GAC-EPA — Groupement des Anciens du CERN-ESO Pensioners' Association


Summer greetings and preparations for the coming months

From: Fabiola Gianotti

Date: Friday, 14 August 2020 at 19:34

To: "cern-personnel (CERN Personnel - Members and Associate Members)"

Subject: Summer greetings and preparations for the coming months

Dear Colleagues,

I hope that you are enjoying the summer, despite these troubled times.  We have all had to adapt our lives to the new situation.  In spite of the challenges, CERN has continued to be very productive.  Beautiful physics results have been presented at recent conferences that attracted record attendance, the LS2 work and the upgrades of the accelerators and experiments are making good progress despite the demanding working conditions, and we have started to implement the European Strategy for Particle Physics, which was updated by the Council in June.  I should like to thank you for your hard work, dedication, flexibility, patience and understanding, which make CERN’s continued operation possible and enable us to return to what we are supposed to do:  carry out an ambitious research programme.

Since 18 May, we have been gradually re-starting on-site activities, supported by stringent COVID-19-specific health and safety measures.  As this cautious ramp-up continues, offices and common spaces across the CERN site are coming back to life.  The special atmosphere and feeling of community that characterise the Laboratory are returning.

The health and safety of all who work on site or are teleworking remain our highest priority.  The pace, extent and modalities of the re-start plan are therefore evaluated on a weekly basis to ensure that the plan responds to the prevailing health situation in our Host States, in Europe and beyond.  Possible risks are continuously assessed so that we can react rapidly, for example in the event of a ‘second wave’.

As we move forward with the re-start, we rely on all members of the personnel to scrupulously respect the COVID-19-related health and safety measures, along with all other health and safety rules, and to keep themselves informed as these measures are updated.  The dedicated CERN web pages were last updated on 6 August; the updates include new information on mask-wearing and on quarantine measures for those arriving from countries and areas with a high risk of COVID-19 infections.  I encourage you all to go through the measures carefully to ensure that you comply fully with them.  In the interests of the health and safety of the entire community, it will not be possible for colleagues who do not respect the measures to access the site.

With the ramp-up of activities proceeding and increasingly more people being asked to come back on site, the current exceptional telework measures for employed members of the personnel and certain categories of associated members of the personnel, which were introduced in February, will end on 31 August.  From this date onwards, teleworking will be limited to a maximum of 50% of working hours (except in the case of people with vulnerabilities and other authorised exceptions), and the goal is to reduce it further as soon as logistic issues (e.g.  completion of office space optimisation) are resolved.

A dedicated working group has reviewed the use of office space across the Laboratory and compiled an office occupancy plan with mitigation measures that will enable a safe return.  The departments and experiments are now preparing the premises accordingly in order to provide safe workplaces for everyone.

We plan to hold the next online information meeting after the September Council session so that we can share the latest news with you.

I thank you again for your commitment, forbearance and sense of responsibility, which are carrying us through these difficult times.  I trust that together we will also master thefurther challenges that lie ahead. 

With our best regards,

Fabiola Gianotti, on behalf of F.  Bordry, E.  Elsen, M.  Steinacher and C.  Warakaulle