Much work has gone into CERN’s COVID scale and accompanying measures, which will be introduced on 1 June. The overriding objective of the new system is to provide better visibility on the measures that will be applicable at CERN in the coming months.
These measures will guide several aspects of life at CERN, from telework to restaurant and shuttle services and the activities of the clubs and the Visit service. The applicable COVID-19 risk level will be determined mainly on the basis of the circulation of the virus in the local area. 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 or 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. Hygiene measures will continue to apply, regardless of the risk level.
While we all hope that with the vaccination campaigns in France and Switzerland advancing well, some kind of return to normality might soon be possible, there remains a great deal of uncertainty – what challenges will new variants bring, and what will be the consequences of the gradual opening up we are now witnessing? We’ve therefore designed a system in which we can move from looser to tighter restrictions, as well as from tighter to looser, as the situation demands.
For most of us at CERN, access to the CERN sites and the teleworking measures associated with each level will be the most important information to have to hand. But the system also takes into account factors such as when professional and non-professional visitors can come on site and when we can open our exhibitions and visits to the public.
Once the system is in place, the level in force will be regularly evaluated and communicated via the weekly COVID-19 email for the week starting ten days later. The current level will always be displayed on the panels at the entrances to CERN, on the CERN HSE website and in the main CERN directory. The level in force will be based on the weekly virus circulation in the local area, along with a number of qualitative factors relating to life on the CERN site.
The COVID scale system is pragmatic and builds on the knowledge that has accumulated across the Laboratory since the pandemic was declared last year, and I am convinced that it will serve us well and allow us to edge closer to normality. You can find out more about it in this article, and on this summary table dedicated to the system. I look forward to the day when the level is green, but I trust that, with the new system, we’ll be able to see each other on site safely even before this is the case.