Rome Program 2021 COVID-19 Operations Plan

Updated August 3, 2021

The information outlined below is intended to be an overview of the plan to receive students in Italy and serve our students and faculty in the time of COVID-19. The initiatives detailed in this document have been set in place to promote a safe study and work environment for the students, faculty, and staff of the Rome Center. Our goal in presenting this information is to be comprehensive, knowing however that the circumstances surrounding the pandemic, including travel policies, and operating regulations are subject to constant change.

For a quick glance at Frequently Asked Questions, please scroll to the bottom of this page!

Travel

Prior to Travel to Rome

It is strongly recommended that students self-quarantine for 14 days prior to the arrival date to minimize the likelihood of exposure to COVID-19, thereby minimizing potential impact to travel.

Arrival in Rome

According to the current situation, as of July 2021, students studying in Rome will be exempt from the 10-day self-isolation policy if they meet the following guidelines:

  • Have been vaccinated against COVID-19 with an EMA authorized vaccine and have completed the prescribed vaccination cycle at least 14 days prior to travel.
  • Have a negative COVID test result carried out 48 hours before arrival. Antigenic (rapid) and molecular (PCR) results are accepted.
  • Have recovered from COVIDD-19 and are no longer under prescription of self-isolation (a doctor's certificate will be required).

Failing the above mentioned requirements will result in the student being required to self-isolate for 10 days. Direct "covid-tested" flights from the USA to Italy are currently available through many US airports to specified Italian airports/entry points. The Rome Center strongly encourages all students to book a flight on one of hte covid-tested direct flights to Rome. Planning an itinerary with one or more connectiosn in other EU or non-EU countries will increase the risk of being stuck in the connecting airports should the local authorities decide to modify the rules for travelers. In such an event, students might find themselves either stuck in a foreign country or needing to go through quarantine on return. Any cost incurred by this inconvenience would be at the student's own expense.

10 Day Quarantine on arrival- (*if required)

If travelers do not, or cannot, follow the procedures to travel to Italy through quarantine-exempt means, the Italian government will require 10-day isolation upon arrival. These participants will be housed separately and will be able to continue orientation and classwork remotely.

If students test positive upon arrival in Fiumicino, they will be required by local authorities to isolate in accordance with local health department guidelines. The Rome Center will work with these students on the best arrangements possible to remain supported by local staff.

Rome Center Operations

Rome Center

The Rome Center is located inside the historic Palazzo Taverna, where we occupy two separate areas: Empire Hall and Gabrielli Hall. These spaces have been re-arranged and reallocated in accordance with local legislation following the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures are in compliance with the DPCM Sept 7th 2020 annex 22 & DPCM Oct 24th 2020 annex 18, which are the current official state decrees for Universities operating in Italy.

The operating hours where students can enter and use the facilities of the Rome Center will be governed by the following policy:

  • Monday to Friday: 8:30 am until 7:30 pm.
  • Saturday: 10:00 am until 3:00 PM
  • Sunday: Closed.
  • on-call 24/7 for emergencies

Student MUST leave the premises at the closing times to allow proper sanitation of the building.

Orientations

Pre-Departure Orientation will be held regularly prior to the students leaving the US, in close coordination with the U of A Study Abroad Office. Resources, including reference documents, links, discussion groups, etc will be available through a Blackboard site managed by Student Services Staff & UA Study Abroad Staff. Synchronous meetings will be held through appropriate platforms and recorded for review. Pre-Travel Orientation objectives include:

  • Students will prepare for Travel in COVID context
  • Students will understand Arrival & Entry Requirements for Italy
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of local COVID context in Italy, including mask wearing, shopping and dining, and relevant local laws (including fines for non compliance).
  • Students will learn about their destination and prepare to acculturate to Rome

On-site Orientation will begin immediately after students' arrival and will include

  • Introduction of the Rome Center Program, including staff and facilities
  • COVID Operations information
  • Study Abroad Student Code of Conduct
  • Academic introduction
  • IT services in Rome
  • Housing protocols and rules
  • Extra curricular activities

Students will meet local health practitioners and be oriented to life in Rome with special attention to local COVID procedures. Orientation will help students navigate new realities of travel and life in a major European city, including important tips for grocery shopping, spending money, and getting around the city in compliance with local COVID-19 guidelines. Rome Center staff will communicate any changes to local circumstances and provide assistance to students throughout their time in Rome.

Daily Checks on Body Temperature and PPE

Students will enter through the student gate and will need to sign in prior to starting classes. All classes, including those which have a field trip will start from Palazzo Taverna. Everyone entering the Rome Center or participating in class activities outside Palazzo Taverna will sign-in everyday, verifying their temperature, as well as proper face mask use and hand hygiene.

Classroom Flexibility & Modes of instruction

Classrooms will be utilized in such a way as to create homogeneous groups, where the same students are using the spaces and being seated at the same desks/seats. While students are expected to attend classes in person daily, classes will also be conducted in a way that allows seamless transition between an online, remote learning, style of teaching should a student or students need to quarantine for a period from 48hrs up to 2 weeks.

This flexibility will allow for academic continuity should we need to carry out a COVID-19 test on a student or should a student test positive for COVID-19. While courses will be recorded to the extent possible, quarantined or isolated students will be able to connect remotely and continue their studies remotely.

Social Distancing

The Rome Center has been reconfigured to allow for students to be able to adhere to social distancing measures. Students will be assigned a desk, or seat, for each class, which they will need to utilize throughout the program. A seating chart will be posted at the entrance to each classroom. Classes will be staggered to reduce the possibility of large groups congregating at the entrance and to limit the amount of people moving around the center at any given time.

Cleaning Classrooms & Common Spaces

Rome Center classrooms and common spaces, including toilets and the kitchenette will be cleaned daily, and an additional deep sanitization will be performed once a week. All Rome Center users (staff, faculty, and students) will be asked to collaborate in keeping all common areas clean. Cleaning products will be available for individuals to sanitize their individual spaces before and after use. High touch surfaces like vending machines should be sanitized by each person after each use.

Hand sanitizers will be posted next to the Rome Center entrances and inside all classrooms. Students are required to use the sanitizers as they enter from outside the center and are encouraged to use the machines as they see fit throughout the day. All hand sanitizers, most taps and hand dryers have been automated to minimize the need for students to touch multiple surfaces.

Signage

Similar to the Fayetteville campus, signage will be posted around the center to remind all community members to maintain best practices for maintaining personal and community health:

  • COVID-19 Symptom Reminder
  • Correct ways to-
    • Wash hands
    • Wear a mask
    • Register for the days class
  • How to report when you get sick
  • How to contact both doctors
  • Correct use of the trash cans or recycling bins
  • What happens if you need to get a COVID-19 test

The Rome Center spaces are additionally marked with signage to direct traffic in such a way to maintain social distancing. For example, doorways and walkways may be designated as 'one-way' to help everyone maintain apporptiate separation.

Housing

The Rome Center will provide the students with accommodation for the duration of the program. Apartments in historic neighborhoods (primarily Prati, Borgo, and Historic Center) in walking distance of Palazzo Taverna will include basic furnishings, bed linens and towels, Wi-Fi access, washing machines, and a local telephone.

For programs in 2021, in consideration of COVID-19, apartments will be limited to 5-person occupancy, with two double bedrooms and 2 bathrooms when possible. General weekly cleaning will include weekly disinfection of common spaces.

No visitors will be permitted in housing at any time. This includes friends or family members who may be visiting. Students should respect their housemates as part of their household ‘bubble’ and practice social distancing and wear masks when around others. Nuclear family members visiting from home or close friends on the program living in other households should be included in social distancing. Roommates should make every effort to communicate openly about their risk tolerance and concerns about the behaviors of fellow rommmates.

All students will complete a roommate agreement and will be accountable to their fellow household members for their behavior relevant to social distancing & maintaining health precautions. UARC reserves the right to request that a student wear a mask in their housing for a two-week period.

Rome Center Student Services staff is available on-site to help mitigate roommate conflict. All students are subject to the Study Abroad Code of Conduct which outlines expectations for comportment and behavior in the group. Violating the Code of Conduct is subject to punishment up to and including program expulsion. All students in Rome are still subject to the University Code of Student Life.

The Rome Center reserves the right to move students from their original apartment, in the case of a COVID-19 outbreak in our student community. Positive cases or close contacts in our community may result in the need to move students in order to maintain quarantine and isolation protocol between positive students, close contacts, and other community members.

Safety Guidelines and Requirements

Face Coverings- indoors/outdoors

According to the current Italian Legislation, people living in Italy are required to wear inside buildings (commercial activities, offices, churches and museums, schools, etc). Students will need to follow this directive. Police regulate the adherence to the face covering rule, and fines can be issued by Italian Police for non-compliance.

Wearing of masks inside Rome Center facilities in Palazzo Taverna

Students will be required to wear a mask at all the times and can only remove them to eat and drink. Students with a pre-assigned desk will be required to eat their lunch at their desk. Students without a pre-assigned desk will be required to respect the 1.5-meter social distancing rule when having lunch in one of the student spaces or vacant classrooms.

Students will need to follow the directions of the faculty or Rome Center Staff, when on field trips, as they will be charged with informing the student of if/and when it is safe to remove their masks.

Access to Medical & Mental Health Treatment

Medical Health Access

An Italian physician will meet with the students to discuss the importance of looking after their physical health whilst on the program. Local physicians who work frequently with English-speaking US students and are in-network with student health insurance are able to see students for any health concern. Students will be enrolled in the National Health System and will receive the “tessera sanitaria”, “Health Card”, which entitles the bearer to the same medical/health benefits of Italian citizens. The cost will be embedded in the program fee.

The Health card will allow our students to:

  • Receive the COVID-19 rapid test at the nearest Pharmacy (fixed fee of €22, ~USD$25)
  • Schedule a PCR Test with the closest regionally authorized testing center, free of charge
  • Enjoy all the services provided by the National Health System

All study abroad students will also be enrolled in international coverage through CISI (Cultural Insurance Services International), which provides comprehensive medical coverage to students globally, including medical repatriation services.

Mental Health Access

The Rome Center collaborates with mental health professionals, who will meet with the students in the first week of orientation and will be available throughout the program to meet with students, either as a group or on an individual basis. Some of the costs associated with this work will be covered by the Rome Center.

Students might incur additional costs, which will be partly offset by their CISI travel insurance, should they need extra one on one sessions with the health professional.

COVID-19: Testing, Reporting, Tracing & Quarantine

Testing

Students traveling to Italy from Canada, Japan, or the United States must fill out a digital Passenger Locator Form (or a paper self-declaration if the personal technology is unavailable). Travelers will need to present a Covid Certificate (also known as Green Pass or COVID-19 Green Certificate) issued by local health auhorities in Canada, Japan, or the US, showping proof that they have either:

  • been vaccinated against COVID-19 with an EMA authorized vaccine and have completed the prescribed vaccination cycle atleast 14 days prior;
  • received a negative COVID test result (molecular or antigenic) in the last 48 hours; or
  • recovered from COVID-19 and no longer under prescription of self-isolation.

A COVID Certificate compliant with Italian (and EU) rules will allow travelers from Canda, Japan, or the US to enter italy without having to self-isolate or present a negative test.

Refer to the Italian Ministry of Health Guidelines for updates and changes to travel policies.

Weekly Testing

Students entering the U of A Rome Center’s academic program will be tested weekly to ensure that any potential asymptomatic students are located before the community at large can be put at risk. The Rome Center will purchase the tests and a registered nurse will be engaged to administer the tests directly at the Rome Center’s headquarters in Palazzo Taverna.

Appointments for Testing

The Antigen Test (Rapid Test) can be done without an appointment at certain pharmacies that have been equipped to administer the service. The list of the closest pharmacies will be shared with the students on arrival. Students will need to show their National Health Card (Tessera Sanitaria) to have access to this service.

The Molecular Test (PCR Test) must be reserved through the region Lazio website, and requires an official document released by a General Practitioner. Students will have access to a General Practitioner thanks to their National Health Card. The Rome Center will provide assistance throughout this process.

The Antibody Test (Blood Test) can be obtained at several authorized clinics, after scheduling an appointment with a doctor’s request. The Rome Center will provide assistance throughout this process.

Experiencing Symptoms

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. All students (an all people everywhere) should monitor their health and consider testing for COVID-19 if any symptoms develop.

Students will have a contactless thermometer in their apartment and will be asked to test themselves whenever they feel ill. Students must communicate immediately with the Student Coordinator when the thermometer shows a reading over 99.5F (37.5C). Rome Center staff will help students arrange appointments with doctors for testing and will facilitate contact tracing as necessary among the Rome Program community.

Reporting Process

Students will need to report any changes in their health condition that have been flagged as pre-cursors to someone who might have contracted COVID-19, or report if they believe they have been exposed to COVID-19. Reporting will take place through the office of the student coordinator, who serves as the COVID Manager, and who will be in charge of:

  • Notifying the Rome Center Director in his capacity as COVID Manager
  • Notifying the student’s teachers, so that their absence is noted
  • Contacting the doctor so that testing can take place

If a student, faculty, or staff tests positive for COVID-19, the COVID Manager will report the positive case through the U of A’s self-reporting form. The Study Abroad Office in Fayetteville will also be notified.

Students are encouraged to communicate with their loved ones and make sure their families know about their current health condition. If a student requires additional medical treatment, including hospitalization, emergency contacts of the student may be notified.

Isolation Procedure for possible Covid-19 cases

Students exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 (including but not limited to fever) will work with Rome Center staff to obtain a rapid test at the nearest available pharmacy or testing facility. Roommates and other close contacts of the student will be immediately asked to quarantine- leaving class if necessary- until the symptomatic student’s results are available.

If the Rapid Test of the sick student comes back Positive for COVID 19, housing will be arranged for the student in appropriate accommodations for isolation from roommates and the community. Students in close contact with positive cases will be tested. Arrangements will be made for appropriately distanced quarantine housing for program participants who are close contacts with known COVID cases.

UARC will make every effort to protect the confidentiality of a student diagnosed with COVID-19, but as a publich health matter, staff may conduct contact tracing with local contact tracers. the UARC COVID manager may need to disclose the student’s name to program faculty and staff, as well as other students who may have had some form of close contact with the sick student.

Students and faculty visiting Rome will be instructed to maintain a ‘COVID-bag’ with basic necessities to retrieve in case isolation/quarantine/hospitalization requires them to relocate. Any decision a student makes to seek their own accommodations outside UARC housing will be entirely at the students’ own discretion and expense.

Insurance policies included in the program fee do not cover the cost of early departures home, even if quarantine and/or shelter-in-place policies are enacted. Should a participant choose to travel home early due to local circumstances, all related expenses would be their responsibility. If local requirements for quarantine or shelter-in-place necessitate that a participant stay beyond the established end date of the program, UARC will extend housing contracts wherever possible, but any additional costs associated with extra days will be the responsibility of the participant.

Key Terms

Quarantine is a precautionary measure that can, in most situations, be done in a group. Quarantine measures usually involve individuals who are known close contacts with positive or suspected positive cases. These persons should avoid contact with others and follow local health department (or equivalent) guidelines for days in quarantine, testing protocol, etc.

Isolation becomes necessary when an individual tests positive. Those in close contact with the positive individual will quarantine, while the positive student ill be isolated according to local requirements.

Calendar, Travel, and Activities

Green Pass (or Covid Certificate)

Effective August 5, 2021, the Italian government has introduced new rules and regulations with regards to the accessibility to public spaces. The COVID-19 Green Certificate is a free document in digital and printable format that makes it easier to attend public events in Italy, access museums and cultural sites, visit nursing homes, and to move in and out of areas that may be classified as 'red zone' or 'orange zone.'

The certificate features a QR code verifying its authenticity and validity. The document attests to one of hte following criteria:

  • Vaccination against COVID-19
  • a negative COVID test taken in the last 48 hours
  • recovery from COVID infection

Review more information on the COVID Certificate.

Regional Color Codes

The 20 Italian regions (similar to US states) are color-coded by the Italian Ministry of Health based on active COVID risk in each region. Travel between regions could be restricted based on these regularly updated criteria

  • White- very low risk: Less than 10% of ICU occupied by COVID-19 patients
  • Yellow- low risk: between 10% and 20% of ICU occupied by COVID-19 patients
  • Orange- medium risk: between 20% and 30% of ICU occupied by COVID-19 patients
  • Red- high risk: above 30% of ICU occupied by COVID-19 patients

Calendar

The University of Arkansas Rome Center will give students the official program calendar during the onsite orientation in Rome. The Rome Center might need to alter the calendar subject to changes in Italian Legislation or should issues involving the pandemic arise. Students will be notified in real time of all changes that need to be made to the official calendar.

Students will be notified in real-time of all changes that need to be made to the official calendar, which will be accessible through our dedicated Microsoft Teams group.

Red-Weekends

Red-weekends are designated as those weekends where students are not allowed to travel outside the city limits of Rome. Usually, these weekends coincide with academic deadlines, deliverables, workshops, and exams. The Rome Center will be open for student use, and activities may be organized by the staff/faculty.

Independent Travel

The Rome Center incorporates both Open and Closed weekends into the semester calendar. Students are required to stay in Rome on Closed weekends and can travel during Open weekends.

Due to the persistence of the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Italian government and European countries are imposing strong limitations on tourism. In Italy, the country has adopted a regional plan based on the hospitilazation rates of COVID patients in each region. The free circulation of peoples between the different areas of the country can be limited (or prohibited) by the government on a weekly basis. Therefore, the Rome Center recommends that students wait until they arrive to Rome, and to consult with our center, before making any travel plans or reservations.

In regard to travel outside of Rome, either to other regions of Italy or other countries, students must be aware of all the limitations imposed the potential host countries government with regards to tourists, which may include mandatory quarantine upon arrival. Students are strongly encouraged to speak to Rome Center program leaders before making plans. Students might find themselves either stuck in a forein country, or needing to go through quarantine on return should regulations change. Any costs incurred by this inconvenience would be at the student's own expense.

School Trips

If permitted by the Italian Authorities, the Rome Center will organize multi-day school trips to visit other regions of the country. Transportation for these trips will be organized with private bus companies in compliance with safety protocols enforced by the Italian law. Students will have to observe all the rules set down for their safety. Accompanying staff/faculty will be responsible to make sure that the students are following the rules.

One-day Regional Didactic Tours

If permitted by the Italian Authorities, the Rome Center will organize one-day regional didactic tours to explore the surroundings of Rome and the region of Lazio. Transportation for these trips might involve the use of public transportation if this does not compromise the safety of our students.

Social Activities

If permitted by the Italian Authorities, the Rome Center will organize activities throughout the week which allow students to participate in social activities, in safe and controlled environments. This will include opportunities for student to explore Rome and deepen their engagement with local culture through language, food, and sport. Game nights and movie nights at the Rome Center will also seek to keep students engaged in social, if socially-distanced, activities.

Sick Leave Policy & Procedure: Student, Faculty and Staff

For Students

Students will work with the Student Services coordinator in Rome to access testing, treatment, and other care as needed from Italian physicians. The student services coordinator will work with students and faculty to identify students who will be absent from class or participating remotely.

For faculty / Staff

Faculty will continue with their class should they need to take time for sickness as much as possible. When the level of sickness is negates their ability to successfully complete the course work, students will either be followed by another faculty member where possible or will be given a project to complete until the faculty member has recovered from their illness.

Staff will follow their normal procedure for sick leave.

Validity of this Document

This plan has been created and modified over the preceeding months and will continue to be updated (refer to the top of this page for the date of last revision). All the information and regulations pertained herein comply with the National and Regional laws at the time of publication. Updates to regulations will be communicated by the Rome Center to students immediately, and will be reflected in updates to this document as appropriate.

This document has been compiled by the Study Abroad Office in Fayetteville and the U of A Rome Program in Rome, Italy. Contact us at rome@uark.edu for any questions or concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions

General

YES, face coverings are required indoors in all public places. Individuals caught without proper face coverings can be fined.

Italian COVID restrictions are regulated at the national level and are reviewed and adjusted much more frequently than Americans might expect. The Italian Ministry of Health identifies Italy's regions with colors (white, yellow, orange, red, and dark red) that correspond to designated levels of services open and mobility available. The most reliable data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation all anticipate continued decline in positive case numbers that would correspond to increased services and access to open mobility in Italy as we begin to send students.

Italy and other EU countries are increasingly relying on the Green Pass or Covid Certificate to regulate entry into public spaces, including museums, churches, and restaurants. See details above on vaccination and testing requirements.

Free travel around Italy and Europe will be much more restricted through 2021-2022. Italy’s travel restrictions are changing and dynamic, governing mobility between municipalities, regions (similar to US states) and the country itself. While Italy is Schengen State, travel availability between different countries is also subject to quarantine ordinances and changing circumstances. Students should not make any weekend travel plans before the program starts.

Current Italian regulations accept the CDC vaccination record (white card) as sufficient proof of vaccination. This record should allow travelers to obtain the Green Pass and have wider access to public services abroad.

All students are eligible to receive the vaccine at this time. Students studying abroad are encouraged to make appointments with Pat Walker Health Center or another local clinic to get vaccinated.

Life in Rome

See our COVID Operations plan for more on the arrangements for housing in Rome. Students will have the opportunity to identify roommate preferences and will complete a “house contract” for shared housing space and behavior. Students living together constitute a COVID ‘bubble’ and, as such, are directly responsible for the health of others in shared accommodations.

Students live in apartments contracted for student housing, located across historic neighborhoods in close proximity to the Rome Center. These are not strictly student buildings- in fact, students will live alongside locals. Enhanced cleaning and sanitation will be offered in the apartments and students are encouraged to maintain good personal habits whenever coming and going.

See details in the Covid Reopening plan above. In 2021, apartments will have lower max occupancy and enhanced cleaning procedures. Students will have extra directives for keeping their personal space clean and respecting others in their housing space.

All housing has access to Wi-Fi and faculty are making plans to continue course lectures and activities synchronously and asynchronously

Quarantine & Isolation

Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be housed in appropriate isolation quarters until they are medically cleared to rejoin the group. Isolation housing can take multiple forms, including special housing set aside for sick students, co-habitation with other students who test positive, or even hotel stay arranged by the Rome Center.

Housing is guaranteed until the end date of the program. Students who are unable to travel home on schedule because of COVID-19 infection will receive assistance on extending lodging arrangements, at their own expense.

Students at the Rome Center will have access to immediate testing and medical assistance. Students identified as close contacts will be quarantined following guidance of local health authorities, which will include enhanced cleaning and social distancing measures in program housing.

The Rome Center housing agreement covers appropriate accommodations during the program dates. Students who may have to quarantine or isolate beyond the program dates may have to pay for extended housing in Rome until they are able to leave Italy.

We hope that all members of our community will comply with health directives. It will take everyone doing their part to protect our community. The student, who is alleged to have violated the directives of quarantine or isolation regulations, will be referred to the Office of Student Standards and Conduct (OSSC). The OSSC and the Study Abroad Code of Conduct both allow the University to take immediate action to remove students from university housing and expel them from study abroad (early return home).

Sanitation & Safety

Yes. Cleaning is very important. Increased cleaning in Palazzo Taverna facilities, and student housing includes enhanced sanitation efforts. High touch surfaces at the Rome Center will be cleaned and sanitized daily. Supplies for cleaning personal spaces in classrooms and study spaces will also be available.

Yes, the Rome center is equipped with hand sanitizer stations throughout the facility. Most faucets have been converted to touchless use.

Summer students will have apartments with air conditioning this year. Many class visits and student activities will take place outdoors. In general, Italian buildings rely much more on open ventilation of buildings and residences.

Money

Costs and inclusions vary by program, please reference program budgets for each program on the HogsAbroad site. Participants should carefully review the financial agreement for the program before signing, taking special note of circumstances for cancellation and program adjustments.

Yes! Study Abroad constitutes an academic cost of attendance and is eligible for scholarships and financial aid. Many opportunities have extended deadlines. Browse the Study Abroad Scholarships Page or contact the Study Abroad Office for more information.

COVID brings extra considerations about carrying cash and spending money abroad. As always, students need to travel with multiple ways of accessing money- Euro cash in hand before they board flights, debit cards to withdraw cash/spend with local vendors, credit cards to access emergency funds in case of accident, etc. With the increased use of apps for food ordering, and increased social distancing measures that may cause increased reliance on credit over cash, travelers should consider credit cards more carefully with regards to international use, transaction fees, currency conversion, etc.

Trip cancellation insurance with “Cancel for Any Reason” (CFAR) is important to purchase due to the fluid and unpredictable impact of the pandemic on international travel, including possible disruption upon boarding an international flight should your COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of travel come back positive, changing border entry requirements, etc. CFAR policies should be purchased within 21 days of paying the non-recoverable deposit. Recommended resources include Cultural Insurance Services or Daun Flynn at the Travel Depot, 479-444-3366, dlflynn@gmail.com.