FAQ on Mask-Wearing

Who has to wear a mask?

The obligation to wear a mask applies to anyone present at UZH (UZH members as well as visitors and external service providers) in indoor spaces. Masks are also mandatory even if a person is vaccinated, has recovered from a previous Covid-19 infection or has been tested negative.

Children under the age of 12 are exempted from wearing a mask.

Do I have to wear a mask even though I am vaccinated, have recovered from a Covid-19 infection or have tested negative?

Yes. You must wear the mask even if you are vaccinated, have recovered from an infection or tested negative. 

How do I choose the right mask?

Hygiene masks are medical products and must meet the requirements of the EN 14683 standard and be marked with a CE mark. There are three types of these masks (type I, type II and type IIR). Healthcare professionals must wear type II and type IIR. Type I can be worn by patients and by the general population during a pandemic. For commercially produced textile masks (community masks), the recommendations of the Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force apply. Home-made masks are not recommended by the FOPH. Scarves and shawls are not a valid replacement for masks.

Respirator masks (e.g. FFP2 or KN95 masks) are considered to be personal protective equipment. Even in the current situation with the spread of the new virus variants, the FOPH does not recommend respirator masks for general use (status on 27.1.2021). FFP2 masks are worn by healthcare professionals when they are treating COVID-19 patients and there is the possibility of aerosols being produced. Respirator masks are also worn, if necessary, by persons at increased risk after consultation with their doctor. However it should be noted that due to the greater restrictions on breathing that such respirator masks cause, the FOPH and the manufacturers of such masks advise against their use for people with certain pre-existing conditions. The higher benefit of this mask depends on the mask being worn correctly, i.e. it must fit snugly on the face. Please refer to the instructions for use. Respirator masks with exhalation valves should not be used to prevent COVID-19 transmission.

Where outdoors do I have to wear a mask?

Masks must be worn in outdoor areas at UZH wherever the required minimum distance of 1.5 meters can't be observed, in particular in busy pedestrian zones, in front of buildings, when going to/leaving campus, in waiting areas, in seating and standing areas (benches, tables, etc.).

Do I have to wear a mask all the time?

Masks may be removed to eat or drink. But removal of masks should be kept as short as possible.

Where can I buy masks at UZH?

You can buy masks at various ZFV cafeteria sites (as of January 2021)

At Irchel Campus there is also a vending machine with masks (in front of building Y23 / Facility Management Irchel Campus info counter).

On what grounds can someone be dispensed from the obligation to wear a mask?

Persons who can prove that they are unable to wear face masks for medical reasons are dispensed from the mask requirement. A medical certificate issued by a doctor or psychotherapist is required as proof of dispensation on medical grounds.

Children under the age of 12 are exempted from wearing a mask.

Will UZH pay for masks?

Students and externals are responsible for supplying their own protective masks.

The regulations for UZH staff can be found in the detailed provision of the Directive on Working from Home:
Detailed Provions on the Directive on Working from Home: Use and procurement of masks (in German)

What is the mask-wearing requirement based on?

The mask-wearing requirement is based on the social distancing and hygiene recommendations of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).

The obligation to wear masks is specified in Art. 10 para. 1bis of the COVID-19 Ordinance Special Situation.
COVID-19 Ordinance Special Situation (in German)