Covid-19 Plans: Strasbourg

Syracuse Abroad is unable to accommodate Covid-19 Vaccination and/or booster Exemptions. All students studying with our programs must be fully vaccinated, and, if eligible, must also receive a booster dose and provide proof of inoculation prior to a published deadline for each program. In general, international governments have constraints on those unvaccinated such that robust participation in a study abroad program is not possible. The experience would be so compromised as to not meet the high standards of a Syracuse Abroad experience. Students with questions about this should reach out to their International Program Advisor.

Covid-19 plans updated August 2021.

The Syracuse Strasbourg Center adheres to French government guidelines as established by the following government agencies:

The Syracuse Strasbourg Center also works with Syracuse University main campus to establish best practices.

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


Center Cleaning/Sanitation/PPE

Daily cleaning

  • Daily cleaning and disinfection of the Syracuse Strasbourg Center by a professional cleaning company in accordance with French sanitation guidelines.
  • Covered trash bins with foot pedal (doubled-bagged) in every room; garbage emptied at least once a day.

Air filtration and air renewal

Syracuse Strasbourg Center maintains a daily aeration schedule.

  • Class schedule allows for air renewal between classes, for at least 10 minutes. Restrooms are aired out a minimum of 3 times a day.
  • HEPA filter air purifiers installed in the student lounge and other high-traffic areas.

Sanitizing

  • Hand sanitizer provided at the entrance and at strategic points throughout the building.
  • Sanitizer wipes available in classrooms, restrooms, library, computer lab, and eating areas.  Everyone is required to sanitize their seating area and/or work space before and after each use.

Masks

Students are responsible for providing their own masks and following guidelines for mask-wearing in public and at the Syracuse Strasbourg Center.

  • Students should have an adequate supply of masks  that are approved for daily use in France. This includes disposable surgical masks and category 1 cloth masks. Students can easily procure additional masks when they arrive in France (available in almost all shops).
  • If a student should develop symptoms or fever, the student will need to wear a surgical mask.  Students may purchase these in any pharmacy in Strasbourg.
  • Masks are required in all areas of the Syracuse Strasbourg Center and on all program sponsored activities/travel, with the exception of established student-dining areas while students are eating.
  • Syracuse Strasbourg staff will have disposable masks available in case an emergency replacement is needed.

NOTE: Bandanas, scarfs and neck gaiters are not appropriate face coverings in France. Face shields are not an accepted substitute for a mask.


Social Distancing

  • Masks are required in all areas of the Syracuse Strasbourg Center, with the exception of established student-dining areas while students are eating.
  • Classrooms will be adjusted to allow for proper social distancing including reduced seating capacity and additional space between tables in classrooms and common areas.
  • The class schedule has been modified to allow for extra time between classes.
  • Individual tables, one student per table, in student dining areas.

Field Trips

  • Students and accompanying staff will wear masks at all times during site visits, study tours, and program travel.
  • Student hotel room occupancy will be minimized according to availability.
  • During group meals, seating will be limited as per current French government guidelines.

Policies Regarding Student Behavior

  • The Syracuse Strasbourg Students will agree to and sign the Syracuse Strasbourg Student Covid-19 Pledge.
  • The Syracuse Strasbourg Students will adhere to French (national and local) social distancing and Covid-19 safety policies. The Syracuse Strasbourg Center will communicate these safety policies and will keep students up to date on any developments.
  • Students are limited to travel within an established geographic perimeter, which will be determined according to government safety advisories. The perimeter may change over the course of the semester. It is the student’s responsibility to remain informed and check with the Syracuse Strasbourg Center Staff before leaving Strasbourg.
  • Students are required to avoid travel to high-risk areas as established by French and European governments e.g. “Alerte Maximale” in France, etc.
  • Students should alert the Syracuse Strasbourg Staff to any health concerns:
    • If they feel ill
    • If they develop symptoms of Covid-19
    • If they are identified as a contact case

Housing

  • Students will be housed in private rooms in host families in Strasbourg and the surrounding areas.
  • Host families will be fully vaccinated prior to student arrival. This includes all family members living in the home full-time who are eligible to receive the vaccine in France.
  • Host families will receive and agree to Covid-19 policies, including how to proceed in the event of a contact case or a positive Covid-19 test within the household.
  • Students are responsible for cleaning and airing out their rooms (daily) in their host family’s home.
  • Students will remain in their host families if they are identified as a contact case and will follow French government regulations regarding quarantine protocols.
  • Students will remain in their host family’s home if they test positive for Covid-19 and will follow French government regulations regarding isolation protocols.
  • If a member of the host family tests positive for Covid-19, the entire household will follow French government health guidelines.

Arrival and Entry Requirements

French government and/or airlines COVID policies are subject to frequent changes. 

Students must regularly check the French government websites as well airline regulations for guidance on testing and quarantining protocols. Quarantine rules change often and must be respected.

  • Government entry requirements and quarantine policies can change quickly, and you must verify with both the airline and French government websites before traveling.
  • Be sure to check with your airline for complete testing policies.

As of August 6, 2021, two main factors impact the travel to France:

  • Vaccination status
  • Departure country
    • France has established a color-coded classification system where countries are designated as Green, Orange (‘amber’) or Red. Travel requirements are determined by the country’s assigned color.

The color-coded map and complete information can be found here.

As of August 6, 2021:

  • France has identified the United States as a ‘Green’ country.
  • For travelers from Green countries:
    • Fully vaccinated*:  can travel freely to France
    • Non-vaccinated: travelers must provide a negative Antigen or PCR result (see the website for details).
  • Countries that are classified as ORANGE or RED must adhere to testing and quarantine policies as outlined by the French Ministry of the Interior (see above website)

*Country classifications are subject to change. 

  • 7 days of self-isolation for un-vaccinated* people coming into France from an Orange country
  • 10 days of quarantine, under supervision of authorities, for un-vaccinated* people coming into France from a Red country.

*See section on Vaccination for full details on proof of vaccination, accepted vaccines, and vaccine requirements.


Vaccination

Individuals must provide proof of vaccination.

  • Only vaccines authorized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) (Pfizer (Comirnaty), Moderna, AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria), Johnson & Johnson (Janssen)), or AstraZeneca (Covishield) will be accepted.

An individual is considered fully vaccinated:

  • Seven days after the second shot for two-shot vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca (Vaxevria and Covishield));
  • Four weeks after the shot for one-shot vaccines (Johnson & Johnson);
  • Seven days after the shot for vaccines administered to people who have already had COVID-19 (only one dose is necessary). Find source here.

French Health Pass

As of August 2021, you must present a health pass to access most indoor activities and events bringing together more than 50 people.

The pass is required to access cultural venues, restaurants/bars, certain shopping centers, hospitals (except if you are admitted for urgent care), and for long-distance travel by plane, train or long-distance buses. Hotels and other tourist accommodations may require the pass upon arrival. This list may be extended as necessary.

The pass must prove one of the three following items:

  • You are fully vaccinated with an EMA-approved vaccine
  • You have been tested (PCR or antigen) with a negative result (typically within the last 48hrs);
  • You have recovered from COVID-19, attested by a positive PCR or antigen test result, at least 15 days and no more than 6 months old.

Passes can be digital (on the TousAntiCovid app) or in paper form (proof of vaccination or test result).

The French authorities are working on solutions to how international paper vaccine certificates will be accepted in France.  More information will be provided at orientation.


Medical Care

Strasbourg is home to the largest University hospital in Eastern France and has five hospitals in the city (public and private). Access to medical care is readily available in Strasbourg. Students have access to all French public hospitals where there is a dedicated space for Covid-19 patients.

  • All members of the Syracuse Strasbourg community will keep the Syracuse Strasbourg staff apprised of any health issues, so staff may support them in accessing medical care.
  • The Syracuse Strasbourg Center will have a dedicated Covid-19 Case Manager among its staff. The Covid-19 Case Manager will coordinate and liaise with local medical professionals.  The Case Manager is not a healthcare professional but will provide contract tracing and continued support within the Syracuse Strasbourg community.
  • Students may contact the Syracuse Strasbourg center staff for help making doctor’s/laboratory appointments and/or to accompany them on medical visits (when possible).
  • Virtual consultations and in-person appointments with general practitioners are readily available with little wait time. Web-based platforms and apps such as “Doctolib” allow students to book medical appointments with ease.
  • Same day house-calls are also available in Strasbourg and most other French cities (through services such as SOS Médecins).
  • Syracuse Strasbourg works directly with a local doctor’s office to facilitate appointments for students. Students are of course free to use any local health care provider should they need to seek medical attention.
  • Students with Covid-19 symptoms or who have been identified as contact cases will be able to make a priority appointment for PCR test. Two laboratories are within walking-distance from the Syracuse Center, and there are at least 25 testing sites in the greater Strasbourg area.
  • Students, faculty/staff, and host families will receive clear protocols for actions to take for suspected and/or confirmed Covid-19 cases. This document is continuously updated to reflect both French Government health requirements and Syracuse University best practices.
  • France provides a Covid-19 Hotline (0 800 130 000) available 24/7 for all Covid-19 related questions (French only).
  • Please note: if a student is experiencing extreme respiratory distress or any medical emergency, they should call emergency medical services by dialing 15 or 112 (France and Europe’s equivalents of 911) immediately.

NOTE: Students may be required to pay up-front costs for medical care abroad (e.g. doctor’s visits, laboratory tests, medical transportation and hospital visits). All students are required to have medical insurance and may submit receipts for reimbursement to their insurance provider.


Quarantine

Arrival in France

As of August 6, 2021, the French government requires a quarantine for non-vaccinated* persons traveling from countries designated as ‘orange’ or ‘red’.

  • 7 days of self-isolation for un-vaccinated* people coming into France from an Orange country
  • 10 days of quarantine, under supervision of authorities, for un-vaccinated* people coming into France from a Red country.

*See section on Vaccination for full details on proof of vaccination, accepted vaccines, and vaccine requirements.

Entry regulations and quarantine requirements are subject to change.

Contact Case

Individuals may be required to quarantine according to French government health guidelines when identified as à COVID-19 Contact Case. Rules for quarantining may depend on whether or not the person is fully vaccinated.

If quarantine is required during the semester:

  • The Syracuse Strasbourg Center Case Manager will help students coordinate their quarantine at their host family’s home; if for some reason this is not possible, the Syracuse Strasbourg Center will make other arrangements.
  • Meal plan arrangements may be modified to facilitate quarantine needs.
  • PCR test(s) at a medical laboratory will be necessary

If a student tests positive, they will work closely with the Syracuse Strasbourg Center Case Manager to coordinate their isolation period.


Isolation

Students may be required to observe an isolation period according to French government health guidelines if they present with Covid-19 symptoms and/or have positive test results.

In case of illness and/or positive test results for Covid-19 (Student and/or Host Family member):

  • The Syracuse Strasbourg Center Case Manager will help students to coordinate their isolation at their host family’s home; if for some reason this is not possible, the Syracuse Strasbourg Center will make other arrangements.
  • Meal plan arrangements may be modified to facilitate isolation needs.
  • Students will contact the Strasbourg Case Manager for help making appointments and/or to accompany them on medical visits (when possible).

On-Site Testing

  • Surveillance testing may be required throughout the semester. The exact schedule will be determined in conjunction with Syracuse Abroad and Syracuse University main campus medical specialists.
  • Students with Covid-19 symptoms or who have been identified as contact cases will be able to make an appointment for PCR test.
  • PCR nasopharyngeal swab tests are available in France without a doctor’s prescription.
  • Students will likely be responsible for upfront costs of testing.  Receipts may be submitted to insurance for reimbursement depending on coverage.

Contact Tracing

  • French health agencies (Agence Régionale de Santé and Sécurité Sociale) may also be in contact with students if they are identified as a contact case or test positive for Covid-19.
  • A Syracuse Strasbourg Center staff member, trained in Covid-19 tracing, will be responsible for contact tracing within the Syracuse Strasbourg community.
  • Students will be asked to download and use the French Government contact-tracing app on their phone.

Revised Health, Safety, and Other Policies

  • Syracuse Strasbourg Center Covid Pledge.