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


COVID-19 Virus

2020-10-24 Here’s what’s new this week:

NOTE:  This is a copy of a text released on the CERN site.  Certain links in the original text only work for persons with a CERN identification, hence these links were removed and text modified accordingly.

In a rapidly evolving situation, the usual channels are being constantly updated, and members of the personnel are strongly encouraged to consult them regularly.

Here’s what’s new this week:

COVID-19 cases at CERN

From the start of the pandemic up to 16 October, the Medical Service has been informed that 53 members of the personnel (MPE and MPA) and 15 contractors / temporary personnel have tested positive for COVID-19. To date, there is no evidence of transmission on site.

Remember that if you experience symptoms, however mild, it is imperative that you inform the medical service, who will advise you what to do and follow up close contacts if necessary. It is through this process that the medical service keeps track of the number of cases at CERN and their origin.

Attestation for those living in France who need to engage in essential professional duty during curfew

France has introduced a curfew from 21:00 to 06:00, effective from midnight on Friday 23 October, in 38 Departments including Ain and Haute-Savoie. If you live in one of these Departments and are required to engage in professional functions during curfew hours, you must carry with you a completed copy of an attestation that is being prepared. A link to that attestation will be provided as soon as it is available.


In view of the abrupt increase in the number of cases of coronavirus infection in the local area over the past two weeks, as of Monday 26 October 2020, all employed members of the personnel whose activity can be carried out remotely must telework for three days per week and be physically present for work on the CERN site for two days per week. This also applies to certain categories of associated members of the personnel (i.e. associated members of personnel for the purpose of training and project associates). It does not apply to those members of the personnel who cannot telework or whose presence on the site is essential for the needs of the Organization, as determined by their hierarchy. Users who are based in the local area and whose functions are compatible with telework should not come onto the site for more than two days per week. The aim is to reduce the density of people on site, as well as the pressure on public transport, as part of the collective effort to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Full details are here.

Flu vaccination

Since the launch of the flu vaccination campaign, over 2500 of you have taken the opportunity to make an appointment, and thereby protect yourself and others from seasonal flu. If you haven’t made your appointment yet, remember you can do so at The campaign runs until 13 November.

The campaign is to be extended to all members of the CERN Health Insurance Scheme, CHIS, including family members and retirees. Registration for them will open on 26 October at, and the vaccinations will be administered in Building 33. This campaign will run from 2 November to 4 December.

Information about flu vaccination can be found here.

Introducing CERN’s new psychologists

Two new psychologists, Katia Schenkel and Sébastien Tubau, joined the CERN Medical Service this week to reinforce the Organization’s capacity to take care of the wellbeing of personnel. Mr Tubau is available for consultations on Tuesday and Thursday mornings (8.30-12.30), Ms Schenkel on Monday and Thursday afternoons (13.30-17.30). Appointments can be made by email to, or by telephone on +41 22 767 3186.

Restaurant arrangements

Thank you for respecting the health and safety arrangements for the restaurants, and for avoiding the peak times. Last week, many of you moved your lunchtime such that the peak time has broadened to cover the period from 12:00 to 13:30. Hot food is available from 11:00 to 14:30, and people who can eat early or late are strongly encouraged to do so to take pressure off the peak.

Don’t forget that the Novae Click-and-Collect service can be accessed here.

Travel arrangements

Members of the personnel who are not required to hold a visa for entry into Switzerland, and who are coming for less than 90 days from countries for which entry restrictions for Switzerland are in place, are no longer required to be declared by CERN to the Swiss authorities. Persons in possession of a valid visa, as well as persons exempted from visa requirements, must inquire about entry requirements before travelling, and if necessary, the Swiss representation responsible for the person’s place of residence may issue a certificate of entry, free of charge, that confirms that the person fulfils the conditions for crossing the Swiss border in accordance with the conditions laid down in Ordinance 3 COVID-19. Full details of travel restrictions can be found here.

Please note that if you are coming from, or transiting through, a country or region considered as high risk by either France or Switzerland, CERN requires that you do not come onto the CERN sites for 10 days following your arrival. See this document for full details.

Safety course for visitors and contractors

Contractors and visitors coming on site who are unable to take the obligatory COVID-19 safety course before arrival at CERN, must take the course before accessing the CERN sites. This can be done in Building 33 this week. From Monday 26 October, the course can be taken at the Service Desk on the 2nd floor of Building 55.

Dedicated waste bins for used masks

Used masks are classified as biological waste and must be disposed of separately from ordinary waste. There are dedicated bins outside every building at CERN to collect them, along with other items of biological waste such as used wipes and gloves.

Protect yourself and others

Studies such as this one indicate that the virus responsible for COVID-19 can survive for up to nine hours on human skin, all the more reason to wash your hands regularly following the standard protocol.

Did you know?

Don’t forget that you must wear masks distributed by CERN while indoors on-site, whenever you cannot guarantee two-metre distancing. This is to ensure uniformity of protection. Not all masks are designed for the same purpose, or produced to the same standard. Some FFP3 masks, for example, are designed to protect the wearer and bypass exhaled breath through a valve. These masks do not prevent spread of the virus from an infected person.

Any questions?

If you can't find the answer to your question in the FAQ, please consult your supervisor or DAO.

The COVID-19 Communications Team