Venice International University has been closed to students, staff and the public since March 2, 2020, in accordance with the measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 issued by Decree of the Italian Prime Minister. Prior to closure, VIU had been monitoring the global situation of the Covid-19 outbreak, and is adopting the guidelines issued by the World Health Organization and the Italian Ministry of Health, in consultation with the local health authorities. VIU staff are operational via smart-working, and can be contacted by telephone or by email.
Considering that our students and professors are traveling to Venice from all over the world, and through many different airports, VIU is introducing specific protocols and has established a taskforce to coordinate the dissemination of information and response.
Any updates from official sources, regarding advice on prevention, and regarding the status of possible Covid-19 infections in Italy are being shared on this page on the VIU website.
23/03/2020 Stricter restrictions will be in place from March 25 to April 3. All commercial and industrial activities are suspended with the exception of grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and other essential public services. You are not permitted to leave the Comune (city) in which you are situated except for necessary and demonostrable motives related to work, absolute urgency or health.
VIU remains closed. Staff are working from home and can be reached by telephone or by email. Courses of the Globalization Program will continue via e-learning until further notice.
Any students and professors who have remained in Italy, are advised that they should remain in their accommodation. You are nevertheless permitted to leave your accommodation to buy food and medicine, but you must bring with you a specific form, detailing the purpose of your outing. The form can be downloaded from the Government's website here. Please consider that the police are checking the documents of individuals who are out, and can issue fines of €400-€3000 if you are outside without a signed form, and without a purpose.
11/03/2020 The Prime Minister has signed a new decree extending the lockdown to the entire country. The restrictions are now in place for all Italian regions.
08/03/2020 The Prime Minister has signed a new decree to lockdown many areas of northern Italy (see map attached, source: corriere della sera), including the Province of Venice, in the ongoing efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The decree does not appear to include an end date for the lockdown, but in the press it is reported that it will remain in force until April 3.
For those students and professors who are still in Venice:
- entering and exiting the locked-down area is not permitted except for motivated, demonstrable necessary reasons related to work or health. Returning to your home/residence is permitted (it is not clear to me if this refers only to entering the restricted zone. If you wish to make plans to return to your home country, I would advise you to contact your home country's embassy in Italy).
- anyone with symptoms (fever above 37.5 C°) must stay home and contact a doctor (VIU Health Helpline remains at disposal of VIU students and professors 041 2719 599)
- circulation within the locked down area should be reduced to necessary movements only i.e. limit social interactions, maintain distance of 1 metre from others.
- grocery stores remain open, but entrance will be managed (a small number of customers at a time)
- pharmacies and parapharmacies remain open
- bars and restaurants will remain open during the day, with table service only. They will close at 6pm
- museums, libraries etc will remain closed
- gyms, swimming pools will remain closed
- churches and other places of worship can open as long as the distance of one metre can be maintained
- educational activities in schools of all levels, universities, training centres etc. are suspended, with the exception of remote/distance/elearning delivery of classes. Any type of alternative gathering is prohibited.
VIU continues to be operational, although many staff will have to work from home, in accordance with the decree, starting tomorrow.
No meetings can take place at VIU or in other locations - of staff, students or professors, or any combination of the aforementioned.
04/03/2020 The Prime Minister of Italy has announced today that the suspension of classes in universities will continue until March 15. Therefore all classes of the Globalization Program will continue via e-learning for all of next week, according to the modes of delivery communicated via email to the students.
This is the last bulletin that will be published on this page. The official updates are published in English on the Civil Protection Department's webpage each day at 6pm
02/03/2020 6pm Bulletin from Ministry of Health
1835 have tested positive for COVID-19 in Italy.
742 Hospitalized with symptoms
166 in intensive care
927 in isolation at home
Friuli Venezia Giulia 9
01/03/2020 The Italian Prime Minister has signed a Decree with measures to address, contain and manage the epidemiological emergency of COVID-19 in Italy. These measures have now been centralized to the national government whereas last week the measures were introduced by the Regions.
Classes on campus at VIU are therefore suspended for the full week, and the e-learning options will be adopted, as per the email sent to students and professors on Friday.
With regards, daily life in the city of Venice:
- restaurants, bars and pubs can remain open, with table service only
- museums, galleries and cultural activities can reopen as long as the number of people admitted is limited.
01/03/2020 6pm Bulletin from Ministry of Health
1577 have tested positive for COVID-19 in Italy.
Hospitalized with symptoms 639
140 in intensive care
798 in isolation at home
Friuli Venezia Giulia 6
01/03/2020 Globalization Program update:
As communicated via email to all students and professors, all classes will adopt e-learning options on Monday, 2 March 2020.
An extension of the suspension has been reported widely in the news, however the decree at time of writing (11.30 am on 01/03/2020) has not been issued.
VIU will inform students and professors about arrangments for Tuesday 3 March only when the decree is issued.
29/02/20201 6pm bulletin from the Ministry of Health:
1049 have tested positive for COVID-19 in Italy.
Hospitalized with symptoms 401
105 in intensive care
543 in isolation at home
Ministry of Health is now issuing one bulletin per day, at 6pm.
27/02/2020 12 pm bulletin from the Ministry of Health:
528 have tested positive for COVID-19 in Italy
37 in intensive care
278 in isolation at home
Emilia Romagna: 97
27/02/2020 Globalization Program update:
VIU is making contingency plans, with the support and cooperation of the faculty, in the event that the suspension of classes is extended into next week. A range of remote-learning options will be adopted so that classes can begin. These will include a combination of the following:
Information will be sent via email regarding the specifics for each course.
If the suspension of classes is not extended by the authorities, classes will begin on Monday 3 March on campus.
We do not know when the decision will be taken about a possible extension.
26/02/2020 6pm bulletin from the Italian Ministry of Health:
400 have tested positive for COVID-19 in Italy
36 in intensive care
221 in isolation at home
Emilia Romagna: 47
26/02/2020 - 12pm bulletin from the Italian Ministry of Health:
374 have tested positive for COVID-19 in Italy
(+ 52 since the previous bulletin)
36 in intensive care
209 in isolation at home
Emilia Romagna: 30
25/02/2020- 6pm bulletin from the Italian Ministry of Health:
322 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Italy.
35 in intensive care
162 in isolation at home
8600 people have been tested.
Emilia Romagna: 26
25/02/2020 - 12.pm bulletin from the Italian Ministry of Health :
283 people infected in Italy. 7 deaths, 1 person cured.
Numbers of confirmed cases per region:
Emilia Romagna: 23
Clarificaton from Regione del Veneto regarding the joint directive issued on Sunday by the President of the Region and the Minister for Health, in which they declared the suspension of all public gatherings, activities in schools and universities, closure of museums and galleries, etc. in the Veneto Region:
The President of the Region clarifies that all public events are suspended, including trade shows, community events, concerts, sporting events (with an audience), funparks, theatres, cinemas, nightclubs and dance halls. However, ordinary commercial and recreational activities are not limited, for example, language schools, music schools, driving schools, sporting facilities, gyms, swimming pools etc.
At VIU, the classes are canceled for all of this week. Students can come to the island however, where the offices are operational. The library is closed.
24/02/2020 - Update from Italian Ministry of Health today: 213 people have tested positive for COVID-19, 99 are in hospital, 23 are in intensive care, 91 are in isolation at home. There have been 7 deaths.
Masks are recommended only for those who are experiencing respiratory symptoms.
23/02/2020 - pm. Venice Carnival activities on 24 and 25 February are canceled. Museums in Venice will remain closed. Students are advised to avoid crowded areas.
23/02/2020 - There here have been significant changes to the COVID-19 situation in Italy with an outbreak in the north of Italy with news rolling in during the day yesterday. A significant number of cases of COVID-19 have now been diagnosed across the north of Italy. At the time of writing, the number of cases is around 130, of which about 25 in the Veneto Region. Two have just been reported in the city of Venice. There have been two deaths. The town at the center of the Veneto outbreak is Vo' Euganeo. There are currently no restrictions on movement in the city of Venice.
The President of the Veneto Region has taken the precautionary measure of closing all universities in the region for all of next week. Therefore, Globalization Program courses and activities are canceled for 24-28 February.
The Dean, Prof. Carlo Giupponi will evaluate the situation on Monday and take decisions regarding a new start date for the GP classes, in accordance with the guidance and protocols of the local health authorities, the Veneto Region, the Ministries for Health and for Universities.
22/02/2020 - New cases of COVID-19 have now been reported in Italy, including cases of person-to-person infection; that is to say some people who have not visited the affected areas in China have been infected. At the time of writing on 22/02/2020 there are 21 patients infected, mostly in the Lombardy region, and with 3 cases in the Veneto, in the province of Padua.
The updated protocol from the Health authority in the Veneto region is that any patient presenting influenza symptoms should consult a doctor by telephone to evaluate whether a test for the COVID-19 is necessary as a precautionary measure. Should any VIU student or professor develop flu symptoms (see guidance below) they should stay home and see a doctor early. Contact VIU for support on the dedicated Health Helpline 041 2719599.
To contact the Italian Health authorities helpline directly call 1500, or the Veneto Region helpline 800 462340.
!! In order to have all the info readily available, all students and professors traveling to Italy from abroad must fill out the following form: http://www.univiu.org/study/globalization-program/admissions/program-regulations/emergency-contacts-form
For updates consult the official sources as cited in the guidance below.
13/02/2020 - There have been two confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Italy: both are tourists who had travelled to Italy from the Hubei Province in China. 20 other tourists have been released from a 14-day quarantine. None of them have tested positive for the virus. The Italian citizens who have been repatriated from China by the authorities are in quarantine. At time of publication no new cases have been reported. To date no human-to-human transmission has occurred in Italy.
General advice for all VIU students, professors and staff
The VIU community should be aware that at this time of the year there is widespread influenza also, the symptoms of which can be similar to COVID-19.
People with Covid-19 infection, the flu, or a cold typically develop respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough and runny nose. Even though many symptoms are alike, they are caused by different viruses. Because of their similarities, it can be difficult to identify the disease based on symptoms alone. That’s why laboratory tests are required to confirm if someone has Covid-19.
As always, WHO recommends that people who have cough, fever and difficulty breathing should seek medical care early. Patients should inform health care providers if they have travelled in the 14 days before they developed symptoms, or if they have been in close contact with someone with who has been sick with respiratory symptoms
On the WHO website you can find information and guidance regarding the current outbreak of novel coronavirus (Covid-19). Please visit this page for daily updates.
Novel coronavirus (Covid-19) - What we know
What you can do to protect yourself
Wash your hands frequently
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if your hands are not visibly dirty.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub eliminates the virus if it is on your hands.
Practice respiratory hygiene
When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – discard tissue immediately into a closed bin and clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
Why? Covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing prevent the spread of germs and viruses. If you sneeze or cough into your hands, you may contaminate objects or people that you touch.
Maintain social distancing
Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever.
Why? When someone who is infected with a respiratory disease, like 2019-nCoV, coughs or sneezes they project small droplets containing the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the virus.
Source: World Health Organization - https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
Italian Ministry for Health
Travel advice for travellers returning from at risk areas of China
During your stay in Italy If you develop respiratory symptoms (fever, coughing, sore throat, difficulty in breathing) within two weeks of your retur,n on a precaution basis it is recommended that you:
_quickly contact the phone number “1500” of Ministry of Health
_wear a surgical mask if you are in contact with other people
_use disposable tissues
_wash your hands regularly
Download travel advice from Italian Ministry for Health in pdf (English)
Download travel advice from Italian Ministry for Health in pdf (Chinese)