In the context of the evolving situation surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus, Members of CERN personnel, notably supervisors and services will find answers below to frequently asked HSE- and HR-related questions around the following themes: health and safety (with various sub-categories), telework, travel and leave, contracts, infrastructure, and other topics.
Health and Safety
Presence on the site and provision of protective equipment
COVID-19-related Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as surgical masks, face shields and gloves, are distributed by a designated person(s) or service(s) appointed for each department or large LHC experiment. Your supervisor, DSO/LEXGLIMOS or secretariat will inform you of the relevant distribution point before you enter/come back to the site.
In the case of contractors’ personnel, the distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is the responsibility of their employer.
Whatever your status, you can obtain a type I surgical mask from the guards on duty when you come back to the site or enter it for the first time.
As with all safety rules and instructions, the responsibility for monitoring compliance with the COVID-19 measures lies with hierarchical supervisors and safety delegates, including those who are responsible for supervising work, where applicable. Contractors have a duty to ensure that their personnel comply with the COVID-19 measures, but CERN must check that they effectively do so. Finally, everyone must actively contribute to their own safety and that of others.
The Director-General and the Head of the HSE Unit have laid down instructions on COVID-19-related health and safety measures, which can be found here.
They will be updated as needed, to take account of the evolution of the pandemic and of scientific and regulatory developments related to COVID-19.
In accordance with these instructions, you will have to observe a number of health and safety measures and, depending on your work, follow specific work procedures and additional protection measures.
A guide to ensuring a safe return to the site can be found here.
Masks limit the spread of aerosols and droplets that could reach people in your immediate vicinity or be deposited on surfaces and equipment around you. They also protect you from breathing in aerosols carrying the virus that are already present in the atmosphere.
The masks that are authorised at CERN are type 1 surgical masks compliant with standard EN14683 or better.
Anti-dust masks with equivalent or higher levels of filtration (FFP2, FFP3) must be worn if a risk analysis shows that this is necessary. However, they must not be of the valved type as valves do not filter the air that is breathed out by the person wearing the mask and can therefore promote the spread of aerosols.
Washable cloth masks are not authorised.
Yes. The necessary steps are taken to make sure that everyone has the masks they need when they are present on the site.
No. Masks with a valve do not prevent the spread of potentially contaminated aerosols. It is essential to use FFP2 or FFP3 masks without a valve. However, please note that the CERN stores stock FFP3 masks (3M AURA 1883+) with a valve that is covered by material. These masks may be used.
No, if you are alone in your office, you are not required to wear a mask. However, don’t forget to ventilate your office regularly.
Wearing a mask is mandatory unless an assessment, carried out in agreement with your supervisor and with the advice of your DSO / Lexglimos, concludes that this is not the case. However, this may mean that compensatory safety measures (screens, physical distancing, etc.) must be implemented.
No. You must wear a mask from the moment you enter a building until you reach your destination, and vice versa when you leave the building. You must wear a mask at all times when moving around buildings and outside when you are closer than 2 metres to other people.
The mask can be reused if you remove it correctly and wash your hands or hold it by the elastic bands without touching anything else, but if you remove it and it touches a surface that might not be clean, you must throw it away and replace it. In your office, you can hang your mask up by its elastic bands.
You must wash your hands before handling the mask. You must not touch the filtering part of the mask. The mask must be handled only by the elastic bands. An explanatory video can be found in the CERN e-learning course material.
Please see the e-learning course. For reasons of hygiene and effectiveness, it is recommended that you change your type 1 surgical mask at least every 4 hours.
In the absence of scientific data or manufacturer’s instructions, reuse is forbidden. Surgical masks must not be washed as this reduces their filtration capacity.
Other protective products and equipment
Each department/large experiment is responsible for distributing COVID-19 PPE/products to their personnel. Please contact the designated person in your group/department if you need anything.
No, disposable gloves are not recommended. Gloves give a false sense of security as they can be contaminated by droplets, and studies show that people wearing gloves touch more objects and touch their face more often. Wearing gloves may be advisable if you have cuts (plasters should be worn to protect them) or other skin conditions on your hands.
Wearing gloves may also be recommended, following an assessment, for the use of shared tools or equipment that cannot be cleaned/disinfected using the means available today.
It is sensible to wash/disinfect your hands before putting gloves on. This is mandatory in the case of shared gloves.
Before washing gloves, please check the instructions of the supplier/manufacturer for any special instructions or contact your DSO/LEXGLIMOS to assess your situation.
Face shields protect you from receiving droplets on the face and in the eyes. They should be worn when you are less than 1.5 metres from another person for more than 15 minutes (per working day) or when the conditions so require (for example, personnel who are in constant or very regular contact with other people, and where protective screens cannot be installed). Face shields supplement masks and must not be worn in place of them.
No, a face shield is individual by definition and cannot be shared.
No. The use of disposable overalls does not protect against the risk of COVID-19. However, disposable overalls may be worn for other reasons (food hygiene, chemicals, etc.).
Yes, this type of tool can be used in addition to other protective measures. The tool limits direct contact between the hands and objects such as door handles and buttons. However, it must be disinfected very regularly.
The use of separation panels/screens is not permitted, except where, for operational reasons and following a risk analysis, additional protection against splashes/spray needs to be installed. The use of smooth materials that are washable and, if possible, translucent, corresponding to CERN’s standards, is recommended. The installation of panels/screens is not a substitute for wearing a mask.
In reaching a decision to deploy the Proximeter, the Enlarged Directorate (ED) consulted the Medical Service, the Legal Service, the Computer Security team, the Office of Data Privacy and the Staff Association. The ED concluded that the Proximeter enables the Organization to better protect the collective health of our community whilst minimising the invasion of privacy. The ED also decided that the introduction of the Proximeter will be for a limited time only: it is an exceptional measure for an exceptional situation.
The Proximeter must be worn by everyone working on the CERN site. Exceptions are made for short visits and emergency interventions by contractors’ personnel, as well as for users of the CERN hostel and the parents of children attending the Jardin des Particules if such people are not members of the personnel.
Yes, you need to wear your Proximeter at all times when you are at CERN. The only exception is if you are staying in the CERN hostel and are in your room.
You can book an appointment to collect a Proximeter here: http://www.cern.ch/proximeter-dist. Please arrange to collect it on the day of your arrival or as soon as possible thereafter.
You will not be refused entry to the site, but if you are able to return home to collect it you should do so. Remember that the Proximeter is there to protect others as well as you.
Your Proximeter will vibrate as a warning whenever you are within 2 metres of another Proximeter for at least 30 seconds. If possible, you should move away and keep a safe distance. If this is impossible, please continue to observe the other protective measures.
You don’t need to do anything. Your Proximeter may occasionally detect another Proximeter in a nearby room. Don’t worry if this happens. The Medical Service always follows up potential cases of close contact.
The Proximeter transmits the time and duration of encounters to a database, along with its own identification number and that of the other Proximeter with which it has been in close contact. It does not know its own position, so cannot transmit this information. All data is transmitted in encrypted form.
Yes. You can consult the data transmitted by your Proximeter at this link: http://www.cern.ch/proximeter. This page also contains operating instructions. Please note that this page can be accessed only from within the CERN network.
The CERN Computer Security Team has carried out an independent review of all the codes and architecture that enable the Proximeter to operate. The ED is confident that the mechanisms described in the Data Privacy Impact Assessment (EDMS 2419005) give the highest assurance that the system is adequately protected from malicious access.
The data is stored in a database for 14 days. It can be consulted only in the event of a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19. Only the Medical Service is allowed to consult the data and link it to the individuals concerned.
See also the question: “If the Medical Service interviews me about close contacts anyway, why do I need a Proximeter?”
The Proximeter allows the Medical Service to know the precise time and duration of any encounters you have had while at CERN during the four days preceding a positive COVID-19 test. It supplements the TRAMED declaration form (https://cern.ch/tramed) by helping to provide the most precise information possible. It gives the best possible guarantee that all potential close contacts are detected and the chain of transmission is broken.
You should report any issue with your Proximeter to the Service Desk via this link. They will tell you what to do.
Go to the CERN Service Portal if you have any questions about the Proximeter: https://cern.service-now.com/service-portal?id=functional_element&name=proximeter-services
Please ensure that you use the charger and charging cable supplied with the device, and that you charge the device from the mains. A single charge should last for 24 hours. If the charge keeps failing, please report it to the Service Desk via this link.
You can check by logging into the Proximeter portal application: http://www.cern.ch/proximeter. The device number assigned to you will be shown under “MY DATA”. This number should match the number on the back of your Proximeter, underneath the clip. Please note this is only possible when you are connected to the CERN network
The Proximeter works even if it is not connected to the LoRa Network, and registers all contacts closer than 2 metres for longer than 30 seconds. The Proximeter has enough memory to store contacts for 14 days. All contacts older than 14 days are deleted. The LoRa network is not generally available in the underground areas. Please keep your Proximeter turned on while you are there, however, as it will connect to the network once you return to the surface and the data will be transmitted at that point.
The Proximeter does not have any known adverse health effects. It uses ultra-wide band (UWB) radio technology based on the IEEE 802.15.41 and 802.15.4z standards. These technologies are commonly used in mobile telephones (Bluetooth), and in objects connected through the Internet of Things (IoT).
The Proximeter has been extensively tested, and is CE certified. In particular, it conforms to the following European directives:
2014/30 / EU EMC – Electromagnetic compatibility directive
2014/53 / EU RED – Radio equipment directive
2011/65 / UE RoHS – Restriction of hazardous substances directive
Cleaning and disinfection
Where possible, the products referenced as disinfectants in the CERN stores and that meet the EN 14476 standard should be used. Alternatively, ethanol (62-71 %) or diluted bleach (0.1 to 0.5 %) can be used. These products can be purchased from the CERN stores.
Exceptionally, a product referenced by the tool or equipment manufacturer can be used. If it is not available in the CERN stores it can be purchased directly from the supplier.
Disinfectants should be tested on a small surface first to ensure that they do not damage it. Follow the instructions for use and the precautions indicated on the bottle and use disposable paper or wipes for cleaning.
Hydroalcoholic gel must be used with care as it contains alcohol:
- alcohol is flammable, so the gel must be kept away from sources of heat
- excessive use of hydroalcoholic gel may cause dry skin
the use of hydroalcoholic gel at CERN by children (e.g. Jardin des Particules) must be supervised by an adult to make sure that it is not ingested or gets into the eyes.
The entire visor (including the inner side) must be cleaned. It is sufficient to wash it with soap and water. However, the cleaning method to be used depends on the product. Check the manufacturer's instructions, in particular for how long to leave the product on and the drying time.
This is not specific to the COVID-19 period but applies to each period when CERN is closed. For showers and sanitary facilities, as well as for the drinking water networks and fountains, maintenance work has been carried out since the site reopened.
Please use only single-use, disposable paper, wipes, etc.
Cleaning must be done at the start and at the end of the work/day or if you exchange your work station with another user. The requirements are therefore dependent on how your work is organised and are determined by an analysis of your activities and how they are carried out. Shared vehicles must be cleaned after each use.
After every use, clean everything that has been touched with the hands using a cloth and disinfectant. The cleaning method to be used depends on the product. Please read the manufacturer's instructions, in particular for how long to leave the product on and the drying time.
Bleach (solution 0.1 to 0.5%): apply the solution using a disposable cloth. Leave it on for at least 1 minute, then wipe with another cloth to remove any traces of bleach. Alcohol (62-71%): apply the solution using a disposable cloth. Leave it to evaporate.Ventilate the room during application. Wear personal protective equipment according to the instructions for use and the safety instructions.
Clean your hands and then clean the worktop and tools using disinfectant and a paper towel. Disinfectant is available from the CERN stores. Wipes can also be used. Please check that the cleaning product is compatible with the surface to be cleaned. Wash your hands when you have finished.
In addition to the normal cleaning of workshops, operators must disinfect equipment after each use, as well as the surfaces they have touched.
You should check that the product is compatible with the material by reading the instruction leaflet for the machine or device or contacting the manufacturer. The correct product to be used should be noted in the cleaning instructions and must be effective against COV-SARS-2 (COVID-19).
Equipment should be disconnected before being cleaned if possible. If it cannot be disconnected, it must be locked out in agreement with the person responsible for the equipment. If it is powered by batteries with a voltage exceeding 48 V, cleaning must be carried out according to the manufacturer's instructions and in agreement with the person responsible for the equipment. Common equipment (screens, laptops, telephones, etc.) does not fall into the category of industrial equipment and can be cleaned following the usual precautions.
It is usually sufficient to refer to the washing instructions on the label. For special cases, consult your DSO/LEXGLIMOS
Waste wipes / masks / tissues must be thrown into closed bins with a plastic liner, along with ordinary waste. In the case of offices where the bins have no lid, the occupants are requested to put this type of waste into a small individual plastic bag, close it up and then throw it into their office bin or in the bins that are provided at the entrances / exits of buildings.
The SCE department is in charge of their installation.
Please contact the relevant SCE service. Bins for COVID-19-related waste are available at the entrances to buildings and in busy areas. If you need an additional bin, please contact the designated person in your group/department who is responsible for ordering COVID-19-related equipment.
Auto testing programme
These tests are being done to detect people who are infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (responsible for COVID-19) but have no symptoms. The aim is to avoid the formation of clusters within teams.
“Pooling” is a test method where the laboratory mixes together saliva samples taken from several people and performs an RT-PCR analysis to detect the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
If the result is negative, everyone in the pool is deemed to have tested negative for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
If the result is positive, the laboratory goes back to the individual saliva samples in the pool and tests them all again, individually, to find the person or persons infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The saliva-based RT-PCR test has the same level of reliability as the nasopharyngeal RT-PCR swab test, i.e. approximately 98%.
The gargling solution is composed of sterilised water. It must not be replaced by another liquid as this could affect the results of the analysis. There is no need to worry if you accidentally swallow the solution.
No, the test is not compulsory and is done solely on a voluntary basis.
Yes, the self-tests are free for everyone working on the CERN site, irrespective of their insurance cover (CHIS, French or Swiss insurance, etc.).
Yes. For saliva-based RT-PCR tests, it is essential that you do not drink (including water), eat, smoke, chew gum or brush your teeth in the 45 minutes preceding the test.
These tests are done using the “pooling” method, which means that the laboratory mixes samples taken from several people and analyses them together. With this technique, the results can’t be used either for travel or for out-of-work activities requiring a negative SARS-CoV-2 test result.
What we know today is that the COVID-19 vaccine protects you from developing serious forms of the illness but does not prevent you from catching it. So even if you’ve been vaccinated, you might still catch the virus and could therefore pass it on.
When you’ve been vaccinated, you are more likely to contract an asymptomatic form of the illness, i.e. with light symptoms or none at all, so you are advised to carry on taking the saliva-based COVID-19 tests that CERN is offering.
The vaccination does not trigger positive test results. But it is possible that you were already infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus when you were vaccinated, in which case you will have a positive test result.
Before making an appointment, you must follow an e-learning course and confirm your voluntary participation. You will the be able to make an appointment directly on the PLAMED platform. You can register up to 3.00 p.m. on the day before the sample is taken. After 3.00 p.m. you will no longer be able to register for the next day and will have to choose another date.
No. Personal test kits are prepared and labelled with your name the day before the sample is taken.
You cannot have a test if you haven’t made an appointment.
No. This test is just for people who have no symptoms at all. If you are experiencing symptoms, even light ones, you must declare them on Tramed, and fill out a questionnaire. Depending on the answers you give, you will be told what to do, or someone from the COVID-19 helpline will be in touch.
Samples are not analysed if the pre-test questionnaire is missing or incomplete. The information provided in the questionnaire is essential, and samples cannot be analysed without it.
Similarly, a sample is not analysed if you state in the questionnaire that you:
- have been in close contact, during the last 14 days, with a person who has or is suspected of having COVID-19. Remember that “close contact” means being within 1.5 metres of someone without wearing a mask for more than 15 minutes;
- have experienced COVID-19 symptoms (cough, sore throat, breathlessness, muscle pain, loss of taste or smell) during the last 14 days. If this is the case, you must declare your symptoms using the Tramed tool (https://tramed.web.cern.ch/) without delay. You will be contacted by the COVID Helpline team, who will explain what you need to do, according to your situation;
have had something to eat or drink, rinsed your mouth or brushed your teeth in the 45 minutes before the test. In such cases, we invite you to come back, if possible, once the 45 minutes have elapsed; if this is not possible, you should send an e-mail to Covid19.HelpLine@cern.ch to cancel your appointment and schedule another one later in the week. In any event, there is no point in giving a sample if the 45-minute rule is not observed as it will not be analysed.
If your test result is positive you will need to follow the CERN rules in force for people who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, i.e. TRAMED declaration + self-isolation.
If you cannot make your appointment, you can cancel it directly on the PLAMED platform.
The ideal frequency is one test per week, but once every ten days or two weeks remains possible.
The results are sent to you directly via the e-mail address you entered upon registration, as well as to the Medical Service, which keeps them on file for two weeks.
If you test positive - and only in this case - your result will be sent to the CERN Medical Service and to the services of chief medical officer of the Canton of Geneva (Médecin Cantonal), and the standard procedure will be triggered (TRAMED declaration, contact-tracing, self-isolation etc.).
When these tests are performed, the personal data you provided are processed as detailed in the applicable privacy notice. In the pooling test campaign, the Medical Service sends your data to Proxilis for the test to be processed. Only positive test results can be sent to the cantonal medical services, in line with the rules in force in Switzerland. Under no circumstances will your data ever be sold or used for any other purpose.
Organisation of Work
Occasional telework requests must be submitted via EDH.
The various scenarios relating to telework/absences/on-site work can be found at this link: https://cds.cern.ch/record/2720608/files/ReturnToSite_HR_HSE_Recommendations.pdf and in the absence management table: https://admin-eguide.web.cern.ch/en/procedure/covid-19-absence-management.
Members of the personnel are entitled to use their own personal equipment, provided that they comply with the following computer security rules:
(section “when using your personal device”)
The member of the personnel and the supervisor must define the requirements precisely in order to find the optimum solutions. It should be noted that the Organization will not make any financial contribution towards the setting-up or maintenance of a telework station, which is the sole responsibility of the member of the personnel concerned, in accordance with Operational Circular No.7 (Rev.1) (“Telework”).
Internet and mobile phone providers are still operational in the local area. You can contact them to take out a mobile or internet subscription. We recommend that you remain in close contact with your supervisor to discuss the progress of your telework set-up and the type of work you can do remotely.
If you are not at CERN, you can access the online collections via CDS or any search engine (access to resources that require the CERN network is possible via the EZProxy service). A list of electronic resources available to the CERN community is available at this link.
The loan of printed books can be requested online via CDS, and they will be sent to you via internal mail as before. Books cannot be sent outside CERN. Please make good use of our e-books collection: https://cds.cern.ch/collection/eBooks
It is possible to obtain scans of chapters/articles from paper books/journals. Please contact the Library (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are not on site.
CERN mobile subscriptions are not designed to provide ad hoc internet connectivity for telework. Other solutions should be used instead, such as upgrading your private fixed network internet subscription or purchasing a private data SIM card from a local operator.
Contact your supervisor if none of the above-mentioned solutions are possible.
More information :
Measures have been taken with the relevant temporary agencies to ensure that telework can be granted based on CERN’s activities and needs. Note that the restrictions on the percentage of time you can telework from France (governed by the CH-FR bilateral agreement and applicable to CERN's temporary labour personnel residing in France and under contract with a Swiss temporary work agency), which were lifted at the beginning of the pandemic, are regularly reviewed and impact the legal possibility for you to telework from France, independently of compatibility with your activity and the needs of the service.
The TSO function means being on site when necessary. If it is impossible for a TSO to be present, a solution must be found with the DSO/LEXGLIMOS.
Contract start dates are defined between supervisors and new members of the personnel, taking account of the constraints of the evolving situation. New members of the personnel may start their assignment in teleworking mode, on the site or in a combination of the two.
No, all physical sessions have been cancelled and are replaced, until further notice, by virtual welcome sessions to help people integrate remotely under the current telework arrangements.
Where a new member of the personnel is starting work remotely, for whatever reason (quarantine, not yet called back to the site, etc.), a remote welcome must be organised. Supervisors are asked to give new members of the personnel starting their contract remotely as much support as possible, assigning them appropriate work and setting up relevant support mechanisms (e.g. virtual 'buddy', regular video conferences, etc.). The relevant HR contact is also available to answer any questions that new members of the personnel and their supervisors may have.
Supervisors will give as much support as possible to new members of the personnel who have to start their contract teleworking in the local area, assigning them appropriate work and setting up relevant support mechanisms (e.g. virtual 'buddy', regular video conferences, etc.). The relevant HR contact is also available to answer any questions you may have.
Stipends, salaries and subsistence allowances can only be paid to personnel who are under contract and in compliance with the conditions (e.g. subsistence is paid to cover additional costs that a member of the personnel incurs in order to stay or retain accommodation in the local area: for more details, see this document).
To be able to pay your salary/subsistence and any indemnities, CERN requires you to register the details of a Swiss bank account by the third week of the month in which you take up your appointment (i.e. around the 20th or 21st day of the month).
This must be done using an EDH form. This also applies to those who have already had a contract with CERN, where there is a gap between contracts.
If you do not have a Swiss bank account, you may choose to open or use an account with a bank located on the CERN site, another bank established in Switzerland or even a French bank in the local area that offers Swiss franc accounts (i.e. with an IBAN starting with CH), such as Crédit Mutuel, CIC, Crédit Agricole, etc.
More information is available in the admin e-guide.
If you cannot complete the EDH form in time, the payment will be postponed until you have completed it. One you have done so, the payment may take 4 or 5 working days to be processed.
Contract end dates are not affected by the COVID-19 situation. Most formalities can be completed remotely, while you are teleworking. Some flexibility is granted to members of the personnel who need to leave the region before the end of their contract. If you have to leave early, please contact your supervisor or DAO to arrange for the return of your dosimeter, access card and other equipment.
Departing personnel who need to return books can place them in the red box at the Library entrance (Building 52/1-052) or send them by internal mail. If you cannot enter the CERN site, you can send them back to the Library by post at the following address:
1, Esplanade des Particules
CH-1211 Geneva 23
You should inform the Library (email@example.com) of your departure and the team will sign the termination sheet in EDH.
The HR services are continuing to operate as usual. All approved extensions will be processed in good time.
As the evolution of the pandemic cannot be reliably predicted, it is not possible to make any long-term forecasts. To find out more about individual programmes, please consult this table
You will, of course, be required to observe the travel and quarantine rules both in your home country and in CERN's Host States (France and Switzerland). When travelling to the local area you must take into consideration the health and safety measures currently in place to limit the spread of the virus. Your supervisor will contact you to determine the necessary working arrangements.
You will receive a medical questionnaire to fill out (with input from your medical practitioner) prior to your arrival. The CERN Medical Service will duly review your questionnaire and take any additional actions needed (e.g. scheduling a medical examination at a later date).
Please contact the CERN Medical Service directly if you wish to discuss your personal medical situation.
A physical appointment is always scheduled at the end of IC contracts.
Leave and professional and private travel
Please find out about the latest travel situation (possible restrictions, including quarantine arrangements) both in the country you are travelling from and in the Host States, France and Switzerland. Please allow for possible delays in obtaining a visa.
Full up-to-date information on the situation regarding crossing the Host State borders can be found at: https://hse.cern/content/travel-restrictions-switzerland-and-france-covid-19.
For vulnerable people, telework is the best protection. However, if you work on the CERN site, your supervisor must draw up a specific protection plan with your help, which will be checked by HSE and approved by your group leader.
Your DSO/LEXGLIMOS or HSE-OHS are available to answer any questions you may have when drawing up the specific protection plan. A template can be downloaded here: https://edms.cern.ch/document/2445163/1.
Further information is available at this link: https://hse.cern/fr/content/acces-au-cern-covid-19.
Anyone arriving or returning from a country or area that is considered as being high risk for COVID-19 by Switzerland or France must quarantine. More information on quarantine measures can be found at this link: https://hse.cern/content/travel-restrictions-switzerland-and-france-covid-19
The usual rules relating to sick leave apply: a medical certificate must be provided for any absence of more than three consecutive days. You are reminded that a maximum of seven days of medical absence without a certificate can be taken in a given leave year.
Supervisors must ensure that all sick leave is recorded in EDH, in liaison with the group or departmental secretariat.
You should have your masks on when you arrive at the gate, even if you are from the same household
If you plan to cancel your leave, we recommend that you contact your supervisor to discuss the impact of the change on the organisation of your work.
Travel on behalf of CERN (including travel to perform professional activities at other institutions, as well as travel for training purposes) is permitted. But depending on CERN COVID level and travel destination an additional authorisation from the department head or the experiment spokesperson concerned may be mandatory. More information is available at the following link:
Authorisations remain valid in principle; you may be asked to telework from the site of your host employer if this is possible. The MPEs concerned must keep the Organization informed of their work situation at the host employer, i.e. whether they are working on the site or teleworking
Yes. The certificate can be downloaded here: (https://cern.ch/cesaam)
All members of the personnel should take their annual leave. No leave compensation measures are foreseen.
No. We encourage you to take leave during this time to get some well deserved rest.
Reorganisation of work areas
When someone tests positive for COVID-19, and in accordance with CERN’s contact tracing procedures, their office or workspace is closed for a certain period to allow it to be disinfected. The area concerned and the duration of the closure are clearly indicated on a poster.
Restaurants & breaks
The tables have been rearranged in the three main restaurants in such a way as to maximise the capacity while allowing a distance of 1.5 metres between seats. A label on each table shows the maximum number of seats and refers customers to the information on CERN’s COVID-19 website and to Novae’s online ordering service.
By level 4-Red and 3-Orange, the break rooms in the departments should not be used for the purposes of meeting colleagues. Their use should be restricted to preparing hot meals and drinks, which should be consumed elsewhere.
By level 2-Yellow, the break rooms can be used under folowing conditions:
- Max. 6 seats per table
- 1.5m distance between table
- Ventilation according EDMS2389839
Coffee breaks with others are authorised outdoors.
Yes. Aquadrink fountains have been purged and the press buttons are cleaned periodically. Before using them, you should check the maintenance sticker, wash your hands and your cup/glass or any other container you want to use, wear your mask and disinfect the surfaces that you touch before and after use.
Yes. The fountains can be used as long as you take the following precautions:
- Don't touch the distribution nozzle when filling a cup or bottle.
- Regularly clean the taps and other surfaces you touch using a disinfectant compatible with surfaces that are in contact with food.
- Wash your hands (or, if this is not possible, use hydroalcoholic gel) before changing the water bottle.
To put an EDEN fountain back into service:
- Remove the used bottle and empty the fountain into a large container using the taps.
- Install a new bottle (check the date) and run at least 2 litres of water per tap into a large container.
- Empty and wash the drip tray with soap and water, as well as the outside of the fountain with a damp cloth and a kitchen cleaning product.
- Disinfect taps and surfaces that have been touched using a disinfectant compatible with surfaces that are in contact with food.
Various online supermarket shopping and home delivery services are available in the local area in both France and Switzerland.
Safety - Works
Yes. The CERN technical contract manager must update the prevention plan to include the COVID-19 risk. An ad-hoc text has been sent by the Research and Industrial Services Group (IPT-PI-RI) to contract managers.
COVID-19 has no impact on their roles. It is an additional risk that must be managed alongside the existing ones.
The number of people taking part and the duration of the VIC must be limited; questions should be asked during the preparatory phase; organise preliminary discussions via video-conferences. The VIC can be carried out in several phases, with on-site presence limited to the strict minimum.
In addition to the other risks, it is necessary to ensure that:
- there are no concurrent activities involving another party, or that any such activities are correctly managed;
- the operating mode clearly specifies the measures in place (wearing a mask and other PPE, physical distance > 1.5m, screens, disinfection, etc.),
- there are no lone workers, or that such workers are correctly protected
- waste is correctly managed (bags/bins),
- the sanitary facilities are cleaned and properly maintained.
A carte vitale is not required. See the information at this link: https://chis.cern/covid-19-vaccination-residents-france
Vulnerable and retired people living in France or Switzerland are eligible for vaccination as part of the national programmes. They should contact their general practitioner or consult the relevant platforms to arrange to be vaccinated in accordance with the national protocols.
More information is available at this link: https://chis.cern.
No specific vaccination campaign is currently scheduled at CERN. If you wish to be vaccinated, contact your doctor or sign up using the platforms set up by the Host States.
Vaccination has no bearing on the site access conditions.
Vulnerability is determined by your doctor, according to various medical criteria. If your doctor considers that your spouse is no longer vulnerable and certifies this, your return to the site is no longer dependent on the creation and implementation of a protection plan for the spouses of vulnerable people.
Please refer to the disposition of your residence country (more information under travel quarantine)
No, CERN does not keep a list of vaccinated people.
The same conditions as those for any private trip to your home country apply. You must create an absence request in EDH and take leave from one of your leave accounts (annual, SLS or compensation).
Please be aware that, depending on your home country, you may be required to quarantine on your return and that the duration of quarantine must be taken into account in the total duration of your absence. The tests to shorten the duration of quarantine associated with travel must be taken. Please refer to section B3 of the absence management table: (https://cds.cern.ch/record/2712801/files/AbsenceManagement-Table.pdf)
Site access for the personnel of contractors
RP equipment must be regularly cleaned by the user, as well as before and after each loan of equipment. For any questions, please contact your RP delegate (RPO).
PPE worn to protect against radioactive contamination (FFP2 masks, gloves, etc.) is considered as potentially radioactive and must be disposed of in the designated bins for incinerable radioactive waste.
If the implementation of preventive measures against COVID-19 involves a significant change in the duration of work and/or work positions, the dose estimates must be re-evaluated.
You need to wash/disinfect your hands only after using hand-foot monitors.
Yes, you must disinfect it with a disinfectant available at CERN or with hydroalcoholic gel.
1- RP vacuum cleaners must be restricted to a single user if possible.
2- The user of a vacuum cleaner must wear gloves.
3- The vacuum cleaner must be regularly cleaned by the person using it, in particular before and after each use. All the parts that have been touched must be cleaned (e.g. padlock, plug and cable, switch, tube, brush, etc.).
4- If sharing cannot be avoided, the vacuum cleaner must be cleaned before and after each change of user (Ref. 20)
Wash/disinfect your hands before and after use.
Medical advice and assistance
Confirmed or suspected cases and close contacts must be declared using the TRAMED tool (https://cern.ch/tramed). This will allow the Medical Service to keep track of the number of cases among the CERN population.
You can also use the TRAMED tool to carry out a self-assessment if you think that you may have been infected by the virus.
If you can’t connect to the tool, call the COVID-Helpline: + 41 22 766 7777
All COVID-19 infections must be declared using the TRAMED tool (see FAQ above).
You must inform your supervisor of your absence but you do not need to specify the reason for your sick leave.
If you are vulnerable or at risk and if you are unable to telework, your hierarchy must draw up a protection plan for you and your colleagues. Your DSO/LEXGLIMOS and the HSE-OHS group are available to give you any help you may need. The detailed procedure can be consulted here: Adaptation du cadre de travail - Cas confirmés ou suspicions de cas de COVID-19 – Cas contact - Membres du personnel avec vulnérabilité au regard du COVID-19 - CERN Document Server
Templates of certificates for vulnerable people or people living with someone who is classed as vulnerable can be found at:
For information, the list of vulnerabilities published by the Swiss authorities can be found at this link.
MPAs are required to keep their institute/university informed and to comply with any instructions issued by the latter. They must also discuss their situation with their CERN supervisor in order to draw up a protection plan if their presence on the CERN site is necessary. Such plans must be checked by HSE.
Contact your doctor/paediatrician for an assessment and fill in a declaration using TRAMED (Tel: + 41 22 766 7777 or Covid19.firstname.lastname@example.org). The Medical Service will decide what needs to be done, according to your circumstances.
The detailed anti-isolation support provided by HR is explained in the leaflet available at this link, and in the leaflet "8 ways to keep yourself in good physical and mental health during the COVID-19 period".
You can also contact the COVID-19 helpline on +41 22 766 77 77 or the Medical Service on +41 22 767 31 86 / email@example.com, or get help from the CERN psychologist.
Appointments with the CERN psychologist can be made via the CERN Medical Service: firstname.lastname@example.org
CHIS - UNIQA
The UNIQA office on the CERN site is open during the usual opening hours.
For administrative questions you can also reach UNIQA by telephone on +41 22 718 63 00 or by sending a message to: email@example.com. For urgent medical assistance, call UNIQA Assistance: +41 22 819 44 77, 24/7.
The reimbursement claims possibilities are describe here: https://chis.cern/
Yes, CHIS members have access to Medgate.
You can access its services by calling the assistance number: +41.22. 819.44.77.
Further information can be found on the CHIS website: https://chis.cern/worldwide-assistance-and-medgate.
If you hear an evaculation alarm, the priority is to evacuate people, including yourself. Everyone present must go to the assembly point immediately. In the event of a fire or lack of oxygen that places lives in immediate danger, the fire evacuation instructions take priority over the COVID-19 health rules, notably:
• wear a surgical mask if a self-rescue mask is not required;
• evacuate the premises as quickly as possible: keeping a distance of 2 metres is not the top priority;
• the COVID-19 limit on the number of people who can share a lift does not apply to the LHC lifts in the event of an evacuation;
• stay at the assembly point and await instructions; continue to wear a surgical mask and keep your distance from the other members of the group.
No. The lone worker rule applicable at CERN is not incompatible with the physical distancing measures and must therefore always be applied.
Only one person should use such vehicles if possible. Two persons may use them, provided that they wear a mask and leave the middle seat free.
Use individual transport where possible. Otherwise, wear a mask. For trips longer than 20min, it is recommended that the ventilation to be switched on, that closed-loop air conditioning be avoided and that the windows be opened
During certain activities, it might be impossible to observe physical distancing of 1.5 metres. If so, an assessment will be carried out by the person responsible for the activity concerned, with the support of the DSO / Lexglimos, in order to determine the additional COVID-19 measures to be implemented. The HSE unit supports departments and large experiments in such cases.
No, because the Covid-19 risk is not an occupational risk but a collective health risk.
You must observe the maximum occupancy displayed on the posters at the entrance to lifts, as well as the floor marking. This limit is determined according to the surface area of the lift, with one person per m2 (see document EDMS2374417).
Protecting the health of all people present on the site continues to be CERN's highest priority.
Just as for any other complaint or suggestion relating to health and safety in the work place, please discuss them with your supervisor or contact your Departmental Safety Officer (DSO) or LEXGLIMOS.
Please contact the safety office in your department or large experiment to obtain the official symbols and to define the content of your poster with them.
Please refer to the provisions for the current COVID alert level (https://hse.cern/content/scales-all).
Please refer to the provisions for the current COVID alert level (https://hse.cern/content/scales-all).
Yes. Posters clearly indicating the authorised maximum number of people are displayed in all changing rooms and showers at CERN. Changing rooms and showers that must not be used are also clearly indicated.
You can check whether CERN’s hostels are open by consulting the “Housing” heading of the service availability website :CERN Housing Service | Site and Civil Engineering Department.
Please note that it is not possible to observe quarantine in the CERN hostels. If you are required to quarantine, several hotels provide suitable accommodation and their availability must be checked individually.
Yes, they are open according to the usual opening hours.
Yes, they are open according to the usual opening hours.
The Library reception (Building 52 / 1-052) is open as normal, i.e. from 8.30 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. Mondays to Fridays.
You can borrow documents from the Library office or request that they be sent to you via internal mail. The catalogue can be consuled on the CERN document server (CDS). The Library team can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org
HR and other topics
If you have any questions about Swiss or French cards, please consult this link.
You can check the availability of classroom and online courses on this website: CERN Learning Hub.
Classroom courses are adjusted according to the COVID alert level.
Classroom safety training courses that cannot take place owing to the COVID restrictions will not be replaced by remote, videoconference or other classes. If the validity of a classroom training course expires during this period, access rights are not affected. The Safety Training service has taken the necessary steps to grant extensions, if necessary, on the understanding that the people concerned must sign up for refresher training once they resume their activities on the CERN site.
All online courses remain available during this period and must be followed when required.
Although it is operating with reduced staffing, the Safety Training service (email@example.com) remains available to answer any questions you may have.
Authorisations remain valid in principle, subject to national restrictions on movement and the continuity of the activity in question.