Covid-19 Update


Following the French Government measures to limit the spread of the Covid-19, the ESRF site is closed until further notice. The use of the ESRF facilities to contribute to research on coronavirus can be resumed rapidly if required.

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ESRF, in collaboration with its partner of the EPN science campus, ILL, EMBL, IBS, operates state-of-the-art facilities for structural biology and bio-imaging. The ESRF is ready to provide access to its facilities for covid-19 related projects. This exceptional access will be granted with the objective to contribute to the international scientific effort to overcome the covid-19 pandemic.

More information here.

For any urgent project on Covid-19 that may need the support of the ESRF expertise and the exceptional use of ESRF facilities, please contact Jean Susini ( or Harald Reichert (, Directors of Research, or Gordon Leonard (, Head of the Structural Biology Group. All proposals will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and followed up rapidly.


In the interest of transparency, we are publishing the ESRF Director General’s internal advice to staff on the current coronavirus situation and the exceptional ESRF site closure.

This page will be updated regularly, in particular with the publication of the ESRF bulletin. Our hightest priority continues to be to protect the health and well-being of ESRF staff and visitors, and all measures are decided with this objective in mind.


Dear Colleagues,

The spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 is increasing in most of Europe.

On Saturday 14 March 2020, the French Prime Minister has stated the need of further reinforcement of measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 (

Consequently, under these new circumstances, with the objective to protect ESRF staff and visitors’ well-being, in agreement with my fellow Directors and the Chief Safety Engineer, and having informed the Council Chair, I have decided to close until further notice the ESRF site from Monday 16 March 2020 at noon.

The ESRF site closure will be carried out in line with the ESRF Continuity Plan, requiring a minimum number of staff members on-site and on-call.

In particular, please note that only those staff members whose presence is required will be allowed to come to the ESRF site. These staff members will be included in a list of people on-call, who will be individually contacted by her/his supervisor and informed about the work expected from them. Staff members who must come to the ESRF site are advised to use private transportation if at all possible.

During this period, ESRF staff is invited, whenever possible, to carry out teleworking, as indicated by their supervisors. If this is not possible, they will be put either in “diverse leave” or in sick leave in line with the French regulations.

On Monday morning, the different installations will be put in a safe close-down state. In order to do this, the supervisors will, as far as possible, prepare this work today with their group members, in order to limit the number of people on the ESRF site on Monday morning.

Please note that, as of today, the on-site restaurant and guest-house are closed until further notice.

ESRF Management will continue to monitor the situation very closely, and may review the organisation of the closure at any time. Using the ESRF on-site mailing list and public and internal websites, the ESRF Management will keep the staff and visitors informed with a regular information bulletin to be published weekly.

You are invited to contact your supervisor for any questions you may have and to stay in contact with her/him during this period.

We count on your sense of responsibility to follow the World Health Organisation and national advice to help stop the spread of the virus. Please avoid all unnecessary gatherings, follow the indications of the Authorities and please stay home as much as possible!

This is a challenging time for all of us. The care and effort that all of us are engaged in is key to ensure that we get through this period in a responsible and effective way.

Thank you, and please stay safe!

Yours faithfully,


Francesco Sette

ESRF Director General