Current directives

The aim of this directive is to set forth the guidelines for the “new normal” on campus. Unfortunately, the public-health situation remains a major concern. These new measures are designed to guide students and employees in their day-to-day activities – so that the campus can continue to foster interaction – and to prevent the virus from spreading, as that could lead to new, more restrictive measures.

All the directives we’ve issued and measures we’ve taken, and all the efforts we’ve asked of people, are guided by these objectives, and we appreciate your cooperation.

All staff members, students, guests, non-EPFL people and visitors must comply with this directive and with the framework measures set out at the federal level and in the canton in which they work.

  • Safeguard EPFL students and staff members by spelling out the health and safety requirements that must be implemented.
  • Enable EPFL’s protection plan to be implemented in a decentralized manner by unit and laboratory heads.
  • Maintain ties among all members of the EPFL community.
  • Achieve the best possible balance between in-person activities, remote working and compliance with health and safety measures.

The following measures must serve as a guide to implementing the protection plan:

  • Remote working is mandatory.
  • Starting on 1 October 2020, staff members working remotely must do so from Switzerland or, for those holding a G permit, from a border region (see point 5).
  • Everyone must wear a mask in EPFL buildings at all times and at all EPFL sites, including while seated in your workplace or study place, in lecture halls, at eateries and whenever you are moving around in the hallways. You must also wear a mask if two or more people are in the same room, even if everyone remains at least 1.5 meters apart. Outside EPFL buildings, you must wear a mask if you are not able to maintain a distance of at least 1.5 meters from other people. That includes whenever you’re waiting in a line (such as at food trucks (see Appendix 1).
  • Room occupancy must be organized so that a distance of at least 1.5 meters can be kept between people at all times.
  • Meetings must be held by video conference whenever possible in order to limit gatherings and travel.
  • In order to prevent the virus from spreading on campus, anyone with COVID-19 symptoms (see Appendix 1) is not permitted on campus.
  • Measures will be put in place so that we can carry out a contact tracing survey if so requested by the public health authorities.
​Compliance with health and safety measures 
In order to protect our community, everyone must comply with the health and safety measures. EPFL reserves the right to take disciplinary action against anyone who does not comply with them. Depending on the severity of the violation, these actions may range from a warning to a disciplinary investigation, or the violation may even be reported to the authorities for criminal prosecution.​

Detailed information on the health and safety guidelines can be found in Appendix 1 or on Hygiene and behaviour rules page.

Each unit is responsible for setting up a work schedule that complies with the measures contained in this document. The main points to keep in mind are as follows:

  • Staff members must work remotely.
  • For activities that must be carried out on campus, the heads of units and of EPFL-approved associations must request approval from their dean, via their institute, or from their vice president, as applicable, and indicate the reasons for their request. If the activity requires the on-site presence of more than one person from a given group, then an alternating schedule should be used so as to minimize the number of people on campus at any one time and the possibility for people to come into contact.
  • Starting on 1 October 2020, staff members who work remotely must do so from Switzerland or, for those holding a G permit, from a border region.
  • The heads of units and of EPFL-approved associations are responsible for determining how much time their members are authorized to work on campus, taking into account the type of activities and individual needs, as long as the arrangement complies with this directive.
  • Unit heads must keep an accurate record of everyone who was physically present on their unit’s premises over the previous 14 days (see Attendance lists).
  • Medical certificate: until further notice, a medical certificate is required if an employee is absent for six days or more.
  • People at especially high risk: please refer to Appendix 1.
  • Appendix 1 also describes what to do if a member of the EPFL community thinks they may have COVID-19 or tests positive for it.

The cantonal public-health authorities require EPFL to be prepared to help trace people who, over the previous 14 days, came into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. For this reason, unit heads must keep attendance lists.

These lists represent a form of personal data processing and must be handled as follows:

  1. Attendance must be kept using this template, which contains the following information only:
    a) last name
    b) first name
    c) the unit to which the person belongs
    d) the date the person was on campus
    e) the room number
  2. You must only use this information for its intended purpose, which is to help the cantonal public-health authorities trace people who, over the previous 14 days, came into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  3. You must retain this information for 14 days, after which it must be destroyed.
  4. Unit heads are requested to keep a list of private telephone numbers, which will only be used in the event of a request from the cantonal medical service.
  5. It is not necessary to enter remote work hours into the absence manager.

Template download (.xls)

Information can be found in the IT Equipment section of the Remote work page.

Classes, exercise sessions, practicals and projects

  • In light of the public-health situation, classes and exercise sessions, including the ones for first-year students, will continue to be run online through the end of the spring semester.
  • Students can still come to campus for activities related to their studies that require them to be on site (practicals, architecture workshops, lab projects and MAKE projects). However, they cannot stay on campus after these activities end.
  • The Modulo 3 system will be used for on-site practicals and architecture workshops.
  • Students who need to work on a semester or Master’s project in a laboratory must follow all the laboratory’s rules and procedures, under the responsibility of the unit head.
  • Students working on a MAKE project on campus must first sign up with the project coordinator or the professor in charge of the laboratory before going to the designated site. That person is responsible for keeping track of which students come to campus and the facilities they use.

Coming to campus

  • Remote working has been mandatory for the entire EPFL community since 18 January, apart from employees who have received a special exemption.
  • Students can come to campus to study (although space is limited and students must reserve a spot and one or more time slots in advance, either via the EPFL Campus app or at
  • Students are permitted to come to campus without a reservation for specific services (an appointment at the EPFL Health Point, to obtain documents at the Student Services Desk, an appointment with the IT helpdesk or an appointment at the COVID-19 testing center). More information is available in the Coming to campus section of the Coronavirus, classes and exams FAQ.
  • Students who wish to come to campus for activities related to managing student associations require authorization.
  • All events are banned through the end of the semester (see Work-related meetings, events).

In order to comply with the health and safety rules, the following requirements should be used to determine how many people are allowed in shared working areas (offices, open spaces, laboratories, workshops, etc.) at the same time:

  • A distance of at least 1.5 meters must be guaranteed between people at all times.
  • Everyone must wear a mask at all times wherever they are working or studying if more than one person is in the room, even if they remain at least 1.5 meters apart. (Masks are also required whenever you are moving around in the hallways.)
  • The classrooms and exercise rooms must be set up to allow occupants to comply with these measures.

Information can be found on the Events page.

Campus eateries require special attention. For now they can stay open, but you must strictly follow the health and safety guidelines:

  • wear a mask whenever you are not sitting at your table;
  • maintain a distance of 1.5 meters from other people;
  • scan the tracing QR code;
  • pay with your Camipro card or another payment card;
  • eat and drink only while seated;
  • comply with the seating limits at tables;
  • do not rearrange chairs and tables;
  • and do not sit in seats marked with a cross.

Checks are being carried out.

Unit heads can authorize non-EPFL people to come to the School’s sites if their presence is absolutely essential for the unit to fulfill its duties, subject to the terms of this directive.

Construction/renovation contractors must comply with the directives issued by the Real Estate and Infrastructures Domain (DII, see Appendix 2, in French).

People coming from another country are allowed on EPFL sites, subject to the criteria set out by the State Secretariat for Migration of the Federal Department of Justice and Police.

Non-EPFL people arriving from abroad must comply with the federal government’s health guidelines, in particular with regard to the quarantine rules, and this directive.

Specific directives concerning visiting students have been drawn up.

Information can be found in the Holidays and travel for personal reasons section of the Travel page.

Information can be found on the Travel page.

Information can be found in the Students section of the Travel page.

Information can be found on Q&A Coronavirus: Visiting students.

The measures set out in this directive may be reassessed or amended at any time up to 4 June 2021, depending on how the pandemic evolves.


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