Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts, is ordering its students studying abroad in Italy to return home due to fears over the spread of coronavirus in the nation.
“At this moment, there are no cases of coronavirus infection at any of our academic campuses around the world, including in Italy,” reads an email to students studying and interning in Italy, according to a report by NewsCenter 5, which obtained the email.
The email, which asks students in Italy to leave the country and return home within 48 hours, was sent to students and parents on Tuesday — the same day that the Italian civil projection agency reported the number of confirmed coronavirus cases at 322, which have resulted in 11 deaths, making Italy the country with the highest number of coronavirus cases in Europe.
Stonehill College advised students to organize their own travel arrangements but says that it will work with a vendor to support students abroad who are struggling to find a flight home within 48 hours.
Delta Airlines recently announced that it will waive travel change fees for Italy and South Korea due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“In light of updated CDC guidance, Delta has expanded its travel waiver to include Seoul, South Korea, through April 30,” said Delta on Tuesday.
“The health and safety of customers and employees is Delta’s top priority and the airline has put in place a number of processes and mitigation strategies to respond to the growing coronavirus concern,” the airline added.
Depending on the airport, students returning to the United States may be asked to disclose that they are arriving from a country that has suffered multiple cases of the coronavirus, and that staff from the CDC may ask them to receive additional medical screenings, according to NewsCenter 5.
The report added that Stonehill College is asking its students to follow the CDC’s recommended self-imposed quarantine by staying away from campus for at least two weeks after they return home.
The college also assured students that it will work with them to ensure they complete their schoolwork in order to earn their credits for the semester.