2. Recommendations for the population

The FOPH has recently decided that the first aim of the epidemic management policy is to protect high risk population groups and to preserve the health system which must handle in priority severe cases. Hence, the population at large is invited to continue to apply all general recommendations on hygiene and behaviour in order to avoid being contaminated or contaminate others.

General hygiene measures


         On a daily basis, it is useful to remember the basic hygiene measures, namely :

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or with an alcohol-based solution.
  • Avoid handshakes and hugging and keep at a sufficient distance (approx. 2 m.) from your interlocutors.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cough and sneeze into a paper tissue.
  • After use, throw the paper tissue in a trashcan and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, or an alcohol-based solution.
  • Cough and sneeze into the crook of the elbow if you don't have a paper tissue.

Basic hygiene measures

FOPH recommendations


Behaviour rules to adopt to avoid contamination

In the current state of virus spread, in addition to hygiene measures, it is recommended to :

  • Keep a security distance between individuals of about 2 meters to avoid contamination.
  • Respecting this security distance is particularly important with regards to high risk persons, in order to protect them.

For high risk persons, the consequences of COVID-19 disease can be serious.


Behaviour rules to adopt in case of symptoms

What to do, in case of symptoms, if you are not a vulnerable person, you are in good health and are aged less than 65 :

  • Stay at home until up to 24 hours after all symptoms (dry cough, fever, respiratory symptoms) have disappeared (self-isolation).
  • Call a doctor only if your condition requires it - that is, if you have serious trouble breathing.
  • Inform all persons who live with you (same household; intimate relations) to be careful about their state of health and to isolate themselves, should any symptoms appear.

Symptomatic people who are not vulnerable and do not require medical care are no longer systematically tested. Coronavirus testing is now limited to high risk population groups only.


Further information available on the FOPH website (only in French and German) :

Guide pour l'auto-isolement (OFSP)

Guide pour l'auto-quarantaine à l'intentio des personnes ayant été en contact avec une personne malade (OFSP)


Recommendations for travellers returning from an affected region

Without symptoms

  • In the absence of symptoms, a COVID-19 diagnostic test is not necessary.
  • Similarly, no preventive quarantine measure is recommended.

With symptoms

  • In the event of a cough and respiratory symptoms within 14 days of returning home, contact – first by phone – a doctor or a medical consultation service at home, reporting the trip to China or to the country at risk.


Advice for travellers

It is currently advised not to travel to China or to any other affected countries presenting a high risk, and where quarantine measures have been implemented. Before travelling, it is recommended to contact the embassy or consulate of the country destination to find out about any measures.

If travelling to areas in the world where COVID-19 have developped, the FOPH recommends :

  • Applying proven personal hygiene measures, such as frequent and regular handwashing.
  • Contacting by phone, in the event of a cough and respiratory symptoms within 14 days of returning home, a doctor or a medical consultation service at home, informing them about the trip.








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