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FAQ COVID-19: research activities

Until further notice, the ground rule remains teleworking in all situations that allow it.

1. Specific exceptions

Researchers who need transportable equipment (books, notes, hard disk, USB key, laptop, ...) to enable them to continue their research at home are allowed to come and collect it. We ask them to notify their department head beforehand who will ensure that entry into the premises is authorised at a time when their attendance is compatible with the recommended preventive measures (see below).

2. Structural exceptions

Researchers who are unable to carry out their research at home are allowed to return to the university premises provided that they comply with the prevention measures detailed below. It is impossible to draw up an exhaustive list of research activities requiring an on-site presence and the common sense of each laboratory manager is called upon to assess the situation. By way of example, and without this list having to be considered as exhaustive, we can mention activities requiring handling in the laboratories, consultation of books or examination of archaeological items that cannot leave the premises, access to data stored on servers that cannot be accessed from the outside... In all cases, the department manager must be informed beforehand of your return to the premises and explicitly authorise it, by way of an e-mail, for example.

In this context, we ask you to communicate to dispatching@ulb.be or 02 650 26 14 the premises that will need to be accessible. This information is essential to allow access as well as to maintain the logistics to accommodate the agents in the best conditions possible (surveillance, heating, cleaning, disinfection of surfaces).


3. Sharing facilities

In some situations, resuming on-site activities of all research requiring a presence on the premises will not allow for the respect of prevention and distancing measures. The heads of departments will then have to arrange shared access (rotations over the week for example) and possibly make choices between the different activities authorised to be resumed on-site.


4. Preventive measures to be respected for the resumption of on-site activities

  • Physical and social distancing
Physical distance (1.5 m) remains the priority measure. Adapt the work organisation so that this distance is respected for those present at work. Create sufficient distance between the workstations. More practically, no more than one person per 8 m2 is permitted.
Although using stairs is always preferable, should you need to take the lifts, do it alone if possible, if not stand back to back to each other. Physical distancing must be observed not only between the individuals present on campus but also between them and any person called on-site for repairs, maintenance or cleaning. Sellotape may be made available to enable virtual physical barriers.
  • Hygiene
We urge you to observe sanitary measures at all times and frequently wash your hand with soap, proven more effective than hydroalcoholic gels, and dry them off with one-use and disposable paper towel.
Watch our tutorial on how to properly and safely wash your hands. 
  • AC and ventilation of workspaces
Ventilate your workspaces as much as possible. Do not use individual fans as they are prone to enhance virus propagation.
  • Meetings
Meetings are to be held digitally.
  • Masks
We strongly recommend the use of masks when the physical and social distancing measures cannot be observed.
We will gradually distribute masks (2 per person) as well as a hydroalcoholic gel to guarantee the hygiene measures are respected even when there are no water points. We will also, in stages, put up plexiglass partitions where needed.
Watch our tutorial on the use of masks
  • Working hours and schedules
Line managers will take actions that will allow for staggering working hours and breaks, flexible working hours, teamwork, adapting the work sequence. Flexible working hours will help avoid overcrowding of public transport
  • Parking
Access to the car parks will be possible via the intercom system for those who do not have a sticker and who do not wish to use public transport.
  • Lunchbreaks and meals
Lunchbreaks are to be had alone in an office or in a room where one can be isolated. Sharing cups, glasses, plates or cutlery is not permitted. Clean up the space upon leaving and wash your hands before eating.
  • Equipment and material
It is not allowed to share small equipment (i.e. telephones, keyboards, pens, protective glasses, books, etc.). If said equipment must be shared with other people, always disinfect it between uses or to manipulate it with disposable protective gloves – throw them away as soon as you are done using them.
  • Toilets
Even if the washroom area is designed for several users, it is strongly recommended that access be limited to one person at a time.
  • Buildings access and restaurants
Buildings and restaurants remain closed and protected. Access can be granted using your badge
  • Libraries access

As of May 11th, a contactless click-and-collect service will be set up to borrow books; online booking and dispatching in each of ULB's libraries' pick up points. For the concrete and precise details of these measures, consult the libraries website's regular updates.

For more information and recommendations, the generic guide "Working safely", published by the Federal Public Employment Service is available here.  

Updated on September 3, 2020