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CERN’s COVID scale and measures

On 1 June, a COVID scale and accompanying measures will be introduced at CERN to govern teleworking, site access and other aspects of life at the Laboratory as a function of the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the local area

CERN's COVID scale
(Image: CERN)

On 1 June, a new unified system governing teleworking, site access and other aspects of life at CERN will be introduced. It has been developed over recent weeks by a Lab-wide working group and is based on the incidence rate in the local area, along with a qualitative assessment taking into account the number of confirmed cases at CERN, vaccination, the stratified testing campaign and the local presence of new variants of the virus. The level in force at any given time may move up or down the scale and may change at short notice. Normally, the level to be applied will be communicated with 10 days’ notice via the weekly COVID-19 email, while the level in force will be displayed on the information panels at the entrances to the CERN sites, on the HSE website and in the main CERN directory. In the event of sudden degradation, any level change will be promptly notified through the COVID-19 email.

CERN’s COVID scale has four levels, with level four (red) being the strictest and level one (green) being the most open. In between come level three (orange) and level two (yellow). Level four is applied when the virus is circulating in the local area at a rate of over 100 cases per 100 000 people per week, while level one applies when circulation is negligible. The transition between levels may lead to the relaxation or strengthening of measures, as the prevailing situation demands, and the levels of service offered on the CERN sites will be adapted accordingly.

Teleworking measures vary according to the level in force. When level four or three applies, for example, those who can telework should telework, though one day per week on site is possible under level four, and two days per week under level three. Site access conditions under levels four and three stipulate that members of the personnel may come on site for professional reasons only, and in consultation with their supervisors, while retirees may come on site to access bank safety deposit boxes, the Pension Fund or the CHIS office, only if strictly necessary. Family members are still, in levels four and three, not permitted on site. These conditions are relaxed under levels two and one. Hygiene measures will continue to apply whatever the level.

These are the main features of the system, but there is much more detail concerning activities and services on site. Club activities, shop and exhibition opening and on-site visits, for example, are all covered.

As is already the case today, the measures defined in the new system will be complemented by rules regarding isolation and quarantine for COVID-19 cases, close contacts and persons arriving from high-risk countries and areas. These rules will continue to reflect Host State regulations and recommendations and CERN’s need to define a unique set of measures on its sites.

A summary of the system is available on the poster above, and full details may be found here. Once the system is in force, a banner at the top of the CERN home page indicating the level currently in force will click through to the full description of the conditions under that level of the scale.