, Pisa, Rome or Milan) and take public transport to the final destination. 

Note: Not all airlines fly into Florence Peretola, but some land in Pisa Galileo Galilei instead. It is important that the final destination be Florence (FLR).

View the Preparing to Attend page for more information on travel and documentation.


Updated October 27, 2020

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