Last update: April 15, 2022

1 - Introduction and Purpose

1.1 Objectives

The Protection Plan (Plan) describes the measures to be taken during the pandemic period (Covid-19) to ensure the operation of Franklin University Switzerland (FUS), adequately protecting the health of its staff, faculty and students, as well as external visitors.

The requirements contained in the Plan, therefore, apply to all FUS staff, students and external visitors.

The Plan complies with the employer's obligation to inform employees.

1.2 Legal basis

We are creating this manual to meet the requirements of Swiss law and to go beyond it when we have determined that is helpful to protect our staff, faculty, students and visitors, and especially our high-risk constituents.

1.3 Information and references

General information on the global and national situation can be found on official websites (non-exhaustive list):

2 - Organization

2.1 FUS Cabinet

The President’s Cabinet is responsible for the drafting, implementation, monitoring and constant updating of the Plan. The plan may be updated as the epidemiological situation for the region changes.

Any concerns or questions should be directed to Tomaso Rizzi at trizzi@fus.edu or members of the Cabinet (https://www.fus.edu/about-franklin/our-leadership/president-s-cabinet).

3 - Basic Rules

In general, the rules of the FOPH campaign Protect Yourself and Others apply.

The aim of protection in the workplace is to reduce the transmission of the new coronavirus through distancing, hand cleanliness and hygiene.

3.1 New measures after April 18, 2022

The current obligation to wear masks indoors at FUS will no longer apply after April 18, 2022.

There may be situations in which it remains sensible to wear masks. The decision on when to wear a mask is now being left up to the FUS members’ own discretion. All members of the community are expected to treat each other considerately and display respect and tolerance in this regard.

The COVID Workgroup and the President’s Cabinet will continue to develop recommendations for the university and, as needed, a temporary directive aimed at protecting the health of employees during the endemic phase of the coronavirus pandemic. FUS will continue to take necessary, appropriate and proportionate measures to maintain their service provision and to protect those at high risk.

The core concern is to ensure that as an employer, FUS fulfills its duty of care and its duty to protect the health of its employees.

Surgical masks continue to be available for staff, faculty, students and external visitors (see new Visitors’ Registration Guidelines at point 4.2).

4 - Performance Activities

4.1 Educational Activities

As of April 18, 2022, a 3G COVID certificate is no longer required to participate in Undergraduate and Graduate Studies activities.

4.2 Visitors’ Registration Guidelines

All visitors must sign in and out at Reception or in the Office of Admissions (which will use its own process) as described below.

Whether a visitor is a member of the public walking across the University campus, a person attending an appointment, an invited guest or is visiting for any other purpose, the University has a duty to register them.

Visitors include individuals who are not current Faculty, Staff, Trustees or students: therefore, visiting faculty, visiting scholars, contractors, vendors, volunteers, individuals invited to attend workshops, seminars or conferences, individuals invited to attend interviews or meetings, any individual who is visiting the school.

Visitors will be asked to deposit an ID (passport, ID card or driver’s license) with Reception sign in and out using the visitor registration form and will be issued with a badge which they should wear throughout their stay, and return to the Reception or to the office that issued it, before they collect their ID and leave the University.

Completing the visitor registration form (which also registers vehicles for parking purposes) before the arrival will help to speed up the registering process when visitors arrive on site. Pre-registration also allows the University to screen visitors in case they come from countries where quarantine is required.

Staff and Faculty must register their scheduled visitors in advance with a timely communication to the University Reception.

In order to protect our community, visitors that are under mandatory quarantine or isolation are not allowed on campus.

4.3 Teleworking and office attendance

As per the Federal Council decision of February 16th, 2022, teleworking is no longer a recommendation.  

Franklin employees are encouraged to discuss their work situation with their supervisor. When possible, they should continue to schedule their in-office time in alternating shifts and to take the recommended health and safety precautions if they share an office with others.

Together with the Administration, the various departments will manage the transition to on-site presence in their areas, considering the epidemiological risks and the operational requirements, and with appropriate consideration for the employees’ needs.

4.3.1 Work hours

Maximum flexibility in the management of working hours is guaranteed between 06:00 and 22:00.

The department head is responsible for monitoring the sustainability of the staff workload.

Working from home, the workload remains unchanged based on the contractually stipulated degree of employment: the usual rules concerning the recording of working hours apply.

Unless explicitly agreed otherwise with the direct superior, overtime is not allowed in the case of teleworking.

Staff who, due to the measures to contain the contagion from COVID-19, were unable to cover their percentage of the workload are required to plan the progressive recuperation of those hours/days with their direct superior.

4.4 Meetings

As of April 18, 2022, meetings can be held in person.

Any face-to-face meetings should still be held in well-ventilated rooms. Anybody preferring to attend remotely will have a chance to do so (the meeting organizer is responsible for setting up a zoom/teams link).

The meeting room must be regularly aired at the beginning and end of the meeting by the meeting organizer or designee, and when feasible, the windows will be left open during the meeting.

4.4.1 Cleaning of premises and relative ventilation

The cleaning of the premises is adapted to the actual frequency of use. Cleaning is carried out, as a rule, when there is no other person on the premises.

Cleaning staff are required to ventilate the rooms, where it is not already guaranteed by a mechanical ventilation system. The site https://www.simaria.ch/it/benvenuto (Italian version) gives indications on the airing of the classrooms (FUS classrooms received a good rating).

4.4.2 Hand sanitizers

Hand sanitizers are available at counters and in meeting rooms.

5 - Persons particularly at risk

The needs of particularly vulnerable people are properly considered. People over 65, pregnant women, and people suffering from particular illnesses are considered particularly at risk.

Staff members particularly at risk are advised to promptly contact their human resources contact person and/or their direct superior to establish the best course of action.

In general, anyone who belongs to an at-risk group and is fully vaccinated or has overcome a confirmed coronavirus infection no longer falls into the category of a person at particular risk.

Students belonging to an at-risk group must not be discriminated against with regards to access to education, and ad hoc solutions must be identified to allow them to continue their studies.

Persons particularly at risk should attend the premises only by strictly observing the rules on distancing and hygiene or, where appropriate, by taking the additional specific protective measures provided for. The same behavior must be adopted by those who come into contact with persons at particular risk on the premises.

6 - Behavior in case of symptoms, isolation, and quarantine

6.1 Procedure to be followed in case of potential contagion

It is essential to remember that anyone who develops flu-like symptoms (fever above 37,5° C or a feeling of fever, mostly dry cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or breathing problems, muscle aches, sudden loss of smell and/or taste) must stay at home, limit contact with other people and contact by phone:

  • their family doctor;
  • the Ticino infoline at 0800 144 144, open every day from 09.00 to 17.00;
  • the national infoline on +41 (0)58 463 00 00, active daily from 06.00 to 23.00.

6.2 Reporting illness

People who are ill, regardless of sickness, must report their illness to their line manager and the administration.

A medical certificate is required for periods of illness longer than 5 working days.

In the event of an accident, for insurance reasons, the event certification remains unchanged, according to the Staff Handbook.

During the period of remote working, all employees are insured against professional injury for related activities.

6.3 Quarantine

As of February 3 2022, the contact quarantine was lifted by the FOHP. This means that persons with close contact to infected person no longer have to quarantine, as long as they do not develop any symptoms themselves.

Persons with symptoms must stay home and contact their family doctor or the Cantonal medical hotline.

6.4 Isolation and return to work/school

In the event that a community member tests positive for COVID-19, they must follow the indications of the Protocol and ensure the prompt flow of information.

Community members who tested positive for COVID-19 are allowed to return to in-person class/campus activities and/or work, if they have self-isolated for at least 5 days and have been symptom free for at least 48 hours.

The Administration is to be contacted by phone (091 986 36 24) or by e-mail (trizzi@fus.edu).

6.5 Cleaning after a positive case has been identified

FUS cleaning staff will deep clean and sanitize the area in which the person worked and/or attended class, as well as the public spaces in the building. This enhanced cleaning is performed within 8-12 hours of the case confirmation.

7 - Entering Switzerland

It is strongly recommended that you inform yourself about the regulations in your country of destination or origin, as Swiss and foreign regulations will likely change in the coming weeks and months. The interactive TravelCheck tool shows what measures apply to individual cases.

8 - Information / Distribution

Version 14 of this Protection Plan comes into force immediately. Updates will be published regularly and distributed accordingly.

Any concerns or questions should be directed to Tomaso Rizzi at trizzi@fus.edu