COVID-19, campus protection provisions and how the semester will play out

Institutional Communication Service

26 November 2021

The COVID-19 situation remains uncertain and changing. USI is constantly following and adapting to the indications of the federal and cantonal authorities. This page gives up to date information on the current campus regulations and the course of the semesters.



From 22 September 2021, access to the University libraries is granted only upon presentation of a valid Covid certificate and personal ID.

The Federal Council decided new rules for entry to Switzerland and for people vaccinated abroad to access the COVID certificate from Monday, 20 September (more information can be found here).

The Federal Council decided to extend the use of the Covid certificate from Monday, 13 September.

In accordance with cantonal authorities, at USI the use does not concern undergraduate and graduate programmes (Bachelor and Master), for which we confirm the provisions we previously introduced. The measures will be discussed at the General Assembly on Thursday, 30 September on Lugano campus (details will follow).

The certificate will be required for any other activity offered by USI, such as:

  • Participating in LifeLong Learning activities (exceptions may be established by each program)
  • Participating in indoor events
  • Training in the Sports Hall of the East Campus
  • To access the West and East campus cafeterias and bar
  • To access Universitiy Libraries

Ahead of the start of the new academic year USI confirms its protection provisions introduced at the end of last semester. The goal, developed according to the indications of swissuniversities, is to return to the campuses as much as possible and with online sessions if needed. More information can be found here.



  • Mandatory in common indoor areas; 
  • Mandatory in offices, open spaces, during meetings and when moving around the premises, at desks, except when it is possible to air the premises and keep a distance of 1.5 metres.


Exams in attendance

Given the first five weeks of the semester, which allowed us to carry out activities in attendance with distance and masks (with some exceptions), mid-term and winter session exams will also be held in attendance, with distance and masks as for regular classes. All exceptions (e.g., online implementation of oral examinations) must be approved by the Pro-rector for Education and Students' experience, with prior notice from the Dean of the Faculty. No exceptions to the Faculty Regulations are granted, and in the event of changes due to a tightening of the current restrictions, the regulations will be promptly updated.



Telecommuting becomes a recommendation (it is no longer mandatory) in all departments where it is possible without unreasonable burden. Arrangements are to be discussed with the head of the service.



A COVID certificate is required for all activities outside of Bachelor and Master programmes.

Indoors, masks are mandatory so is social distancing. 

A COVID certificate is also mandatory for press conferences.

Further information on public events: FOPH website.



Teaching in attendance is again permitted. The details for the new semester were announced at the end of May:

All courses will continue to make extensive use of the iCorsi platform so that the syllabus and materials will be available to all.


Vaccination campaign

The anti-COVID vaccination campaign has entered its final phase. In order to cope with the spread of the new Delta variant, which is more contagious and potentially more dangerous, the declared objective of the Federal Council and the health authorities is to be able to protect as many people with the vaccine as quickly as possible. If this goal were not achieved, there would be a significant risk of the pandemic resuming. USI has decided to relay this message to increase the prospects for a swift return to normalcy, including the full return of university courses in attendance. For further information, the website of the Federal Office of Public Health provides useful information and answers to the most common questions:

Other matters remain regulated by the Protective Provisions.




Lugano Cafeterias

A COVID certificate is required to access the cafeterias and bar on the Lugano campuses. Patrons without a COVID certificate are welcome to use the Take Away offer.

Entrance to the Bar and Cafeterias on both East and West Campuses is permitted only to paying customers (no picnic allowed)

Only people with a COVID certificate will be allowed to sit at the tables.

Controls will be performed at the cash register by SV staff through the "Covid Certificate App".

The West Campus cafeteria in Lugano is open Monday through Friday between 9 am and 1.30 pm. USI has arranged some alternative spaces for meals. In particular, it will be possible to find a place to eat lunch in the basement of the main building in the following classrooms:

  • classroom 150 for academic and administrative staff;
  • classrooms 120 for students.

The new Bar 5-0 is now open on the East Campus from 8.30 am to 6 pm.

On the East Campus, a new cafeteria will also open from Monday, 20 September 2021, from 11.30 am to 2.15 pm.


Study spaces

At this link, the available study spaces (no COVID certificate, under “Students”, section 11).


University libraries loan service

For those without a COVID certificate and therefore unable to access the internal spaces of the libraries, the loan service will essentially follow the procedures used during the lockdown phase of the Covid pandemic. The maximum number of people who can stay in this area at the same time is limited, so that minimum safety distances can be maintained (mask required). Users may submit requests as indicated on the libraries' websites to the following addresses:

For more information:



Special provisions are in force at the Lugano and Mendrisio campuses to prevent and continue to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. The Provisions regulate the use of the spaces for a number of different situations, including ordinary activities, meetings, and events.

Read the provisions



USI on the one hand, values in presence learning and university life, on the other hand, it has indeed been successful at organising online courses, taking advantage of opportunities and ensuring a flexible and continuous learning experience.

Teaching and learning in the age of COVID19