Statement on COVID-19

May 11, 2021

Overview of the Situation in Greece

            As of May 10, 2021, just under 1.2 million people in Greece have received a second vaccination shot, and the rolling average number of new COVID cases remains very high. Nevertheless, a nationwide lockdown that has been in force since early November is now being dismantled, with archaeological sites, restaurants and cafes already open; museums scheduled to begin operating on Friday, May 14; and travel between regions set to resume as of Saturday, May 15.

            Currently, citizens and permanent residents of the EU, US, UK, and several other countries may enter Greece freely and without any quarantine requirements so long as they (i) provide proof of either completed vaccination or a negative PCR test result for COVID and (ii) submit a Passenger Locator Form in advance of their departure. Canadian citizens are not currently permitted to enter Greece without an EU/Schengen Area residence permit or visa, or travel authorization from the Greek embassy to Canada declaring the travel to be essential. Please contact Eric Driscoll (assist.director@ascsa.edu.gr) if you require advice on the legalities of traveling to Greece at the moment, after first consulting the Athens International Airport's useful FAQ and travel.gov.gr for the latest available information.

            Finally, those in Greece should expect to be tested or self-tested for COVID periodically; in particular, negative tests will likely be required for travel between regions within Greece.

           

Current Status of the ASCSA

            The ASCSA remains closed to the public in conformity with the government’s orders closing libraries and archives. When free movement resumes on May 15, we plan to allow members (only) to access the School, subject to the policies below.

            The renovation of Loring Hall is nearly complete, and rooms should be ready for occupancy in mid-June. Please contact Niamh Michalopoulou (niamhmichalopoulou@ascsa.edu.gr) with any questions about Loring Hall.

            Members or other researchers interested in the status of specific departments or resources of the School—the Agora or Corinth excavations, Archives, the libraries, or the Wiener Lab—should consult the relevant staff of that department.

            The academic program for 2021-22 is expected to proceed as normal with COVID precautions in line with government policy throughout the year.

 

COVID-19 Measures and Policies

            In principle all new members of the ASCSA are required to be fully vaccinated before accessing the School’s facilities. “Fully vaccinated” means that at least two weeks have elapsed since the final required vaccine shot. Members and prospective members who are unable to meet this requirement should contact Eric Driscoll (assist.director@ascsa.edu.gr); in most cases one week of isolation followed by a negative COVID test result will be required before accessing the School.

            Members are required to follow the government’s directives and public health recommendations. In particular, the government’s policy calls for masks to be worn at all times in public, both inside and out, except while seated at a restaurant. Masks must therefore be worn at all times while in the School, including in the library stacks. Members should continue to observe social distancing regulations, and avoid crowding at tables during lunch even outside.

            The School distributed bottles of hand sanitizer through the facilities; members should routinely wash and disinfect their hands while in the facilities. The guards will continue to measure the temperature of everyone entering the grounds using a non-contact thermometer.

            All members are strongly encouraged to take COVID self-tests routinely (e.g., on a weekly basis). These tests are available for 7-10 euros at any pharmacy.

            If any member should test positive for COVID, they should immediately alert the Director and/or Assistant Director by email, and contact Dr. Nick Michalopoulos at 694 55 82 274 for further instructions.

March 25, 2020

In light of the rapidly evolving situation precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens has made the difficult decision to postpone until summer 2021 the Summer Session, Summer Seminars, and Wiener Lab Field School planned for summer 2020.

March 9, 2020

We face the spread of COVID-19 around the world at the same time as many of us are planning air travel for the summer. The potential extent and speed of the spread of the virus is unknown. We cannot rule out problems lasting well into the summer. At present, the disease is not treatable; however, it also seems - like common influenzas - to affect the elderly and others with lessened immune systems more than those who are otherwise healthy. Health Department websites for various countries are good sources for advice on avoiding contracting and spreading the virus (see links below). 

At present, many airlines that have had to cancel flights to affected areas have been waiving change fees and offering credit on future flights. Many hotels are likewise being very supportive. We understand, however, that only the most comprehensive travel insurance policies are likely to cover costs stemming from epidemic- or pandemic-related cancellations. Be sure to read any policy very carefully before purchasing. 

At present, the ASCSA does not plan to cancel or reschedule any summer programming. As we are doing currently, the ASCSA will follow all recommendations and requirements put into place by the Greek authorities. At present, we recommend that people either delay purchases for summer air travel or be very aware of terms regarding refunds, rebookings, or cancellations. Trip cancellation insurance should be carefully considered. 

In the event that we are required to cancel programs, either due to requirements from the Greek government or due to airline travel restrictions, all fees will be refunded. If programs go ahead, but a participant's college or university, other place of employment, or country of origin has imposed travel restrictions, the School will refund all fees. Other reasons for individual cancellations and refunds will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

 

Travel and Health advisories:
Link to WHO
Link to CDC
Link to European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
Link to Greek Ministry of Health