CERN is of a great interest to the general public and should therefore be accessible for visits. However, the nature of the work and the equipment on the site makes it necessary to have certain restrictions for such visits. These restrictions depend moreover on the region visited, the most stringent conditions being attached to the underground areas.
Access restrictions for visitors take into account not only the safety of the visitors but also the safety of the CERN personnel and equipment. It should not be forgotten that visits often create perturbations of the normal working conditions.
Casual visitors must comply with the elementary safety rules. The person at CERN who receives or accompanies them has the responsibility for their safety.
Visits to Underground Areas
The visits to Underground Areas are possible during defined periods (Technical stops, shutdowns) and their organisation has to follow the Visits service procedure.
Surface Experiment Areas, Labs and Workshops
Visits to other, non-underground, areas are also subject to restrictions, albeit not so severe. Essentially, any visitor has to be accompanied by a member of the personnel with the right of access to the region in question.
The responsibility for the safety, both of the visitors and the CERN equipment and personnel is taken by the person who accompanies the visitors.
Restaurants, Libraries, etc.
The restaurants, libraries, the Auditorium, etc. are considered as public domain and therefore accessible without any other restrictions than an occasionally locked door (certain parts of the Central Library, for instance, are accessible only on request).
Children under the age of 16 are permitted only in offices and other similarly un-dangerous places, but not in labs, workshops or experiment areas. They must be constantly supervised by their respective parents wherever they are: even offices are not exempt of dangers!
For more information about visiting CERN, see the website below.