What is a mask?
The ministerial order of 28 October 2020 on emergency measures to limit the spread of coronavirus defines a mask as "a mask without ventilation, made of fabric or disposable material, which fits tightly over the face, covers the nose, mouth and chin and is intended to prevent contamination through contact between people".
The fabric mask should be used for a maximum of 4 hours at a time as the moisture produced by breathing alters the properties of the mask and may allow filtered particles to reach the respiratory tract. Badly maintained, in contact with the skin and respiratory tract, contamination (viruses, bacteria or fungi) is possible. Machine cleaning at 60°C after each use is essential.
Good to know: there are masks equipped with a small rectangular visor allowing the view of the mouth and therefore lip reading for deaf and hard of hearing people. More information here.
The industrial mask with a ventilation valve is not effective and therefore not authorised. Scarves, neck covers and bandanas are not acceptable alternatives either.
The mask type FFP2 and FFP3 remains for medical use or for activities with defined risks.
Why wear a mask?
The fabric mask picks up the particles or bodily fluids that we emit.
When mask-wearing is widespread, we protect each other. It is therefore a collective responsibility.
Wearing a mask also limits the often unconscious gestures that cause us to touch our mouth or face.
When and where to wear a mask?
At all times, in all our university spaces, wearing a mask is mandatory.
By way of exception, it can be removed
- by everyone for drinking and eating, for blowing one's nose or for lip-reading purposes for the deaf and hard of hearing
- by members of staff when they are at their personal workstation where the distance of 1.5 m can be respected (a personal workstation is defined as the desk, work surface, fume hood, bench or any equipment on which one usually works, as well as one's seating position in a meeting room)
- by teachers in auditoriums of at least 50 students and with a minimum physical distance of 3 metres from students
However, it is recommended to keep the mask, even at a distance of more than 1.5 m, in poorly ventilated rooms or when talking.