UW Rome Center

COVID Information & Updates

After nearly two years without students in Rome, the University of Washington Rome Center welcomed UW study abroad students back to Italy for the Winter 2022 Quarter for the first time since the onset of the pandemic. This page contains general national, local and UWRC-specific information about COVID-19 in Italy, in Rome and on campus.

The UWRC has implemented numerous COVID-19 protocols to ensure the health and safety of students and faculty. The information provided here is designed to give an overview of restrictions/changes imposed by the government and other authorities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and all related changes to UWRC’s standard policies and practices.

Information on this page is subject to change.

Vaccination Status

The University of Washington requires all students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Additionally, the Italian government previously mandated the Green Pass (or equivalent, e.g., US CDC vaccination card) for all university students, faculty, and staff. As of May 1st, the Green Pass (or equivalent) is no longer required for regular activities in Italy, including eating indoors at restaurants, accessing entertainment venues, such as cinemas, theatres and sports stadiums, and accessing gyms and pools. Students must be prepared to present their Green Pass (or equivalent) at such venues. FFP2 mask are still required in certain venues and on all public transportation including buses, trams and trains.

At present, it is not possible for foreigners to get vaccinated against COVID-19 while studying abroad in Italy. If you do not anticipate being fully vaccinated before your intended study abroad in Rome, please consult the UW Study Abroad Covid-19 webpage or contact studyabroad@uw.edu regarding your eligibility to study abroad.

Current Conditions in Italy

This information was updated on the July 1, 2022.

Italy classifies its regions using a color-coding system based on risk factors, including the number of cases and the effect of infection rates on the healthcare system in each region. Each color code (white, yellow, orange, and red) dictates travel restrictions, curfews, and business operations for the region. You can view information about the zones from the Italian Ministry of Health.

As of May 1, masks are no longer required in most public venues. However, the use of masks is still recommended in all indoor places, either public or open to the public. Further, higher grade FFP2 masks are still required to participate in all indoor athletic, cultural and recreational events, as well as in hospitals. FFP2 masks are also required on board public transportation, including buses, trams, coaches, subways, planes, trains and ferries. Masks are no longer required on air transport. Physical distancing (one meter minimum) remains highly recommended at all times.

New Travel Regulations for Entering Italy

This information was updated on the June 1, 2022.

Effective June 1, 2022, travelers to Italy will no longer be required to show the Green pass (i.e. Anti-COVID 19 vaccination certificate or recovery certificate, or a negative swab test) to enter Italy and are not subject to quarantine upon arrival to Italy if they do not possess the Green pass.

UWRC COVID-19 Safety Protocols

The UWRC follows public health guidance and regulations from the Italian Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, University and Research, in consultation with local health professionals to promote a safe, healthy environment. We have developed COVID-19-specific safety precautions to mitigate the risk of transmission on campus and to respond to possible and actual COVID-19 cases. While restrictions in Italy were significantly lifted effective May 1, 2022, a number of precautions remain in place to help reduce the risk of transmission. The list below includes safety precautions that may be in place during your program. Any changes and additional details will be provided to students closer to departure as protocols are dictated by the local conditions and regulations in place at the time the program is operating.

  • FFP2 Masks: FFP2 masks are strongly recommended at all times, in all common areas as well as in the classrooms.
  • Hand Sanitization: Use of hand sanitizer gel (≥60% alcohol) is strongly recommended upon entry onto campus and after class. Think “Gel in/Gel out”. You must also use the gel—or better yet, wash your hands with soap and hot water for 20 seconds—if you use the restroom.
  • Physical Distancing: In the classroom, physical distancing of 1 meter is strongly recommended. Desks should be set up to ensure that all students maintain this requirement. In common areas including hallways and the office, 1 meter is also required. Faculty will maintain 2 meters distance at the front of the classroom.
  • Personal Belongings: Personal belonging should be contained in a single bag, and kept at your desk.
  • Eating/Drinking: Eating is not allowed in classrooms. Consumption of water or other beverages in the classroom and common areas is allowed.
  • Good Manners: If you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the inside of your elbow (NOT your hand). Do not touch your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth with your hands.
  • Sick? Stay Home: If you are exhibiting any symptoms such as fever, coughing, sneezing, or congestion, have any chronic respiratory conditions, or have been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 10 days, stay home and call your Program Director or the UWRC Resident Director immediately.
  • If Exposed or Test Positive: Quarantine and isolation procedures are in place for students who are exposed to someone with COVID-19 or who test positive with COVID-19, respectively.
  • Medical Care: Access to English-speaking medical support, including mental health support, is available 24/7. Local English-speaking doctor are available to work with students and public health authorities as appropriate regarding COVID-19-related symptoms, testing and medical care.
  • Academic Continuity: Academic continuity plans for each course are in place in the event a student must quarantine or isolate.

COVID-19 Testing Information

COVID-19 tests are readily available at pharmacies (usually in white tents in front of the pharmacy) and labs throughout Italy. Home test kits are also available for purchase at pharmacies and grocery stores, and are between €6 to €8 per kit. Free testing is available at the Italian Red Cross Tent at Termini Station, but note that lines are extremely long and it may take several hours to get tested.

For a rapid antigen test, many pharmacies near the UWRC offer rapid swab tests on a walk-in basis. The fee should be €22. Results will be available approximately in approximately 20 minutes.

For a PCR (molecular) test, there are numerous labs in Rome that offer these tests with a 6 – 8 hour turnaround, but some only provide a 24 hour turnaround. Appointments should be booked in advance, but walk-ins are often available. The test is generally €55. Expedited delivery and results in English may be at an additional cost.

Quarantine and Isolation

If you test positive for COVID-19 during the program, you will be required to isolate for 7 days (if symptomatic, the last 3 days must be asymptomatic) and test negative to end isolation per Salute Lazio regulations. If you are identified as a “close contact” (less than 6 feet away from an infected person for 15 minutes or more within a 24-hour period) of someone who tests positive and you completed your primary vaccination course or recovered from Covid more than 120 days prior to exposure, you will no longer be required to quarantine per Salute Lazio regulations However, you must watch for symptoms for 5 days and wear an FFP2 mask at all times for 10 days.

Student who test positive will isolate in their apartment, away from other students. UWRC staff will assist in coordination of medical care, ensure access to food delivery, and provide other support as needed. Medical support for symptom monitoring (including care in the event of an emergency) and access to tele-counseling for mental health support is available to all students.

The UWRC’s COVID protocols further explain quarantine and isolation procedures and requirements, including those for students who test positive for COVID-19 or are close contacts.

COVID-19 Tests for Returning to the U.S. from Italy

As of June 12, 2022, the CDC order requiring all persons to show a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States, is rescinded. Starting at 12:01 a.m. on June 12, 2022, the CDC will no longer require air travelers to show a negative COVID-19 test result, or documentation of recovery from COVID-19, prior to boarding a flight to the United States.