The 4th peak of the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting Hungary. Although 60% of the population is vaccinated, it cannot prevent the spread of the virus.

According to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the vaccination of the population can only be increased by mobilizing a wider range of society. We must convince people who refuse to be vaccinated.

To delay or completely avoid spreading the Delta variant in RCNS, I want to introduce the following safety regulations.

My hope is that the majority of RCNS employees and students have already been vaccinated. Those colleagues who have not yet registered for the third dose of the Covid vaccine, are strongly advised to do so ( Statistics show that fully vaccinated people are less likely to being hospitalized with severe symptoms.

Wearing face masks is compulsory, especially in the staircase, hallway, classrooms, and seminar rooms. Only those who put on a mask can enter the building. RCNS provides surgical masks for its employees up to 5 pieces per week. (Surgical masks can be requested from colleagues working in the depository.) FFP2 masks are being delivered by the institutional secretariats.

Upon arrival, disinfecting hands is compulsory. Antiseptic gels are provided in the kitchens. Sanitization will be carried out more frequently.

Remote work remains supported as long as research group leaders give consent to their subordinates on an individual basis after discussion with the director of the corresponding institute. For non-researchers, consent is given by the head of the corresponding unit after discussion with the chief financial officer or the director general. Remote work ensures that labs and offices work with minimal staff and particularly favors employees with children and those with increased exposure to health hazards.

Guests, research subjects, and those who deliver goods and services are allowed to enter the building as long as they wear a face mask and disinfect their hands upon arrival.

Anyone having a fever or observing signs of a COVID-19 infection must stay at home, inform their research group leader, and call their GP. Group leaders are asked to immediately report the case to their director and the human resources department. If symptoms are developing while working in RCNS, please go immediately home.

Online meetings should be favored over face-to-face ones. In conference rooms, employees should be present at numbers that allow keeping an appropriate distance from each other. There should be a break each hour for the proper ventilation of the room. Guests can only attend public events in RCNS by presenting a valid vaccination certificate.

Social distancing should be practiced in elevators as well, meaning that only two people should use the elevator at the same time, and wearing a face mask is compulsory.

The in-house cafeteria remains open and works under the following conditions. All RCNS employees, as well as guests, must put on a face mask upon entering the cafeteria. Masks can be removed while having lunch but should be immediately placed back when one leaves the table. RCNS employees are encouraged to go first to the checkout to ease the increasing congestion in the cafeteria. Extended opening hours will help ensure safe operation.

The above regulations come into effect on October 18 (Monday) and remain valid until further notice.

October 14, 2021

Laszlo Buday, Director General