News Student Life

IHEID closes doors amid Swiss state of emergency

by Harvey Parafina

Director Philippe Burrin announced in an email yesterday that the Institute had officially moved into Phase 3 of the action plan in light of COVID-19 situation. Following the decision by the Coordination Team, all offices in the Institute including the library, cafeteria and restaurant, would be closed off to all except for certain authorized personnel to maintain essential services.

As such, all classes at the Institute had been suspended until the end of this week, March 21. This includes all courses and workshops, alongside those already offered online. Office hours are also suspended until then. Classes will then resume exclusively online beginning Monday, March 23 until the end of the semester.

This decision arrived hours just before the Swiss Federal Council placed the entire country under a state of emergency. In a bid to fight the coronavirus pandemic, the Swiss government declared an “extraordinary situation” now exists and it aims to ban all public and private events beginning today, March 17. Everyone is asked to act responsibly and in solidarity and “to avoid all unnecessary contact, to keep their distance from others, and to follow the recommended hygiene measures.”

Moreover, shops, markets, restaurants, bars and entertainment and leisure facilities, and cultural spaces were ordered to close. Grocery stores, bakeries, health facilities, pharmacies, banks, post offices and other businesses that provide essential goods and services are to remain open. 

The Federal Council also introduced border checks with Germany, Austria and France (on top of the borders with Italy) as of midnight yesterday, and had imposed entry bans “Entry to Switzerland from its four large neighbours is now only possible for Swiss citizens, persons holding a residence permit for Switzerland and persons who have to enter Switzerland for work-related reasons.” All these measures are set to last until Sunday, April 19.

Relevant links:

As Switzerland begins its first day of lockdown, The Graduate Press team has collected a list of updates and resources for colleagues, students, and the general community that may not have access to Instagram or Facebook.

Comments are welcome with additional resources, suggestions and general commentary. For other thoughts, questions, or comments, feel free to send a message to We are also available on Facebook ( and Instagram (@thegraduatepress).

Photo credits go to Graduate Institute, Geneva.

1 comment on “IHEID closes doors amid Swiss state of emergency

  1. Pingback: COVID-19 Updates and Resources – The Graduate Press

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