In the interest of the health and safety of all permanent, temporary and visiting staff, including interns and scholars using the UNIDROIT Library, as well as other visitors and guests, and in light of the situation relating to the Declared National State of Emergency in Italy linked to the Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19), UNIDROIT has adopted the following preventive measures and emergency management policy.
Kindly note that UNIDROIT is following the situation closely and reassesses the measures taken on a weekly basis, or as the circumstances require. Despite the uncertainties posed by the fluctuating conditions, the Institute has remained open and operational throughout the crisis.
PERSONNEL AND WORKING ARRANGEMENTS
Office Instructions were first adopted during the month of February 2020 with precautionary measures and were subsequently updated to comply with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Italian Law. The Secretary-General has also kept Unidroit guests apprised of the situation as it has evolved with specific office instructions as necessary. The Institute has been following the rules of social distancing and hygiene since the beginning of the crisis. The Secretariat has provided for full disinfection of the premises, and has the surface and office space to work with full staff in the building at distances well over the recommended limit, provided there are no visitors. Flexible or full remote working arrangements have been adopted as needed from 10 March 2020. The Secretariat has purchased masks for its employees, and separators to be placed between meeting participants and visitors in the library.
In addition to the instructions above, the Secretariat has displayed information prepared by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the basic protective measures in place on every floor and in the hallways to raise awareness about the importance of:
- washing hands frequently with soap for at least 20 seconds;
- using alcohol-based hand sanitizer (provided in the buildings);
- avoiding touching eyes, nose and face;
- avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory illnesses
ACCESS TO THE UNIDROIT LIBRARY
Visitors who wish to consult the Library’s collection are kindly requested to apply by e-mail and to abide by the safety rules applicable within the Institute, specifically concerning prior travel to high-risk areas and quarantine requirements. The same applies to Interns and Scholars who have submitted their applications, who are being contacted and, if feasible, invited to the Institute, which, thanks to the conditions of the Library, which allows for appropriate social distancing and hygiene for its guests. Due to travel restrictions and the evolution of the pandemic across the globe, invitations are still issued on an ad hoc basis.
Staff missions were initially approved on a case-by-case basis, and subsequently suspended in light of the expansion of the epidemic and related travel restrictions. As international travel resumes, the Secretariat shall assess the costs and benefits of each mission on a case by case basis.
As mentioned above, the Institute has continued to fulfil its mission in compliance with global and local health and safety regulations since the beginning of this crisis, as a result, one meeting that could not be held remotely was postponed but all other scheduled meetings were held through a remote decision-making process or discussions were held via videoconference. The Secretary-General and staff are in constant contact with all participants to keep them apprised of the situation and have developed the following innovative approaches to avoid unnecessary delays. Thanks to the adoption of remote or hybrid meeting formats, no meetings of the governing bodies of the Institute have been delayed, thus guaranteeing the fully functional governance of UNIDROIT.
Likewise, the Secretariat has successfully been able to meet its objectives as far as the progress of its projects are concerned, and is planning more events to take place in the future. Please consult our Forthcoming events and News Page for all the updates.