Hygiene and behaviour rules

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

The page has been updated as of 10 September 2020.

General measures

Work remotely for some of the time

Pictogramme télétravail

If your work allows it, and if your supervisor agrees, plan to spend up to 50% of your contracted hours working remotely.

Keep your distance from other people

Pictogramme gardez vos distances

You can contract coronavirus if you come into close, extended contact with an infected person. Maintaining a distance of at least 1.5 meters helps keep you and others safe.

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

Minimize physical contact

Pictogramme «minimisez les contacts physiques»

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

Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly

Pictogramme lavez-vous les mains fréquemment

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

If you’re unable to wash your hands, use a hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed on campus.

🎞️ Video: how to wash your hands

Wear a mask

Pictogramme «portez un masque»

Because the public-health situation remains a major concern, EPFL has decided that everyone must wear a mask whenever they are inside EPFL buildings. That means that students and staff members are required to keep their mask on even after they sit down to attend class, study or work.

🎞️ Vidéo: how to use a mask

Cough and sneeze into a paper tissue or the crook of your arm

Pictogramme Toussez dans le coude

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

Stay at home if you have symptoms

Pictogramme "restez à la maison"

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.

COVID-19 test center near campus

Centre Médical de Vidy, VidyMed
Call before going: 021 622 88 88
Route de Chavannes 11
1007 Lausanne
Open 7 days a week, from 9am to 6pm

Additional information

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.

Disinfectant products can be ordered from the COVID-19 catalog on Catalyse.

In rooms equipped with a ventilation system, the system has been modified so that it brings in only fresh air from outside, not recycled air. The hourly air-change rates in these rooms provide sufficient ventilation.

In rooms that don’t have a ventilation system, please try to open your window for at least 10 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
  • everyone is wearing a mask at all times
  • 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 considered persons at high risk (according to the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health definition) must continue to work remotely until further notice. They are exempt from the measures set out in point 1 of this appendix.

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).

In line with Swiss federal government rules, these measures don’t apply to anyone living in the same household as someone who is considered to be at high risk.

An internal online catalog of COVID-19 protective materials is 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 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.

Your request will be assessed 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 take note of the points above and refer to the COVID-19 catalog before submitting your request.

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.

The Swiss Federal Office of Public Health maintains a list of countries and areas with an increased risk of infection. Employees, students, guests, visitors, non-EPFL people and anyone else arriving in Switzerland from one of these locations must not come to any EPFL sites and must follow the quarantine rules imposed by the Swiss federal government

For more information: https://www.bag.admin.ch/entry

Carte des distributeurs de gel désinfectant

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


Laurence Gouzi Abrami et Francisco Sarmento Mesquita, du Laboratoire de biologie cellulaire, masques sur le visage.

Distribution of face masks

Distribution locations of washable masks on campus, and map of hand sanitizer dispensers.

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.