Covid-19 Plans: Madrid

Syracuse Abroad is continuing to monitor Covid-19 conditions abroad.  We are aware of and excited to see many restrictions being eased in our places of study, and we anticipate making an update to all of our Covid plans by August 6th.  Given that Covid restrictions can change rather dramatically in a short period of time, we believe it prudent to wait until later in the summer to provide a formal update.  Please continue monitoring our website for more information, and you are welcome to contact your International Program Advisor for informal information.

Update as of April 27, 2021: Covid-19 Vaccine Requirement for 2021 Programs

Note: Subject to changes/modifications in accordance with local regulations and best practices

Center Cleaning/Sanitation/PPE

International Institute of Spain (building that is home to Syracuse Madrid)

  • General cleaning and disinfection at least once per day using Ministry-approved cleaning and disinfection solutions. Emphasis will be placed on locations that are frequently touched.
  • Disinfection and airing out of classrooms in between classes. Classrooms will be aired out for 10 minutes.
  • Sanitation of restrooms at least three times per day.
  • Substitution of former wastepaper baskets with lined bins that have a pedal and lid.

Syracuse Madrid

  • Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes will be available in Syracuse Madrid offices and throughout the building.
  • Students are asked to bring their own supply of reusable masks, keeping in mind local guidance that the same mask should not be worn for more than four hours at a time. If a student’s mask were to break or become otherwise unusable while they’re in class, Syracuse Madrid will provide the student with a disposable mask.

Social Distancing

International Institute in Spain

  • Maximum capacity has been established in all spaces to ensure appropriate social distancing is possible among occupants.
  • Non-essential business will be carried out online.

Syracuse Madrid

  • Class sizes have been reduced to allow for appropriate social distancing.
  • Staggered scheduling to allow classes to begin and end 15-minutes apart.
  • Hybrid class structure will combine on-site and online learning in order to reduce the number of students in the building at once.
  • Requests to faculty and staff will be made by appointment for an in-person contact or online.
  • Schedules and modes of contact will be published at the beginning of the semester on the Syracuse Madrid Guide and on staff’s email signatures.

Field Trips

  • Sign-ups for off-site activities will be digitalized
  • Maximum capacity for buses and groups will be reduced to allow for social distancing.

Policies Regarding Student Behavior

Strict adherence to Syracuse University’s Stay Safe Pledge adapted to Syracuse Madrid. These modifications include, but are not limited to:

  • Completing the Spanish Health Ministry’s Health Control Form and present the corresponding QR code at the departure airport. It is available on
  • Students may also download the Spain Travel Health app on their cell phones to access the website.
  • Present a certificate showing full immunization OR a negative certificate of a Diagnostic Test of Active Infection taken within 48 hours of arrival in Spain.
  • In the case of certificates or supporting documents (vaccination, diagnostic test, recovery), which are not EU Digital COVID Certificates, they must be the original, in Spanish, English, French or German and may be submitted in paper or electronic format. These documents must contain the traveler’s full name and:
  • In the case of full vaccination: date of vaccination with full schedule, at least 14 days prior to arrival in Spain, with vaccines authorized by the European Medicines Agency or by the World Health Organization, and the country where vaccinated.
  • In the case of diagnostic test (PCR): date of sampling, identification and contact details of the center performing the analysis, technique used, and negative result. Test must be carried out within 48 hours prior to arrival in Spain (+1 day of departure from the US).
  • Appropriate use of face masks always within the International Institute and in housing common areas.
  • Adherence to local and University travel restrictions.
  • Proactivity regarding health measures. Immediate quarantining if there is any suspicion of illness. Contacting Syracuse Madrid health resources right away.
  • Active use health and safety resources including, but not limited to, AlertTraveler, and a local, working phone that can always make and receive local phone calls.
  • Students must obtain a Spanish SIM card with 72 hours of arrival in Madrid and must inform Syracuse Madrid of the number within this time frame.
  • Risk of expulsion from program for repeated and/or serious violations.

In addition, students will be required to comply with local regulations regarding COVID-19. These regulations may change as the situation evolves, but as of May 2021 this includes:

  • Strict adherence to handwashing, social distancing, mask-wearing, and other COVID-19 prevention protocols
  • Appropriate use of face masks in any public space, indoors or outdoors, or when a distance of 5 feet cannot be maintained.


Residence Halls


  • Families will be fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to student arrival.
  • Homes will be sanitized in accordance with Ministry of Health guidelines.
  • All students will have a bathroom independent of the host family.
  • Most students will be placed in single rooms, though some students may be placed in larger double rooms.  If this is the case, both students will have to have requested one another as roommates and both need to have been fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to the program start date.
  • Host families will provide students with sheets and towels for their exclusive use.
  • Students are advised to wear their face mask whenever they are outside of their bedroom or bathroom and when they are not eating, especially if a five-foot distance cannot be maintained.
  • If the primary member of the host family must isolate, the student may be placed in an alternative accommodation identified by Syracuse Madrid and approved by our local health care partners, and for the duration of time prescribed by our local health care partners.
  • Host families will clean the student’s room and bathroom once a week; however, the student is responsible for the appropriate hand laundering and/or disposal of their face masks as well as for disinfecting touch surfaces in the bathroom after each use and in their bedroom daily.

Residence halls are fully in compliance with the Ministry of Health’s guidelines for educational centers. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Regular disinfection of touchpoints and high-risk areas.
  • Review twice each shift (morning, afternoon, and evening) of common areas (e.g., study rooms, exercise, and laundry rooms, etc.) by staff to ensure adherence to social distancing, maximum capacity, and sanitation guidelines.
  • Social distancing markers on the floor of the cafeteria line.
  • Elimination of visitor and room swap privileges for residents.
  • Mandated PPE use for all staff and face mask use for students in common areas, except the cafeteria and only when eating.

In the event of a possible COVID-19 infection:

  • The resident will preventatively quarantine until positive or negative confirmation of the test.
  • This quarantine will be carried out in the resident’s own room.
  • If there is a confirmed COVID-19 infection, the student will isolate in their room.
  • The roommate will quarantine in a separate room for the mandated period as a precaution.

The residence hall will be in immediate contact with Syracuse Madrid staff if the quarantine protocol has been activated.


  • Currently, Spain requires certification of a negative PCR test within 48 hours of arrival in Spain if the student has not been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to arrival in Spain.

Medical Care

International Institute in Spain

  • The International Institute will designate a dedicated space to isolate suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases until the student can access a higher level of care.

Syracuse Madrid

  • Syracuse Madrid students are responsible for acquiring their own face masks; however, Syracuse Madrid will have masks available in case an emergency replacement is needed.
  • Syracuse Madrid will have a dedicated COVID-19 coordinator among its regular staff. This person is not a healthcare professional but will coordinate and liaise with the professionals listed below.
  • Our partnerships with local health care providers will continue with added services due to COVID-19:
    • On-site nursing service: Dedicated space on-site for nursing services following COVID-19 sanitation protocols. Free service available five hours per week (Monday through Thursday) and by appointment.
    • Mental health service: Limited appointments available with our bilingual therapist. Appointments can be face-to-face at the therapist’s office (about a 15-minute walk from Syracuse Madrid’s center) or online.
    • Preferential service through Hospital de Madrid’s International Department: This private teaching hospital offers specialist services (by appointment) and 24/7 emergency service.
    • International Department staff will work directly with the student to help with insurance processing and with interpretation services (no additional cost).
  • Consulting service through a local health care team which will assist Syracuse Madrid with:
    • Reviewing and optimizing health and safety protocol in compliance with Spanish Ministry of Health guidelines.
    • Advising on individual COVID-19 cases.
    • Assistance with testing, contact tracing, quarantine, and isolation.
  • 24-hour urgent student support staff will refer students to appropriate local resources and offer on-going support by telephone.


International Institute in Spain

  • The International Institute will designate a dedicated space to isolate suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases until the student can access a higher level of care.

Syracuse Madrid

  • Currently, Spain does not currently require quarantining upon entering the country. This document will be updated should this change.
  • Syracuse Madrid, after consulting with our local health care partners and always in accordance with local Ministry of Health requirements, will provide adequate quarantine/isolation facilities.
  • The student will stay in their housing assignment if our local health-care partners determine it to be appropriate.
  • Conversely, if our local health-care partners determine it to be appropriate, the student may to be transferred to another accommodation identified by Syracuse Madrid and approved by our local health-care partners, and for the duration of time prescribed.
  • If a student unilaterally decides to quarantine/isolate in another accommodation against the advice of Syracuse Madrid’s local health-care partners -acting in accordance with the guidelines of the local health authorities- the student is solely responsible for the cost of the accommodation and for the cost of a PCR test/s that shows that the student has tested negative. To ensure the safety of the student’s housing community, this negative PCR test is required before the student can return to their housing assignment.

On-Site Testing

  • Syracuse Madrid will provide students, faculty, and staff a rapid antigen test at the start of the semester.
  • This test will be repeated for students at different points throughout the semester including, but not necessarily limited to:
    • Weekly, as surveillance checks for asymptomatic infection
    • Before entering the Syracuse Madrid building on arrival day
    • Before returning to the United States at the end of the semester
    • Whenever there is reason to suspect COVID-19 infection.

Contact Tracing

International Institute in Spain

  • Provider access by appointment only.

Syracuse Madrid

  • A Syracuse Madrid staff member trained in contact tracing will proceed to trace close contacts immediately upon the notification of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case, further working in conjunction with the national health service and onsite doctor for follow-up medical assistance, isolation, and quarantine.
  • Staff will coordinate with local health-care partners, the International Institute, faculty, staff, and housing providers to assist in contact tracing.
  • For this reason, students will need to use a working cell phone which can readily receive local calls 24/7.
  • Students must provide the phone number to Syracuse Madrid staff at the beginning of the semester through the Syracuse Madrid Guide app.

Revised Health, Safety, and Other Policies

  • Independent and program travel outside of Spain will not be allowed.
  • Pre-arrival orientation will begin digitally and prior to student arrivals.
  • On-site welcome sessions will allow for smaller groups and social distancing.
  • Sign-ups for off-site activities will be digitalized and maximum capacity for buses and groups will be reduced.