Sanitary protocol in business: end of the mask and…


[PROTOCOLE SANITAIRE ENTREPRISE] The Minister of Labor has announced the suspension of the occupational health protocol as of March 14, 2022!

[Mise à jour du lundi 14 mars 2022 à 12h54] It’s a turning point. After long months of health protocol in business, it is coming to an end from March 14, 2022† Employees are no longer required to wear the mask, regardless of the size of the company. Employees who wish to do so can continue to wear the mask. A practical guide will replace the 25-page protocol from Monday† It is still mandatory to continue to apply barrier movements such as washing hands, cleaning and ventilating the premises.

What will become of the occupational health protocol on March 14, 2022?

As of March 14, 2022, the occupational health protocol will be suspended. Staff no longer be required to wear the mask indoors or respect physical distance† The collective catering rules will also disappear. On the other hand, barrier movements such as hand washing, cleaning and ventilating buildings should remain in effect.

Contact case: what to do in case of contamination within the company?

The rules for infection with Covid-19 differ per situation:

  1. The person who tested positive has a full vaccination schedule : immediate isolation and antigen test or PCR on the 5th day before the end of the isolation if negative (isolation until the 7th day with positive test)
  2. The person who tested positive does not have a full vaccination schedule : immediate isolation and antigen test or PCR on the 7th day before the end of the isolation if negative (isolation until the 10th day with positive test)
  3. The case contact has a full vaccination schedule : antigen test or PCR 2 days after last contact with the specified person
  4. The case contact person does not have a complete vaccination schedule : immediate isolation and antigen test or PCR 7 days after last contact with the specified person

Regardless of the situation, it is highly recommended to: working abroad when possible. It is also recommended to wear the mask for people who are positive for Covid-19 and contact cases at risk.

What about vulnerable workers?

The employer must attach particular importance to vulnerable employees (or cohabitation with a vulnerable person) and must to respect stricter protective measures, also after 14 March. He must ensure that the employee can respect the reinforced barrier gestures at all times and adjust the schedules if necessary. The workplace must be disinfected at the beginning and end of the shift, especially when it is shared. In the absence of these measures, the employee can telecommuting when his position permits.

In the event that teleworking is impossible, vulnerable employees may be placed in partial activity or receive different daily allowances until July 31, 2022 if they meet one of these three conditions: severe immunosuppressionVulnerability Criteria for Covid-19 contained in this decision or contraindication to vaccination; pworkstation “probably expose the professional to high viral densities” for which the employer cannot take the above-mentioned protective measures. These employees must then present themselves to their employer a certificate of isolation drawn up by a doctor be placed in sub-activity. Employees who have already obtained an insulation certificate before this date must submit a new one.

Does the occupational health protocol require wearing a mask?

Since the published version of the occupational health protocol August 31, 2020wearing a mask for the general public (category 1 mask or surgical mask) was obligated in all closed collective workspaces outside individual offices. Wearing a mask had to be accompanied by respecting a physical distance of at least 1 meter and respect for barrier gestures. The physical distance between two people is increased to 2 meters when the mask could not be worn, both in the collective catering industry and in the outdoor areas.

Counting from today wearing a mask is no longer mandatory in the workplace but employees who want to can continue to wear it.

What are the obligations regarding the cleaning of the property?

The protocol published by the Ministry of Labor contains several provisions regarding the cleaning of the buildings:

  • Confined spaces should be ventilated regularly: 10 minutes per hourideally
  • Ventilation of rooms via a mechanical ventilation system in accordance with regulations
  • The operation and maintenance of the VMC must be checked
  • Disposal of potentially contaminated waste in bins that cannot be opened manually
  • “Frequent” cleaning of regularly touched surfaces and objects (elevator buttons) with a product active on the SARS-CoV-2 virus to ensure disinfection
  • Routine floor cleaning

These provisions remain highly recommended from March 14, even if the occupational health protocol expires.

What are the new standards for telecommuting?

Since February 2, 2022only telecommuting remains recommended but it is no longer necessary. The procedures for the use of telework are determined by the employer. This should ensure that ties within the work collective are maintained and that risks associated with the isolation of employees working from home are prevented. The frame of reference is determined by the National Interprofessional Agreement (ANI) from November 26, 2020