HES-SO Genève

Coronavirus : what you need to know

Updated Mai 27, 2021

Version française

Latest news

  • From 19 April 2021, face-to-face teaching is authorised with certain restrictions.
  • Wearing a mask is compulsory in all buildings and all outdoor spaces belonging to HES.
  • Working from home is still compulsory but is being adapted to an increase in on-site educational activities.
  • Libraries, computer rooms and reference libraries are open, but primarily for students (note: University libraries are now reserved for students’ use).
  • Public events can accommodate 100 people indoors and 300 outdoors, with a number of protective measures in place. These limits will gradually be increased over the summer.
  • Other events can now accommodate 50 people (with the exception of meetings in private circles).
  • To stop the spread of the virus, HES-SO Geneva encourages everyone to get a vaccine.
  • Faced with the instability that students face during this second wave of the pandemic, the HES-SO Geneva has decided to renew its ad hoc emergency financial support system from 6 November 2020.
Political and academic decisions

Below are the main political and academic decisions relating to COVID-19 and in force for the academic year 2020-2021:

 

Academic and from the HES-SO Genève decisions :

 

 

Political decisions :

 

 

The HES-SO Geneva continues to apply the recommendations of the federal and cantonal authorities, and more specifically those of the cantonal doctor, derived from those of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH). These are the only health authorities to which it refers.

 

 

Your health
Maintaining the health of all
  • Above all, the HES-SO Genève strongly advises everyone to apply the basic hygiene rules described below and to follow all the precautionary measures recommended by the Confederation.
  • Wearing a mask becomes mandatory inside all of the institution’s premises when moving between spaces and when two or more people are in the same room.
  • The HES-SO Genève provided one fabric mask per person as well as surgical mask at the start of the academic year. Newly hired employees may also be provided with one fabric mask, to be picked up at the reception of each school / common services. In order to support the local economy, the HES-SO Genève has placed an order with Lundi Piscine, a company created by a graduate student from the HEAD and currently based at –Pulse Incubator HES. These masks comply with the specifications of AFNOR SPEC S76-001 and are washable at 60 °. A description of the mask and how to correctly use fabric masks is available here (in French) and in the video below :
  • The situation is changing rapidly and the HES-SO Genève is closely monitoring the information of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH). In order to safeguard its whole community and to prevent the spread of the virus, the institution applies the recommendations of the cantonal doctor as well as those of the Council of State. The institution adapts its health policy at any time in response to new recommendations of the federal and cantonal authorities. Should a major change take place, the entire HES-SO Genève community will be informed by email.
  • On 13 January 2020, the Federal Council announced that vulnerable people must be protected with specific measures. At the HES-SO Geneva level, Specific provisions for vulnerable people have been taken, coming into force on 18 January 2021.
  • For staff members: medical certificates shall again be required after 3 days of absence. Those who are tested positive for COVID-19 will receive a medical certificate and must immediately inform their employer. Those who were exposed to a person who tested positive will be contacted by the cantonal doctor’s office and asked to self-quarantine if necessary.
  • Vaccines : Coming out of the health crisis quickly now depends mainly on the vaccination programme. Because of this, HES-SO Geneva encourages everyone to get vaccinated for their own health, in solidarity with others, particularly the most vulnerable, and to stop the spread of the virus.

  • An internal crisis unit has been set up to implement measures and anticipate future needs, particularly with regard to IT, so that the institution and its schools can pursue their missions while ensuring health conditions in line with the recommendations of health and political authorities.

     

The « Unité santé, sécurité et bien-être au travail » is also available for you (French)

    Symptoms to check

    According to the Federal Office of Public Health, the most common symptoms are:

    • Respiratory illness symptoms (sore throat, cough (usually dry), shortness of breath, chest pain)
    • High temperature
    • Sudden loss of sense of smell and/or taste

    Other symptoms may include:

    • General weakness, feeling unwell
    • Aching muscles
    • Head cold
    • Gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach ache)
    • Skin rash

     

    If you have symptoms of severe respiratory tract infection (cough, sore throat, short breath), with or without fever, muscle ache, sudden loss of sense of smell and/or taste, it is recommended that you get yourself tested by contacting one of the collection centers in the Canton of Geneva.

    From 2 November 2020, rapid tests can be used to check for Covid-19 infection and to isolate positive cases more quickly. Only people who have had symptoms for less than four days that match FOPH criteria, and who are not in an at-risk category, can take a rapid test. In addition, asymptomatic people who have been alerted by the SwissCovid app can take a rapid test.

    If the rapid test is negative but you have developed symptoms since taking the test, you should stay in isolation for up to 24 hours until the symptoms have subsided.

    Self-testing kits have also been available free of charge since mid-April in pharmacies for people with health insurance in Switzerland.

    The aim of the is double: isolate each infected person to avoid the spread of the disease to others and put into quarantine the individuals you have been in contact with and who may be infected.

     

    Self-isolation :

    If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms symptoms, then stay at home before getting tested and inform your employer. This will prevent the spread of the illness. Call your doctor or health institution. Follow the instructions on self-isolation of the FOPH

     

    Contact tracing:

    To help interrupt transmission chains and thus prevent a new outbreak of cases, the Confederation has developed the SwissCovid smartphone application to complement the traditional contact tracing. The HES-SO Genève, in agreement with the HES-SO, recommends its use, but leaves the choice up to the individual.

    Preventive measures

    Basic safety and preventive measures for coronavirus are the same as for a cold or the flu:

     Wash your hands thoroughly

    Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand rub.

     

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

    Cover your mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue when coughing and sneezing and wash hands with soap and water.

     

    Avoid shaking hands.

     

     

    Keep your distances.

     

     

    Wear a mask in all public spaces and inside the HES-SO Genève premises, and in all outdoor areas of all publicly accessible facilities (when two persons are staying in the same room and when moving within the premises) 

     Ne pas mettre en gras.

     

     Stay at home if you have a high temperature and a cough.

     

     

    Always call ahead before going to the doctor’s or the emergency department.

     

     

    Should your doctor not be reachable, call :

     

    • Genève Médecins (GeMed): 022 754 54 54
    • Médecins Urgences: 022 321 21 21
    • SOS-Médecins : 022 748 49 50

    For all questions on the new coronavirus and its impact on your workplace, please consult our FAQ (available to students and staff members only) .

    FAQ and official sources
      Staff

      On 14 April 2021, the Federal Council announced that face-to-face education is permitted again for tertiary education as of 19 April, subject to certain restrictions. However, it noted that working from home remained compulsory. This means that at HES-SO Geneva, the system of working from home will not change, but will adapt to an increase in on-site educational activities.

      This means that staff members (both teaching & research and administrative & technical) may be required to carry out some of their professional tasks in person.

      All activities which remain in-person should continue to be carried out with strict respect for safety measures and a mask should be worn at all times.

      Announcements made by the Federal Council on 26 May 2021 do not change what is written above.

      For all questions on the new coronavirus and its impact on your workplace, please consult our FAQ and our arbre de decision which may help in case of having symptoms or quarantine decisions (available to students and staff members only) .

      Access to buildings

      The buildings of the HES-SO Genève and its six schools are only accessible to people wearing a mask to all indoor and outdoor spaces of all the facilities accessible to the public.

      Students and staff members must refer to the instructions of the schools (respectively of the common services or - Pulse) and comply with the instructions laid down in the Protection Plan of the various entities, especially wearing the mask, regarding physical distancing and sanitary rules.

      Libraries, information centres, resource centres and other common areas (meeting rooms, breakout areas, entrances, receptions, study areas, etc.) or areas for the use of students (entrances, receptions, study areas, etc.) are subject to the same rules as for all buildings, i.e. 1.5-metre social distancing must be respected, and masks must be worn when moving around and whenever two or more persons are in the same room. Buildings are once again open to the public, with priority given to students in the event of overcapacity being exceeded.

      Cafeterias are also open, exclusively for students and staff. However, these must operate in strict compliance with health standards and branch risk assessment plans, and the decision to open rests with the manager of the venue.

      For all questions on the new coronavirus and its impact on your workplace, please consult our FAQ (available to students and staff members only) .

      Working on site and/or teleworking

      Working from home, which was made compulsory for all activities that could be carried out remotely in the Federal Council announcement on 13 January 2021, was not affected by the easing of restrictions on 14 April 2021. The announcements made on 26 May 2021 have no effect on HES-SO Geneva.

      Therefore, at HES-SO Geneva, the system of working from home will not change (Provisions applicable to working from home). Working from home is encouraged as much as possible, but will be adapted to the increase in on-site educational activities. To avoid cumbersome administrative processes, it is no longer necessary to complete the work from home request form.

      In-person activities must be expressly approved by line managers and wearing a mask is compulsory whenever two or more people are in the same room.

      Furthermore, due to the particular remit of HES, the institution must continue to provide some of its teaching in the classroom. This implies that some staff members, PAT and PER, may also be required to carry out part of their work face-to-face.

      Research activities are subject to the same guidelines: activities that can take place at a distance should be carried out on a remote working basis, while other activities can continue to be carried out face-to-face.

      Depending on situations, provisions may be adapted according to the schools’ needs and the terms set with the management.

      As for meetings, video-conferencing must again be the preferred method of delivery, unless meeting in-person is unavoidable. In this case, masks should be worn for the duration of the meeting, and a distance of 1.5 metres should be respected at all times.

       

      For all questions on the new coronavirus and its impact on your workplace, please consult our FAQ (available to students and staff members only) .

      Teaching

      On 14 April 2021, the Federal Council announced that, from 19 April, in-person education would be authorised again in universities, beyond the exceptions provided for in Article 6d, para. 1b, of the Federal Ordinance COVID-19 of 19 June 2020 (authorisation to maintain in-person activities considered essential for the training sector). From 31 May 2021, training rooms can be used at half capacity (compared to a third previously). A total limit of 50 people remains, however.

      The distances of 1.5 metres must be respected and it is compulsory to wear a mask at all times.

      It should be noted that the possibility of holding certain essential educational activities in-person (e.g. practical teaching, workshops, laboratories, exams), as has been in place since last autumn, is still applicable and can continue in parallel with the easing of restrictions decided by the Federal Council.

      Research activities and services that require in-person contact can continue to be carried out in the buildings, provided that protective measures and the wearing of masks are strictly observed. Other activities and services must be carried out remotely.

       

      ECTS accreditation

      It is essential to ensure that students acquire the required skills in order to ensure the value of degree certificates and attest to the skills of students. In all cases, the granting of ECTS credits remains subject to formal assessment: there is no automatic accreditation for courses, internships or projects.

       

      Accounting for fails

      Unlike the spring semester 2020 and in line with the measure outlined above, evaluations carried out during the academic year 2020-2021 will be counted. Thus, fails will have the same effects as given by the usual regulatory framework.

       

      Semester exams and evaluations

      Exam procedures have not changed. Information relating to the organising of exams will be shared directly by the schools themselves.

       

      Absences from exams

      Absences from in-person exams for those placed in quarantine by a health or medical authority are treated as justified absences for illness (decision made 30/10/2020)). The same applies to  vulnerable people with a medical certificate. In other words, in these cases (and only in these cases), exams will not be counted as an attempt.

       

      Maximum duration of studies

      The normal duration of studies remains the same for all students. However, due to the pandemic and its potential effects on students’ education, the maximum duration of studies will be extended by two semesters.

      For all questions on the new coronavirus and its impact on your workplace, please consult our FAQ (available to students and staff members only) .

      Events between colleagues

      As of 31 Mai  2021, in the workplace, private events can bring together maximum 50 people, indoors and outdoors, as long as a protection plan is in place.

      In case of private events of maximum 50 people, in addition to respecting the usual preventive measures, the organizer must ensure that a mask is worn throughout the event and only authorize consumption in non-interchangeable seats. A list of guests including their identity and contact details must be established and kept available to the health authorities for 14 days in case they request it. If food and drinks are offered, the rules applicable to the restaurant sector must be observed (groups of four indoors and six outdoors, groups must be seated to eat, contact details to be collected for everyone present).

      For the record, aperitifs between colleagues are considered private events.

      The Council of State has also decided to postpone until further notice all festive events (aperitifs, farewell parties, meals and end-of-year celebrations, etc.) organized by and for the employees of the cantonal administration, a measure that also applies to the HES-SO Genève and its schools.

      Public events

      On 26 May 2021, the Federal Council announced that public events (conferences, concerts, etc.) can accommodate 100 people indoors as of 31 May 2021. Alongside this, the capacity of the place where the event is taking place must be limited to half (not one third as before). Attendees must remain seated and wear a mask at all times. A distance of at least 1.5 metres must be maintained from other people at all times, or each person must be separated by a seat. It is also forbidden to consume food or drinks and intermissions are not recommended.

      Outdoor events can accommodate up to 300 attendees.

      All public demonstrations must be subject to a specific protection plan.

      The contact details of all visitors must be collected if the organiser authorises the consumption of food and drink in places that are in the area accessible to the public.

       

      These limits on the number of people will be gradually relaxed, according to the plan laid out by the Federal Council in its release on 26 May 2021.

      IT support
      • In case of teleworking and distance learning, the HES-SO Genève has implemented a specific device: see the HES-SO Genève FAQ or the one set up by IT.
      • In order for everyone to have access to the VPN (how to use it available here), please make sure to disconnect as soon as the necessary documents are downloaded. Indeed, the bandwidth does not allow everyone to work at the same time on the VPN.
      • Helpdesks continue to be available. Please use “tickets” rather than contacts by phone.
      • As far as distance learning is concerned, several webinars are referenced on both the DIS and cyberlearn websites. These webinars explain e.g. how to create a course, make it more interactive or pass an exam.
      • Teams (synchronous teaching) and Moodle (asynchronous teaching) solutions are available to teachers. All the necessary information is available on Cyberlearn or through an information center, as well as on the HES-SO Genève FAQs.

        For all questions on the new coronavirus and its impact on your workplace, please consult our FAQ (available to students and staff members only) .

      Traveling abroad

       

      Those living across the border

      Members of staff who live across the border do not need to undergo PCR tests or quarantines, either when coming to Geneva or returning to France. They must, however, be provided with a certificate provided by the school’s HR department (or shared services) and complete the exceptional travel certificate as required by the French government.

       

      Professional trips

      Specific provisions concerning entry into Switzerland in connection with the pandemic are detailed on the Confederation website.

      Business travel to countries or areas with a high risk of infection, as defined by the COVID-19 Ordinance of July 2, 2020, is prohibited unless waived in accordance with Article 4 of the Ordinance and granted by the school's management.

      Derogations may be granted by submitting a certificate from the school's management. These exemptions from quarantine are set out in Article 4 of this Federal Ordinance. They apply for business trips if the reasons are compelling for the smooth running of institutional missions and if there is no possibility of adjournment. They also apply for the participation in cultural events or specialized congresses. In case of business trips, in addition to the need to present a specific protection plan, the stay must not exceed five days. In case of cultural events or congresses, only the protection plan set out for the event is needed.

      For all other destinations, the HES-SO Genève continues to encourage staff members to forgo unnecessary travel, in accordance with the FOPH recommendations.

       

      Private trips

      The HES-SO Genève currently urges everyone to follow the recommendations of the FOPH and to refrain from travel to countries or areas with a high risk of infection that are not necessary.

      Managers could take action against staff members forced into quarantine after knowingly traveling to a risk area.

      Before any trip abroad, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, we urge you to check the websites of the embassies or consulates of the destination country. In all cases, it is essential to carefully follow the health and safety measures recommended by the relevant health authorities.

      Returning to Switzerland
      Anyone entering Switzerland from countries or areas with a high risk of infection must self-quarantine for ten days with the exception of persons duly exempted from quarantine by their management for professional or cultural reasons and in line with institutional missions. People who have recovered from coronavirus and those who are fully vaccinated (with a vaccine authorised in Switzerland or by the European Medicines Agency (EMEA)) are also exempt from quarantine; in both cases, this exemption is valid for six months. Please note, the exemption from quarantine does not apply to those who are vaccinated and/or recovered from coronavirus coming from a state or area where a concerning variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is circulating.

      Finally, it should be noted that vaccinated people are exempt from having to take a test and from the obligation to provide their contact details when entering the country.

      In the event of symptoms of the disease during the quarantine period, the competent cantonal authorities must be informed immediately.

      In the event of mandatory quarantine, from 8 February 2021, the duration of 10 days can be reduced to 7 days with a rapid antigen test or PCR test with a negative result.

      In the event of symptoms of the disease during the quarantine period, the competent cantonal authorities must be informed immediately.

      In addition, also from 8 February 2021, any person entering Switzerland from an at-risk country or zone must present a negative PCR test taken less than 72 hours from the time of travel, and must submit an electronic entry form, to be completed before entering Swiss territory. The purpose of this form is to interrupt the transmission chains as quickly as possible. People arriving by plane are also subject to these requirements regardless of their place of departure.

      People returning from a region not considered to be at risk must complete the electronic entry form, unless they are entering Switzerland using their own means of transport (e.g. car) or if they are arriving from a border area. In addition, for any arrivals in Switzerland by plane, a PCR test must be carried out within 72 hours before departure and must give a negative result, in addition to the electronic entry form.

      Generally speaking, anyone returning from a stay abroad must comply with the policies of the FOPH and the entry requirements into the territory.

       

      In case of quarantine, useful information on platforms for food delivery are available here and on this site

      There are two possible scenarios on arrival:

      1. Staff members coming from a country which is not included in the list of countries or areas with a high risk of infection drawn up by the Swiss government must follow the health and safety measures in place.
      2. Staff members coming from a country included on the list drawn up by the Confederation are mandated to go into self-quarantine for ten days with the exception of those duly exempted from quarantine for professional or cultural reasons.  This list is evolving and should be consulted regularly. Home quarantine instructions are as follows:
        • Upon arrival, staff members must go directly to their accommodation. They must wear face covering if using public transportation.
        • Wearing a mask is mandatory at all times at the place of residence, unless the employee lives alone.
        • The cantonal doctor must be notified within two days of the arrival by filling out the required form.
        • In case of symptoms during the quarantine period, staff members must immediately inform the relevant cantonal authorities and follow their instructions.
        • Staff members take full responsibility for the costs associated with quarantine.

      For all questions on the new coronavirus and its impact on your studies, please consult our FAQ (available to students and staff members only)

      Students

        On 14 April 2021, the Federal Council announced that face-to-face education is permitted again for tertiary education as of 19 April, subject to certain restrictions. However, it noted that working from home remained compulsory. This means that at HES-SO Geneva, the system of working from home will not change, but will adapt to an increase in on-site educational activities.

        All activities which remain in-person should continue to be carried out with strict respect for safety measures and a mask should be worn at all times. Students should therefore be carry their own mask with them.

        Announcements made by the Federal Council on 26 May 2021 do not change what is written above.

        Students will find on the FAQ all questions relating to IT and distance learning courses.

        Teaching

        On 14 April 2021, the Federal Council announced that, from 19 April, in-person education would be authorised again in universities, beyond the exceptions provided for in Article 6d, para. 1b, of the Federal Covid-19 Special Situation Ordinance of June 19 2020 (authorisation to maintain in-person activities considered essential for the training sector). From 31 May 2021, training rooms can be used at half capacity (compared to a third previously). A total limit of 50 people remains, however.

        The distances of 1.5 metres must be respected and it is compulsory to wear a mask at all times.

        It should be noted that the possibility of holding certain essential educational activities in-person (e.g. practical teaching, workshops, laboratories, exams), as has been in place since last autumn, is still applicable and can continue in parallel with the easing of restrictions decided by the Federal Council.

        Research activities and services that require in-person contact can continue to be carried out in the buildings, provided that protective measures and the wearing of masks are strictly observed. Other activities and services must can be carried out remotely.

         

        Maximum duration of studies

        The normal duration of studies remains the same for all students. However, due to the pandemic and its potential effects on students’ education, the maximum duration of studies will be extended by two semesters.

         

        Students involved/summoned for socio-health work

        Many students have been summoned/are involved in health or social institutions to deal with the health crisis.

        For students in health and social studies, involvement and commitments which have an impact on periods of practical training will be dealt with ad hoc.

        For other similar situations, provided that these fall within their area of ​​expertise, the schools will set up specific measures for awarding ECTS credits by equivalence. Equivalence will be based on a detailed analysis of the skills developed in professional practice, taking into account the duration of the engagement.

        For all other cases (including commitments/involvement outside the field being studied), evaluation requirements remain unchanged.

        Exemptions from rules around leave and the duration of studies may be granted to students who are absent for more than one month following summons/involvement with the socio-health system in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

        Assessments

        Semester exams and evaluations

        Exam procedures have not changed. Information relating to the organising of exams will be shared directly by the schools themselves.

         

        Absences from exams

        Absences from in-person exams for those placed in quarantine by a health or medical authority are treated as justified absences for illness (decision made 30/10/2020)). The same applies to  vulnerable people with a medical certificate. In other words, in these cases (and only in these cases), exams will not be counted as an attempt.

         

        ECTS accreditation

        It is essential to ensure that students acquire the required skills in order to ensure the value of degree certificates and attest to the skills of students. In all cases, the granting of ECTS credits remains subject to formal assessment: there is no automatic accreditation for courses, internships or projects.

         

        Accounting for fails

        Unlike the spring semester 2020 and in line with the measure outlined above, assessments carried out during the academic year 2020-2021 will be counted. Thus, fails will have the same effects as given by the usual regulatory framework.

        Access to buildings

        The buildings of the HES-SO Genève and its six schools are only accessible to people wearing a mask to all indoor and outdoor spaces of all the facilities accessible to the public.

         

        Libraries and spaces dedicated to students

        Libraries, information centres, resource centres and other common areas (meeting rooms, breakout areas, entrances, receptions, study areas, etc.) or areas for the use of students (entrances, receptions, study areas, etc.) are subject to the same rules as for all buildings, i.e. 1.5-metre social distancing must be respected, and masks must be worn when moving around and whenever two or more persons are in the same room. Buildings will be open to the public again, with priority given to students in the event of overcapacity being exceeded. Please note: the libraries of the University of Geneva are now reserved for UNIGE students.

        Masks must also be worn in all outdoor spaces belonging to HES establishments

         

        Cafeterias

        Cafeterias are open. However, they must comply with the health recommendations and protection plans of the field.

        Events between students

        As of 31 May 2021, private events can bring together maximum 50 people, indoors and outdoors, as long as a protection plan is in place.

        In case of private events of maximum 15 people, in addition to respecting the usual preventive measures, the organizer must ensure that a mask is worn throughout the event and only authorize consumption in non-interchangeable seats. A list of guests including their identity and contact details must be established and kept available to the health authorities for 14 days in case they request it. . If food and drinks are offered, the rules applicable to the restaurant sector must be observed (groups of four indoors and six outdoors, groups must be seated to eat, contact details to be collected for everyone present).

        For the record, aperitifs between students are considered private events.

        Public events

        On 26 May 2021, the Federal Council announced that public events (conferences, concerts, etc.) can accommodate 100 people indoors as of 31 May 2021. Alongside this, the capacity of the place where the event is taking place must be limited to half (not one third as before). Attendees must remain seated and wear a mask at all times. A distance of at least 1.5 metres must be maintained from other people at all times, or each person must be separated by a seat. It is also forbidden to consume food or drinks and intermissions are not recommended.

        Outdoor events can accommodate up to 300 attendees.

        All public demonstrations must be subject to a specific protection plan.The contact details of all visitors must be collected if the organiser authorises the consumption of food and drink in places that are in the area accessible to the public.

        These limits on the number of people will be gradually relaxed, according to the plan laid out by the Federal Council in its release on 26 May 2021.

        IT support
        • In case of teleworking and distance learning, the HES-SO Genève has implemented a specific device: see the HES-SO Genève FAQ or the one set up by IT.
        • In order for everyone to have access to the VPN (how to use it available here), please make sure to disconnect as soon as the necessary documents are downloaded. Indeed, the bandwidth does not allow everyone to work at the same time on the VPN.
        • Helpdesks continue to be available. Please use “tickets” rather than contacts by phone.

         

        For all questions on the new coronavirus and its impact on your studies, please consult our FAQ (available to students and staff members only) .

        IN and OUT mobility

        The evolution of the coronavirus pandemic and the current restrictions on traveling abroad make it impossible to favor mobility programs in the short term.

         

        Spring semester 2021:

        The Rectorate of the HES-SO has decided to extend outgoing mobility measures (studies/internships), namely that only mobility taking place within in the Schengen area or under the SEMP scheme (including PTOM) is allowed, provided that teaching can mostly be provided on site and that quarantine measures are respected. In very specific cases, the Rectorate allows its schools to provide exceptions.

        However, although exemptions outside Europe may be granted, the HES-SO Genève recommends avoiding them as much as possible due to the very uncertain health situation and travel restrictions.

        As for incoming mobility, they remain allowed provided that entering Switzerland is possible and that teaching can be provided on site. Quarantine measures must also be respected and anticipated.

        In the Health and Social Work fields, in addition to these conditions, practical training places must be guaranteed as a priority for HES-SO students: COVID-19 : Mobilité lors du semestre de printemps 2021

         

        Autumn semester 2021:

        Given the strong uncertainties and current constraints regarding international travel outside Europe, the HES-SO Local Education Authority has decided to extend the measures currently in place for the spring semester 2021 into the autumn semester 2021.

        In other words, for the autumn semester 2021, only study abroad programmes carried out in the Schengen area or under the aegis of ERASMUS+/SEMP (including OCTs) is authorised, provided that in-person teaching, even when partial, is planned at the time of departure and that health measures (e.g. quarantining, PCR tests, vaccines) are respected and anticipated.

        Universities can, on analysis of their study abroad service, provide for exceptions argued on the basis of the work instruction “Travel: situations outside Europe and exceptional cases”

        Incoming students from abroad are authorised subject to access to Swiss territory and provided that most of the teaching can be guaranteed in-person. Health measures (e.g. quarantining, PCR tests, vaccines) must be respected and anticipated

        Incoming students from abroad in Health and Social Work are authorised, subject to access to Swiss territory and provided that most of the teaching can be guaranteed in-person. In addition, practical training spaces must be guaranteed as a priority to HES-SO students who need them. Incoming students from abroad in other subject areas are authorised subject to access to Swiss territory and provided that most of the teaching can be guaranteed in-person.

         

        Students residing in neighbouring France

        Despite the measures recently taken by the Federal Council regarding entry into the country and quarantining (which come into force on 8 February), as well as those taken by the French government, students residing in neighbouring France do not need to take PCR tests or quarantine, whether entering Switzerland or returning to France. They must, however, be carrying their student card and they must have completed the exceptional travel certificate required by the French government.

        Private traveling

        The HES-SO Genève currently urges everyone to follow the recommendations of the FOPH and to refrain from travel to countries or areas with a high risk of infection that are not necessary.

        Since July 6th, 2020, anyone entering Switzerland from a country with an increased risk of infection must go into quarantine and inform the relevant cantonal authorities in case of symptoms.

        Before any trip abroad, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, we urge you to check the websites of the embassies or consulates of the destination country. In all cases, it is essential to carefully follow the health and safety measures recommended by the relevant health authorities.

        Returning to Switzerland

        Anyone entering Switzerland from countries or areas with a high risk of infection must self-quarantine for ten days. In the event of symptoms of the disease during quarantine, the competent cantonal authorities must be informed immediately.

        People who have recovered from coronavirus and those who are fully vaccinated (with a vaccine authorised in Switzerland or by the European Medicines Agency (EMEA)) are also exempt from quarantine; in both cases, this exemption is valid for six months. Please note, the exemption from quarantine does not apply to those who are vaccinated and/or recovered from coronavirus coming from a state or area where a concerning variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is circulating.

        Finally, it should be noted that vaccinated people are exempt from having to take a test and from the obligation to provide their contact details when entering the country.

        In the event of mandatory quarantine, from 8 February 2021, the duration of 10 days can be reduced to 7 days with a rapid antigen test or PCR test with a negative result.

        In the event of symptoms of the disease during the quarantine period, the competent cantonal authorities must be informed immediately.

        In addition, also from 8 February 2021, any person entering Switzerland from an at-risk country or zone must present a negative PCR test taken less than 72 hours from the time of travel, and must submit an electronic entry form, to be completed before entering Swiss territory. The purpose of this form is to interrupt the transmission chains as quickly as possible. People arriving by plane are also subject to these requirements regardless of their place of departure.

        People returning from a region not considered to be at risk must complete the electronic entry form, unless they are entering Switzerland using their own means of transport (e.g. car) or if they are arriving from a border area. In addition, for any arrivals in Switzerland by plane, a PCR test must be carried out within 72 hours before departure and must give a negative result, in addition to the electronic entry form.

        Generally speaking, anyone returning from a stay abroad must comply with the policies of the FOPH and the entry requirements into the territory.

         

        In case of quarantine, useful information on platforms for food delivery are available here and on this site

        There are two possible scenarios on arrival:

        1. Students coming from a country which is not included in the list of countries or areas with a high risk of infection drawn up by the Swiss government must follow the health and safety measures in place.
        2. Students coming from a country included on the list drawn up by the Confederation are mandated to go into self-quarantine for ten days and are not allowed on the campus of the six schools of the HES-SO Genève.  This list is evolving and should be consulted regularly. Home quarantine instructions are as follows:
          • Upon arrival, students must go directly to their accommodation. They must wear face covering if using public transportation.
          • Wearing a mask is mandatory at all times at the place of residence, unless students live alone.
          • The cantonal doctor must be notified within two days of the arrival by filling out the required form.
          • In case of symptoms during the quarantine period, students must immediately inform the relevant cantonal authorities and follow their instructions.
          • Students take full responsibility for the costs associated with quarantine.

        For all questions on the new coronavirus and its impact on your studies, please consult our FAQ (available to students and staff members only) .

        Financial and psychological aid

        Financially needy students have access to monthly scholarships and emergency scholarships depending on their financial situation and year of study. For more information, consult the HES-SO Genève Students Affairs webpage.

        But since the beginning of the health crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the HES-SO Geneva has been committed to combating student financial difficulties by giving access to an emergency financial aid. Today, as we face a second wave of the pandemic, HES-SO Geneva has decided to renew its ad hoc emergency financial support system until the end of the year 2020, with possible extension to the end of the current Fall semester.

        The requirements for receiving emergency scholarships have been relaxed, including:

        • The possibility to combine several types of aid
        • The possibility to apply for students currently enrolled in a second Bachelor or Master’s program
        • A smoother access to emergency scholarships for students who have already received a monthly scholarship from the Social and Finance Service of the University of Geneva, provided that they are able to clearly demonstrate a genuine need

         

        As a reminder, emergency scholarships are available from the first year of study and throughout the academic year. They may be granted once per semester, renewable for up to three months, and along the following five lines:

        1. Job loss (up to 600 CHF)
        2. Food aid (up to 600 CHF)
        3. Housing aid (up to 700 CHF)
        4. Health costs (up to 1000 CHF per year, by submitting a CUMD certificate)
        5. Study costs (up to 600 CHF)

        Note that fees for material resources are included in “study costs” (books, computer, printer, internet subscription, artistic material, provided that access to these resources is not offered by the school).

         

        Applications must be done directly online on the website of the Social and Finance Service of the University of Geneva and according to the following procedure:

        1. Check out the emergency scholarship section and identify the type(s) of aid that you need. Remember to include all the required supporting materials, including your school's certification if you apply for "study costs".
        2. Complete the online form by clicking on the "" button. Students who have already been granted a scholarship must submit their application directly by email to the social worker in charge of their file as the form may only be completed once per academic year.
        3. Once your application has been processed, you will receive a reply by email from the Social and Finance Service.

         

        Outgoing students who have to interrupt their stay abroad due to the pandemic are eligible to apply to emergency scholarships upon their return to Switzerland. Travel expenses relating to their return as well as unforeseen expenses abroad may however not be covered.

        As for incoming students, they are not granted access to the emergency financial aid scheme in place.

         

        In this pandemic context, it is also important that students have the possibility to express their concerns and to be listened to. For this purpose, a free helpline is available to students who need psychological counseling:  +41 22 379 74 41.

         

        For all questions on the new coronavirus and its impact on your studies, please consult our FAQ (available to students and staff members only)

         

        For all questions on the new coronavirus and its impact on your studies, please consult our FAQ.