COVID-19 FAQs for Wellesley College

DIS Abroad - COVID-19 FAQs for Wellesley College

DIS and Wellesley College are carefully monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Denmark and have compiled responses to frequently asked questions below.

What is life in Copenhagen like right now? Are universities re-opening? Restaurants? Clubs and activities?

Denmark has been able to re-open most of society due to their early and austere response to COVID-19 in the spring. Due to Danish people’s overall high trust in government, the country benefited from a high level of compliance with government-imposed restrictions and guidelines enacted to limit the spread of the virus in Denmark and Europe.

Please read more about Scandinavia’s response to COVID-19 here.

Today in Copenhagen, universities and schools are open, and most people who worked from home during the spring/summer are back in their workplaces – including at DIS! Businesses including restaurants and shops are also open, but with somewhat reduced capacities, additional cleaning protocols, and some new regulations, e.g. limited entry and opening hours at bars.

Mask-wearing has recently become commonplace in Denmark; masks are required on public transportation at all times, but are not currently required in grocery stores, etc. As in the States, some Danes wear a mask at all times in public, while others wear them only when required. Events and activities are happening, with the exception of large gatherings; local students – including at our Kollegiums – are getting together for yoga classes and happy hours, flea markets and soccer in the parks.

Certain events, gatherings, or activities may be on hold during your semester, but we think you’ll find life in Copenhagen looking similar to a typical semester. You can count on more details, resources, and recommendations for connecting with local community groups, teams, and clubs, after your arrival in Denmark.

For local news coverage of COVID-19 in Copenhagen, check out these English language news sites:

The Local

The Copenhagen Post

How do I prepare for travel during COVID-19?

Review information from DIS on preparing for your health abroad. Consult your healthcare providers to ensure you can bring all the medication you’ll need and address any general or COVID-19-related health concerns.

If you have underlying health conditions that might put you at higher risk for infection or serious complications should you be infected by COVID-19, talk with your doctor to decide if travel is advisable at this time and, if it is, how to manage your health abroad.

Be sure you are up to date on all routine vaccines including the seasonal flu shot.

If you have any questions about health support or accommodations available in Denmark, please reach out to health.accommodation@dis.dk.

Will I need a COVID-19 test before arriving in Denmark?

Yes, Wellesley and DIS recommend you get a test before you depart for Denmark. Currently, the Danish government does not require a negative COVID-19 test for students traveling from the U.S. to enter the country, but that may change. In addition, your airline might require a negative test result (please check directly with your airline).

Wellesley and DIS strongly recommend that you make a plan now to take your COVID-19 test in the days immediately preceding your flight to Denmark. Plan to take a test as close to departure day as possible that will still allow you to receive your results prior to departure. In some cases it will take a few hours to receive test results, and in others it may be closer to 5-7 days.

Testing access ranges by state and may be difficult to obtain for those who are not symptomatic or haven’t had a known exposure. Further, insurance coverage may exclude coverage for testing, so be sure you understand the potential costs.

See more about COVID-19 testing in the U.S. here. If you are not departing from the U.S., please check with your local health provider for information on receiving a test. Remember that a COVID-19 test is only a snapshot in time, thus, it is important that you limit any exposure in the days between your test and your flight. Please plan now to be extra cautious in the days leading up to travel by arranging travel, work, and social plans accordingly.

Will American students be able to enter Denmark under the existing EU travel policy?

Yes. The current travel policy allows students to enter for the purpose of study. Wellesley and DIS will facilitate this process for both U.S. and non-U.S. citizens. It is important to note that, in order to enter Denmark, all students need a passport valid through at least late June 2021.

Please find more information about applying for a new passport and renewing an existing passport on the U.S. Department of State website (note the announcement at the top of the page regarding the phased reopening of passport centers following COVID-19).

Travelers with a fever, dry cough, or other COVID-19 symptoms will be denied boarding at their point of departure and any connection site. If symptoms develop en route, passengers will be denied entrance to Denmark.

American tourists are not currently allowed to enter Denmark (and most other European countries) so do not plan to have family or friends visit you while abroad.

Will I need to quarantine or be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival in Denmark?

Yes. Testing is widely available, including at the Copenhagen airport, and results are currently provided within 72 hours. Thus, each student will be tested upon arrival and will self-quarantine until this period is over or a negative test result is received. DIS will provide housing and support during self-isolation. COVID-19 testing in Denmark will be at no additional cost to students, and students do not need to arrive early to complete their self-quarantine.

What is advised in regards to arranging travel to Denmark?

Wellesley OIS will work with students on flight bookings and will book direct flights wherever possible for flights that arrive between 7:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. local Copenhagen time on Arrival Day, November 1, 2020.

Return flights will be booked for your departure day, December 18, 2020. Housing must be vacated by 12pm.

What if I am delayed for COVID-19 reasons?

If you are forced to delay your arrival in Denmark due to illness, a positive COVID-19 test, flight cancelations etc., please contact DIS as soon as possible. In the days before your departure for Copenhagen, we’ll send you our 24-7 emergency contact information; in the meantime, reach out to us at flp@dis.dk.

Students delayed due to COVID-19 who are not able to start classes with the rest of your cohort will be able to participate remotely and will be asked to keep up with work/meet deadlines as you are able. Late arrivals will be accommodated to the extent possible, so please get in touch so that we can support you.

Will classes occur in person?

Yes. Universities in Denmark opened for the fall semester in August. DIS and Wellesley are planning for all courses to be in person with the necessary social distancing and sanitation protocols in place.

However, all classes are ready to move to an online/distance format without students losing their credit should that be necessary as a result of local public health guidance, exposure requiring self-isolation, quarantine requirements, or COVID-19 illness.

Can I travel outside of Denmark?

No. DIS and Wellesley have decided together that travel outside of Denmark is not allowed during your fall in Copenhagen, as travel is known to contribute to spreading the virus and increasing exposure risk for you, other students, and your host community. Please use your time abroad to connect with your local community and immerse yourself in your new home city.

Why? Today, as a result of the ban on U.S. tourists in the E.U., most students won’t be able to travel to other European countries anyway. Even if the E.U. travel ban for U.S. citizens is lifted, DIS and Wellesley do not plan to change our policy against travel outside of Denmark, because individual countries throughout Europe also have border policies changing frequently about which nationalities can/cannot enter, and who needs to quarantine upon arrival. The DIS/Wellesley policy against travel outside of Denmark will prevent you from getting stuck elsewhere in Europe where DIS would be unable to support you through a quarantine or illness, and will avoid any need to quarantine in Denmark as a result of European travel.

DIS and Wellesley do not support international travel before or after your time at DIS. Should the COVID-19 situation and European travel regulations change during your semester and you choose to travel after your DIS semester, you do so without the support of DIS/Wellesley.

What will be required of me to be successful in Denmark during COVID-19?

Flexibility: As in the United States, conditions and recommendations are constantly changing as the public health community and leaders learn more about COVID-19. Wellesley and DIS will need to make adjustments – possibly with little to no warning – to recommended protocols, class schedules, field study or study tour destinations, etc. Please prepare to be flexible and understand that at some point in the semester, you may need to stay home for a period of time as a result of illness, exposure, or a community lockdown. DIS and Wellesley are prepared to support you through any of these scenarios.

Respect: You will find Denmark’s approach to COVID-19 is different from those in the U.S. Take the opportunity to learn and ask questions while remembering to approach your local community with grace and respect. Follow local guidance.

Compliance: Any measures implemented to protect you and the community from COVID-19 are only effective if they are followed by everyone. Laws and guidelines regarding social distancing and other practices may differ from those you have become accustomed to at home and may be updated at any time. While acknowledging that rules and precautions may or may not be effective in mitigating the spread of COVID-19, Wellesley and DIS will require all students to comply with all local guidance including from DIS, which may include monitoring temperatures, hand washing, hand sanitizing, social distancing, wearing a mask, and cooperation with recommended COVID-19 testing and contract tracing processes. Failure to comply with these rules and precautions is a violation of the DIS Code of Student Responsibility and could result in expulsion from DIS – but more importantly, we ask students to comply for the benefit of the community, even when no one is watching.

What if I test positive for COVID-19?

DIS will support students in receiving all necessary testing and medical care, which is reimbursed through DIS insurance per our policy details. Sick or potentially sick students will be isolated and supported through their quarantine period, and facilities will be sanitized per local public health standards.

Any student who has been potentially exposed, or who tests positive, will be supported through the necessary testing, treatment, and self-quarantine protocols, including continuation of coursework from a distance.