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COVID-19 update regarding the 2021 ‘Egyptology in the Field’ programme

In accordance with the present travel advice issued by Leiden University and KU Leuven concerning student mobility abroad, it is highly unlikely that the ‘Egyptology in the Field’ programme will be able to take place as normal in Egypt during the 2020-2021 academic year

Leiden University stipulates that students may not travel abroad for study-related activities until, at this stage, 1 February 2021. Exceptions may be requested on an individual basis, but only to areas that are classified as green or yellow according to Dutch governmental travel advice. At present Egypt is colour-coded as orange, and thus not susceptible for exceptions. KU Leuven only allows students and staff to travel within the EEA and to Switzerland as of 1 July 2020. Exceptions can be requested for areas outside of the EEA, but not for countries that are on the red list, on which Egypt at the moment is.

While this travel advice may change at any given time over the next few months, it is currently impossible to foresee whether and how an extended educational stay in Egypt will be an option by January-February 2021. Moreover, an important aspect of the programme involves visits of archaeological institutions and missions in the field, many of which have suspended their activities for the present, making it unlikely that this activity can proceed normally. We are therefore developing an alternative, yet academically equally valuable programme to take place in Europe, focusing on collections and institutions in Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium, taking into account the issues of mobility that exist even within the European Union. We recognize and regret that this cannot fully replace an actual stay in Egypt, but the health and safety of our students and staff take priority.

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