Direction of the UNIL: Information Coronavirus / COVID-19 – Communication from March 6, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen,
This email follows up on previous communications sent about the evolution of the COVID-19 epidemic. Indeed, since our last email, the situation has evolved rapidly. Cases are multiplying in Switzerland and in the Canton de Vaud. In response to the situation, the Conseil d’Etat expressed to the media on March 5th, the continuity of its preventive action, in accordance with the principle of proportionality.
This implies a ban on events with more than 1,000 people and the recommendation to avoid large gatherings and public places for people at risk (over 65 years of age or with health problems). Public transport and educational activities are not affected by these measures.
No restrictions have been imposed by the health authorities on domestic and cross-border travel.
The FOPH places particular emphasis on the application of the following rules of hygiene and conduct, which are a particularly effective tool for protecting oneself and avoiding contaminating others :
  • Keep your distance – for example: Protect elderly people by keeping adequate distance from them; Keep your distance when queuing or waiting in line; Keep your distance at meetings.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Avoid shaking hands.
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue or the crook of your arm.
  • If you have a fever and are coughing, stay at home.
Only go to the doctor or A&E once you have notified them by phone.

Implications for UNIL and its community

The Safety, Environment and Prevention Service (UNISEP) maintains active contact with the cantonal/federal public health authorities responsible for monitoring the situation. UNIL is able to react immediately to new instructions from the authorities. At the present stage the situation is as follows:

A) International exchanges :

We strongly recommend that all students and employees of UNIL:

  • avoid unnecessary travel to the “affected regions” according to the FOPH list,
  • avoid inviting for study or work purposes people who are currently staying in “affected regions” according to the FOPH list.

In assessing whether or not to continue travel, one should take into account the risks associated with the rapidly changing situation, possible new restrictions that could be enacted at any time and the coverage of potential costs incurred.

B) Events :

Gathering restrictions do not affect UNIL’s usual activities.

In accordance with the instructions of the public authorities, the courses are held at UNIL under the usual conditions.

Research colloquia and symposia gathering less than 1000 people can take place under the usual conditions. In cases where these attract a largely international participation, the organizers should contact UNISEP (021 692 20 00 or 115 internally) to assess the appropriateness of their continuation or partial adaptation.
For other large events on campus the organisers may also contact UNISEP for an assessment of the situation.
We are aware that these measures differ from those taken in some institutions and repeat that they have been taken in consultation with the Cantonal Health office.
The CHUV has abolished business trips and symposia in order to preserve the operational forces of the hospital environment which is under great pressure. These measures do not concern the medicine courses given on the hospital site by the FBM.

C) Continuous information

All the information available to the community is also permanently available on which also provides official links and hotline numbers.
We hope we have answered your questions and will keep you informed of any developments.

Best regards,

Marc de Perrot
Secrétaire général
 UNIL | Université de Lausanne