COVID Updates & Protocols

This page provides students and parents with COVID updates for Spain, as well as Tufts-Skidmore Spain’s pandemic protocols. Our protocols are meant to support the health and well-being of all members of the Tufts-Skidmore community.

In any situation involving a student’s health, the program will consult with the office of Tufts Global Education (TGE) for Tufts students, and with the Skidmore Office of Off Campus Study & Exchanges (OCSE) for Skidmore students.

*Please note that these conditions and protocols are subject to change*

Entry Requirements to Spain for Travellers Entering from the US

Please use the links below to access updated information as it released by the Spanish Health Authorities. Requirements change frequently.

***This information was updated on 15 January 2022***

  • U.S. citizens entering Spain on essential travel (such as residents, students or workers) must show EITHER  proof of vaccination, a negative COVID test, or a certificate of recovery.
  • Starting February 1st, U.S. travelers visiting Spain must be fully vaccinated and must have received the last required dose of their COVID vaccine no less than 14 days and no more than 270 days prior to arrival in Spain. If more than 270 days have passed since the last required dose, travelers must show proof of having received a booster shot at least 14 days prior to arrival. Please read the detailed information on the Spain Ministry of Health’s website and on TravelSafeSpain.
  • All travelers from the United States to Spain must present a QR code generated through the Spain Travel Health portal, obtained through the website or by downloading the SpTH app in Google Play or App Store.
  • If you test positive before departing the US for Spain, you must remain in the US for 11 days after the first positive viral test was performed and present a certificate of recovery upon entry to Spain.
    • The certificate of recovery must state the country where the certificate was issued, the date of the first positive test, and indicate that the student has passed the disease and is not infectious-contagious at the present time and is cleared to fly by a certified physician. The certificate of recovery will be valid for 180 days thereafter.
    • The program will work with the student whose arrival is delayed by a positive COVID test to make sure that orientation and academic work is completed upon the student’s arrival
  • There are no quarantine arrival requirements
  • Testing upon arrival is not required by the Madrid public health authorities, however, the program requires students to do an antigen saliva self-test the day after arrival (provided by the program)

General Information about COVID 19 in SPAIN

  • 90% of people 12 years and older are fully vaccinated
  • Spain is currently experiencing its sixth wave of COVID
    • The Omicron variant is currently the dominant variant in Madrid
    • Omicron is currently not producing serious illness or death in the healthy population
    • Hospital pressure remains low
    • Age group most affected: 12-29 year olds, majority of whom are asymptomatic or experience mild symptoms
  • The State of Emergency declared in 2020 due to the pandemic ended in May 2021 and is not anticipated to be reinstated
  • Spain has not been locked down since June 2020, and it is not anticipated that lockdowns will be repeated as public health officials consider them harmful to the general population and not effective in stopping the spread of COVID
  • Decisions about pandemic management are made by the regional government of Madrid

Current Information about COVID 19 in MADRID

  • As of 30 December cases (positive tests and infection) in Madrid are 2,400 per 100,000 inhabitants (approximately 2% of the Madrid population)
  • So far the data show that the Omicron variant does not produce severe disease in the healthy population
  • There are currently no restrictions on daily life, movement or access, other than mask-wearing indoors
    • Update 23 Dec.: the State Government has decided to reinstate mask wearing outdoors beginning on Dec. 24
  • It is expected that the current wave will peak in several weeks, at which time positives and cases will begin to decrease rapidly (as has happened with previous waves)
  • Booster shots are currently not available for people under 40

Entry Requirements to Other EU countries and the UK

  • Entry requirements differ according to country and to the current COVID conditions. Students must confirm entry requirements before they travel
  • Most countries are currently requiring a negative viral test confirmed at a clinic (antigen or PCR) as an entry requirement (even if fully vaccinated)
  • Costs of these tests is assumed by student
  • Some countries require testing and/or quarantine upon in-country arrival
  • If you test positive and cannot return as scheduled from another country, students will have to quarantine for at least 7 days in that country
  • Students should check with the international insurance at their institution to see if they would cover these costs (iSOS at Tufts; AXA at Skidmore)
  • Students’ international insurance will cover your medical costs while traveling outside of Spain

Information about the Spanish University and Program Classes during spring 2022

  • Unless contraindicated by the Madrid public health authorities, program classes are scheduled to be in-person; this could of course change to remote or to a hybrid model if cases go above a certain threshold or the recommendation of the Madrid health authorities warrants it
  • At this time classes at the Universidad Complutense are expected to be in person, but as with program classes, this could change
  • If students become ill and cannot attend class, program classes will be available on Zoom
  • We will be monitoring the situation during the month of January and will update this page with emerging information

Program COVID Protocols

GENERAL PROVISIONS

  • Academics: Classroom models and scheduling adapted to COVID protocols to reduce density and ensure safety distance, ventilation and disinfection
  • Student Living: Hybrid model of student living: student residences & homestays
  • Program Center: Cleaning & disinfection of program center twice daily according to pandemic guidelines
  • Internships: Hybrid internship models (remote and on-site)
  • Excursions: Alternate plans for excursions and activities
    • Student group is split into groups with a maximum of 15, each led by a staff member
    • No overnight stays
  • Staff/faculty encouraged to meet with students outdoors when possible
  • Group activities held outside whenever possible
  • 1:1 Zoom meetings with staff & faculty encouraged to reduce in-person contact

TESTING

  • Students, Staff, Faculty, and Homestays are provided with antigen self-tests, and required to test themselves each Sunday evening
  • Additionally, students will take the antigen test immediately if anyone in the community tests positive, or if the student has symptoms
  • If the antigen test result is positive, student must get a PCR or clinical antigen test to confirm and quarantine in the homestay or residence until confirmation or negation of infection
  • If students have symptoms of illness, they may not enter the program center until the self antigen test results are negative
  • Students with a negative self-antigen test who have mild symptoms of illness or allergy but no fever may attend class but will be required to wear an FFP2 mask (provided by the program)

HYGIENE AT PROGRAM CENTER

  • Masking required indoors at all times
  • Masks provided in program center
  • Hybrid staff and faculty schedule organized to “bubble” staff/faculty on rotating days and reduce risk of contagion (mix of telecommuting and on-site in clusters; bubbles are M/W and T/Th)
    • Assures continuous staff coverage and student support in the case of positives, illness, quarantine
  • Staff with individual offices will work with doors closed and windows open
  • When feasible, all windows in the campus center will remain open
  • Hand sanitizer and tissues available throughout the program center
  • Proper signage throughout program center to reinforce protocols
  • Air purifiers positioned throughout the program center
  • Ventilation systems at maximum capacity & filters changed frequently

PROGRAM CLASSES

  • Classroom space is large and class-size limited to 15 students
  • Desks distanced 1.5 meters
  • Classes recorded on Zoom in case of student illness or quarantine
  • Student classroom desks sanitized after each use

HOMESTAYS

  • Hosts do weekly self-antigen testing
  • Students who test positive for COVID quarantine for 10 days  in a student residence
  • If a member of the homestay tests positive, homestay student will self-test and be moved immediately to student residence for 10 days

IF A STUDENT BECOMES INFECTED

  • Parents should be in direct communication with their student about their health and healthcare
  • Students who live in residences will quarantine at the residence
  • Students who live in homestays will quarantine at a student residence
  • Students may attend classes over Zoom, and will receive academic support from the program’s Academic Coordinator to complete any work missed during illness
  • Student medical care and support will coordinated by the program’s Student Care Coordinator in consultation with the Program Director, TGE or OCSE at Tufts and Skidmore in the US, and medical care providers in Madrid
  • Parents are welcome to contact the Program Director if they have questions or concerns; the Director can discuss a student’s medical care with parents if the student provides verbal or written permission

PANDEMIC CODE OF CONDUCT

  • Students are expected to be responsible and to follow all pandemic guidelines of the program, the university, the homestay, student residence and Community of Madrid
  • Students who test positive are *required* to disclose theirclose contacts in the last 48 hours previous to their test
  • Student who test positive will quarantine for 10 days; you may not take a second test during this time
  • Students who disregard quarantine protocols will incur a severe infraction, which may result in their separation from the program

Return Home at the End of the Semester

  • Students who test positive pre-flight and cannot fly home as scheduled will be quarantined in a student residence for 10 days
  • After 10 days, the student will be evaluated by a medical doctor who will issue a COVID recovery certificate valid for entry to the US
  • If a student’s home is not the US, and entry requirements require testing, a pre-flight test will be arranged