Introduction

The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a number of operational constraints that have to be applied to ESRF users and staff alike. The need for social distancing, as well as potential travel restrictions for users due to regulations adopted by the various national authorities and/or users’ institutions, means that preference must continue to be given to fully remote experiments whenever possible over the coming months, keeping the number of users travelling to/from the ESRF to the strict minimum necessary.

Run 1 (19 January to 17 March) : When fully remote experiments are not possible, one member of the external user team will be allowed to be present onsite, to improve the efficiency and success of the experiment by having an expert member of the user team present and also to ease any difficulties related to sample or equipment transport, since the user may be able to travel with the samples/equipment.

The limit of one external user per experiment applies independently to what hutch or laboratory the user is likely to work in, or whether users are likely to work in the same area or not. This is to limit the number of visitors onsite.

Run 2 (30 March to 18 May) : When fully remote experiments are not possible, up to 3 members of the external user team will be allowed to be present onsite, to improve the efficiency and success of the experiment. The number of onsite users must be kept to the strict minimum required to successfully carry out the experiment, i.e. if the experiment can be done successfully with one user onsite, only one user should come; if it needs two onsite, only two should come, etc, up to a maximum of 3 users.

In all cases, the maximum limit of users/staff allowed in a beamline hutch at any time must be respected at all times.

Run 3 (1 June to 26 July) :  From 14 June, with the reopening of the French borders, there is no longer any limit of onsite users allowed per experiment, but in all cases the maximum limite of users/staff allowed in a beamline hutch at any time must be respected at all times.

Operation conditions from 14 June until 26 July:

  • For Structural Biology experiment on MX beamlines (except BM29 BioSAXS) and on the Cryo-EM, experiments should continue to be carried out remotely unless there are exceptional experiments requirements.
  • For non-Structural Biology experiments and MX experiments on BM29, users are welcome back on site to carry out their experiments. Whether the experiment should be carried out remotely or with onsite users (or in a mixed mode) must be discussed and agreed with the Local Contact, taking into account available ESRF manpower resources and any travel restrictions applying to members of the user team.

Run 4 (24 August to 13 October) & Run 5 (26 October to 14 December): The number of onsite users allowed per session is not limited. This concerns all types of experiments: Structural Biology experiments and non-Structural Biology experiments. Whether the experiment should be carried out remotely or with onsite users (or in a mixed mode) must be discussed and agreed with the Local Contact, but in all cases the maximum limit of users/staff allowed in a beamline hutch at any one time must be respected at all times. This can be revised according to the evolution of the sanitary situation.

This page contains information for users coming onsite for an experiment, and for Main Proposers who need to declare both onsite and remote users. Reduced logistics are in place on the site so please read the information below carefully.

For information concerning the latest COVID-19 travel restrictions to the ESRF, please read our User news item.