The Institute’s Protection Plan

COVID-19 – Protection PLAN Effective from 31 MAY 2021


The Federal Council has decided to relax some of the measures in place. Based on this the coordination team has decided to update the protection plan starting from the 31st of Mayl to incorporate these new changes. The main elements of the plan are the following however, please see the attached document for full details:

1) Strict adherence to hygiene rules (e.g. regular handwashing with soap or disinfectant) and behavioural rules (maintaining a social distance of 1.5 metres). Antibacterial hand gel stations are available at each of the entrances to the Institute as well as in classrooms and meeting rooms. Disinfectant sprays will also be made widely available for people to clean their workstation or study area on arrival and departure.

2) Wearing a mask and maintaining a social distance of 1.5 meters is mandatory at all times on the Institute's premises and in the common areas of the Edgar and Daniele de Picciotto Student House and the Library. Masks must be worn at all times, including in the classrooms, library, meeting rooms and staff members desks. 

Fabric masks as well as surgical masks can be purchased from the Reception Desk. The FOPH’s mandate on how to properly wear a mask must be followed by all persons present on the premises of the Institute. 

3) From Monday 26 April, the Institute will resume teaching in hybrid mode, on a voluntary basis.

4) Teleworking is encouraged for all staff. In some cases, continuity of administrative and technical operations in the classroom is to be provided by the smallest possible number of staff.

5) Research activities will continue remotely, except in special cases requiring prior agreement can be asked by the centre/project head to the Director of Administration -

6) Face-to-face meetings are possible up to 50 people and their capacity reduced to half of their normal capacity.

7) The Institute’s buildings are open, Monday to Friday from 8:00-22:00 and Saturday/Sunday from 9:00-19:00. Visitors must announce themselves and be greeted at the reception desk.

8) Public events (i.e. ones open to the public and that require registration), may be organised with up to 100 people and no more than half of the room’s capacity filled whilst respecting health constraints. Standing receptions (cocktails, aperitifs and parties), regardless the number of attendees, are not allowed. Only seated catering (4 people per table inside, 6 outside) provided by a professional such as Novae is possible.

9) Access to the Student Residence’s fitness room is closed. 

10) The cafeteria is open Monday to Friday 11:45am to 14:15pm. 

11) The Institute asks that unnecessary business travel be avoided. The FOPH regularly updates this list of countries based on the changing epidemiological situation.

Please visit this page to determine if you are required to; complete the electronic incoming form, provide a negative test result (PCR test within the last 72 hours) prior to arrival into Switzerland and quarantine for ten days (can be reduced to seven days based on these conditions). The same rule applies to students coming from countries at risk. In addition, anyone coming from a country at risk must inform the cantonal authorities within 48 hours of arrival, as well as the Institute by sending a message to

12) Anyone presenting symptoms must be tested (the test is reimbursed by the health insurance). In case of a positive result, they will be placed in isolation by the cantonal medical authorities. The cantonal doctor will be in touch with anyone who has been in contact with the positive tested person and will decide on a possible quarantine. If you are in one of these cases, you must inform the Institute ( The Institute will not share the identities of affected individuals beyond a small number of staff who need this information to respond adequately to the situation. For more information on these measures, please consult the FOPH’s website and their Instructions on Isolation.


Guide to measures and principles at the Graduate Institute


  • Prioritise teleworking by all means possible.
  • Privilege online meetings and work.
  • Dematerialise document and information exchange flows to avoid direct contact.
  • Avoid public transport during peak hours; privilege other means of transport like soft mobility. 
  • Guarantee high-risk people that they will not be exposed. No requirement is set by the employer for the people concerned. If necessary, an alternative teleworking activity can be established for those at high risk. 


  • When necessary, use a plexiglass protection (on pass-through windows, for example)
  • When necessary, separate desks.
  • In waiting lines (at windows, in the Library, for example), heed the floor markings.
  • In the elevators, respect the Institute’s COVID-19 maximum capacity indications: 1 person per elevator.


  • Organise rolling schedules for personnel sharing the same spaces or desks.  
  • Respect the 1.5 metre distance with your colleagues, interlocutors and anyone else in the common areas and the offices as well as the building’s exterior. 
  • Non occupied offices may be shared among staff.
  • The number of people together in meeting rooms, kitchens and pause areas will be reduced (1pers. = 4m2).
  • Shift working hours to avoid using public transport during peak hours. 
  • Extend working hours so teams are not all required to work during the same time period.


  • Regularly wash hands, either with soap and water or with antibacterial hand gel (everyone should have their own personal bottle). 
  • Clean hands with antibacterial hand gel before and after using shared material. 
  • Wear a mask if the 1.5 metre social distance cannot be guaranteed (notably on public transport). 
  • Regularly disinfect common work spaces with antibacterial gel and a paper towel (found in the bathrooms).
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