Hygiene and behaviour rules

A number of basic measures in order to prevent coronavirus from spreading.

Pictogramme gardez vos distances
Keep a distance of at least 1.5 meters from other people

Plan your work in advance to ensure you can always maintain this distance everywhere, including in open-space offices, laboratories and workshops.

When standing in line – at an EPFL cafeteria, the post office, when picking up your surgical mask and hand sanitizer, or anywhere else – be sure to keep your distance from the person in front of you

Pictogramme lavez-vous les mains fréquemment
Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly

Hand washing is the golden rule of public health. Regularly washing your hands with soap and water can help keep you safe.

If you’re unable to wash your hands, use a hand sanitizer.

Hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed on Campus.

Find out how to pick up your own hand sanitizer and face masks for free.

Pictogramme Toussez dans le coude
Cough and sneeze into a paper tissue or the crook of your arm

Cover your nose and mouth, ideally with a paper tissue, when you cough or sneeze. Do not spit in public spaces.

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Limit your time on Campus

Work remotely whenever possible. This rule applies to everyone.

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Stay at home if you have symptoms

If you have symptoms that could be indicative of COVID-19 according to the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health:

  • Don’t come to work, and inform your supervisor.
  • Stay at home and comply strictly with the health and safety guidelines.
  • Self-evaluate by completing the CoronaCheck questionnaire.
  • While the restart plan is being implemented and until further notice, a medical certificate is required starting if an employee is absent for six days or more.
  • Always call before going to your doctor’s office.
  • Here’s a COVID-19 test center near campus:
    Centre Médical de Vidy, VidyMed
    Call before going: 021 622 88 88
    Route de Chavannes 11, 1004 Lausanne
    Open 7 days a week, from 9am to 6pm
Logo du coronaCheck d'Unisanté

CoronaCheck, by the Center for Primary Care and Public Health, allows you to quickly assess your risk online.

For people living in the canton of Geneva, assess your risk using the HUG CoronaRisk tool.

Additional information

Don’t shake hands with people, avoid touching your face, and try not to handle objects used by others, for example.

Please note that social distancing should remain the priority.
Wear a surgical mask when you consider it necessary, and this includes when you’re unable to maintain the proper distance from other people.

The School will provide employees with face masks free of charge.

Additional items can be ordered through the COVID-19 catalog on Catalyse.

If you have to travel by public transport, be sure to comply with the requisite safety measures, which include social distancing and wearing a face mask.

Be sure to clean any shared equipment – such as printers, keyboards/mice and phones – with a surface disinfectant after every use.

It is recommended that shared equipment be used by as few people as possible, or even just by the staff who normally operate the equipment.

Product recommendations are available here.

If your workspace doesn’t have a ventilation system, try to open your window for at least ten minutes every hour.

It is possible to meet in person as long as:

  • a distance of at least 1.5 meters is maintained between people
  • the meeting organizer draws up and keeps a list of all attendees
  • the meeting organizer ensures that all surfaces in the room (tables, armrests, etc.) are disinfected after the meeting.

Social interaction on campus must be kept to a strict minimum, including in common areas (like hallways) and during coffee breaks and at lunch.

Employees who are at especially high risk (according to Annex 6 of the Ordinance on Measures to Combat the Coronavirus (COVID-19)) must continue to work remotely until further notice.

Exceptions are only possible under the following conditions:

  • It must be absolutely necessary for the unit, and there is no other possible solution.
  • The employee must agree to it.
  • The employee’s supervisor must approve it.

EPFL may ask the School’s occupational health specialist to evaluate the situation of any employees at especially high risk.

If you have any medical questions about your own risk level and your doctor is unable to provide answers, you can contact EPFL’s occupational health team at [email protected] (all discussions will be kept confidential).

If you believe additional protective measures are needed, contact EPFL’s Coronavirus Support team for an assessment.

As a precautionary measure and in accordance with the ordinance on the protection of maternity, EPFL maintains a cautious approach towards pregnant women given that available scientific data limited.

So if you are pregnant and have no choice but to work on campus, you must first let your supervisor know and then contact EPFL’s occupational health office at [email protected].

If you require protective equipment to carry out your work (such as if you will be in close contact – less than one meter – with other people for more than 30 minutes) or because you are considered as person at high risk, you must submit your request through the support site.

The DSPS will assess your request based on your answers to the following questions:

  • Why can’t you comply with the organizational measures put in place?
  • What other measures do you intend to introduce?

Please note that the surgical masks and disinfectant that will be provided free of charge must be used before you make any requests for additional protective materials.

The DSPS, in cooperation with the VPSI and the Procurement Department (DABS), has created an internal online catalog of COVID-19 protective materials available through Catalyse (COVID-19 catalog). All units can use this catalog to order any additional items they may need. The following products are available:

  • Face masks
  • FFP2/N95 face masks
  • Bottles of hand sanitizer
  • Surface disinfection wipes
  • Surface disinfectant spray

Since stocks are limited, please do not order more than the indicated quantities. Any orders that exceed these limits will be automatically cancelled.

The SwissCovid app, which was developed in part by EPFL, is designed to break chains of infection and prevent a second wave of SARS-CoV-2 as the lockdown measures are eased.

The developers applied the privacy-by-design approach to protecting personal data. The app can be downloaded free of charge from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

For more information on the app.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you will be informed by the public-health authorities in your home canton. Here’s what to do:

  • Comply strictly with the public-health authorities’ instructions.
  • Stay at home and do not come to work on campus!
  • Send your supervisor a copy of the letter you receive from the public-health authorities.
  • Reply to the public-health contact tracing survey.

You don’t need to inform the DSPS if you test positive. The public-health authority will carry out a contact tracing survey and ask anyone who was in contact with you to selfisolate. If need be, the health authorities will contact the DSPS directly when carrying out the survey to ensure the necessary measures are taken on campus.

If so, you may be contagious for the next few days without knowing it. So please comply strictly with these health and safety guidelines. In addition:

  • Pay close attention to your own health.
  • You can keep working, but from home if possible.
  • Avoid all non-essential contact with other people.
  • Always comply with the health and safety guidelines.

You only need to self-isolate if you were in close contact with someone who tested positive (e.g., someone you live with). If you have to self-isolate, the cantonal office will contact you and inform you of the next steps. In this case:

  • Comply strictly with the public-health authorities’ instructions.
  • Stay at home and do not come to work on campus!
  • Send your supervisor a copy of the letter you receive from the public-health authorities.
  • Reply to the public-health contact tracing survey.

In accordance with annex 1 of COVID-19 Ordinance 3, the following are considering high-risk countries or areas:

  • all countries outside the Schengen area and the UK.

People returning from a high-risk country or area must not go to any EPFL site for 10 days starting from the date they return to Switzerland.

Carte des distributeurs de gel désinfectant

See the map of hand sanitizer dispensers on EPFL campuses and other sites


Un téléphone rouge avec le logo de l'EPFL, et des coronavirus flottant partout

EPFL Coronavirus Support

Didn’t find the information you were looking for on the site? Submit a new request.

Logo du coronaCheck d'Unisanté


The Center for Primary Care and Public Health allows you to quickly assess your risk online.