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Lifting of containment measures FAQ

Answers to questions about lifting of containment measures.

Dr Patrizia Thiry-Curzietti, General Director of the ASTF, answers about the virus transmission, types of masks and the different covid-19 tests.


Can the ASTF carry out an audit on the measures put in place?

Yes, the ASTF is the health and safety advisor for both the employer and the employee and can perform on site audits to assess the measures undertaken by the company.


Is it necessary to consider having employees tested before they on-site?

Testing with PCR tests only gives a snapshot of the health status of employees at a given time. A person can very well be tested negative today and start spreading the virus tomorrow. This would give a false impression of security and lead to neglection of barrier gestures.

Serological testing will not be very productive either since only 2% of the population currently have antibodies. It would hence consist on a lot of work for little results.


My professional activity does not allow the recommended distance to be respected. What type of mask should I wear?

A surgical mask or a fabric mask worn by all concerned parties is sufficient if you do not work in an infectious hospital environment.


If I wear alternative masks, how long does it take to change them?

You should wear it for a maximum of 4 hours and change it as soon as it gets wet.


Can the employer impose temperature control at the entrance of the company building?

No, this is an invasion to privacy and can only be done on a voluntary basis.
Furthermore, it is not recommended since:

  • affected people would have already been infectious two days before the onset of symptoms;
  • there are virus carriers with no symptoms;
  • only 63% of Covid-19s develop fever;
  • you’re going to create line-ups at the entrance, ideal place for dissemination!


Should the company confine again / close if there have been new confirmed contaminated cases?

No. The health inspectorate will only quarantine people who have been in close contact with the patient over the 48 hours preceding the reporting.


Can the occupational physician be used to obtain prescriptions to have employees tested?

No, only the attending physician or the government can initiate testing.


Should occupational medicine be informed if the sanitary conditions are not adequate? Who else if not?

It is recommended to inform in the following order:

  • the designated worker or the Covid-19 manager if there is one;
  • the occupational physician;
  • Health Inspection;
  • The ITM


How to sterilize reusable masks?

Paper masks can be sterilized in the oven at 80°C for 30 minutes. Stay around!
Cloth masks should be washed with soap and water at 60°C minimum.


I had cancer and I’m off my meds. Am I a person at risk?

No, a cancer patient in remission who is no longer taking immunosuppressive drugs and is no longer undergoing radiation therapy is not considered to be at risk.


Can I ask my employer to provide me with personal protective equipment free of charge?

Yes, the employer is required by law to provide personal protective equipment (PPE).


Am I obliged to return to work on site at the request of my employer, even if I can work remotely?

Yes, the employer decides on the workplace but must provide the employee with all the necessary equipment to guaranty his health and safety.


Knowing that the virus is spread through the air, am I allowed to request the obstruction of ventilation grilles in my immediate work environment?

No, the opposite is recommended! The more air circulates, the faster the droplets will be eliminated.


If, for professional reasons, I have to move around the company premises, am I obliged to wear the mask?

Yes, it is recommended to wear a mask in places where the distance of 2 meters cannot be respected such as corridors, lifts, stairwells, etc.


The first time I come to the office, what do I have to pay attention to?

Apply barrier gestures and do not come to work if you have symptoms or if a member of your close circle is ill.


If I find out that the mandatory 2 meters distance between workstations is not ensured, am I obliged to stay at the office??

Yes and you are obliged to wear a mask.


Can the workstations in the open-space next to the corridors be occupied?

Yes, as long as wearing a mask is mandatory for all movements within the company. A person passing in the corridor will be a contact at less than 2 meters but with a mask and for less than 15 minutes.


When organizing the workspaces, our managers have opted for "nomadic work", so I no longer have an assigned workstation. When I return after the confinement period, can I ask my employer for permission to continue working at the same desk?

It is recommended to have one permanent place per employee. In the case of desk sharing, it will be necessary to clean and desinfect the workstation after each use.


The ASTF will be open for visits from Monday, May 11th

Medical examinations upon recruitment will be done by teleconsultation, all other visits will be done on site with all the necessary precautions.