Find out the latest guidance and information about the impact of COVID-19 on the University.

Healthy and Safety


Health and Safety

Health and safety of our community during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Scottish Government announced on 4 January that mainland Scotland is now under ‘protection level’ 4 restrictions and is effectively in lockdown until these measures are reviewed again.

As a result, home working will continue for the vast majority of staff, with tighter controls than there was before the festive break for staff on campus.

The University has decided that the vast majority of teaching will continue to be delivered online until the end of Term 2 (Friday, 30 April). This decision has not been taken lightly, but it has been made to provide some certainty to both staff and students, to enable them to plan their activities in the face of an uncertain external environment. Evidence from Public Health clinicians and discussions between universities and the Scottish Government have informed our decision.

A very limited amount of on-campus activity will take place, but only in areas where physical access is critical for teaching and assessment to allow students to progress and graduate.

In keeping with the Scottish Government guidelines, only staff who staff who are performing tasks that are deemed as business critical and whose work cannot be done at home are permitted on campus.

Where staff and students do need to be on campus, we have put in place a number of measures to ensure the university campus is compliant with the Scottish government’s public health guidance. This includes one way systems to help social distancing, implementation of robust hygiene measures such as providing of hand sanitiser at key locations, enhanced cleaning regimes using cleaning products effective against COVID-19 virus, to name a few.

We have prepared the campus to be as safe as it can be. In the event of a positive case of someone infected with COVID-19 on the campus, the University has a protocol in place to ensure we take speedy action to keep everyone safe and deal with any potential contamination of University buildings.

In addition, we have worked with First Bus and the Aberdeen City Council to move the bus stop closer to the Sir Ian Wood Building and away from the Ishbel Gordon Building. This will allow staff and students to queue safely for buses while allowing pedestrians to follow social distancing measures.

What are the ‘golden RULES’?

The golden rules are in place to ensure that your experience at the university is as safe, authentic and enjoyable as possible. These rules must be followed by everyone who visits the campus:

  • Face coverings must be worn indoors whenever moving or standing. They can be removed when you are seated.
  • Social distancing signage must be adhered to and social distancing maintained around campus.
  • Coughs and sneezes should be covered with a tissue and the tissue bagged and binned. There are bags available on campus for you to dispose of used ones.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use the hand sanitiser available around campus to reduce transmission
  • If you are displaying symptoms, you must self-isolate and contact NHS inform. If you are a staff member, inform your line manager; if you are a student, notify your Course Leader. Staff and students must follow the Positive Case Procedure.

What should I do if I see someone not following the rules?

The Golden Rules are being communicated and reinforced among all staff and students and these measures are in place to protect the health and safety of our community. However, Scottish Government guidelines provide exemptions to some groups of people who are not required to wear a face covering. Such individuals do not need to prove their exemptions and we ask people to be aware of the exemptions and treat each other with kindness. Individuals who are exempt can purchase an exemption lanyard from Student Life.

What should I do if i develop symptoms?

It is essential that anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms or who shares a household with someone who has symptoms does not come to the university, and they self-isolate along with all members of their household. Staff and students are advised to be tested for COVID-19 if they experience any of its three main symptoms: a new and continuous cough, a fever or high temperature, or a loss of or change in their sense of taste or smell.

If they test negative, self-isolation can end for everyone. If the test is positive, you are requested to inform the University health and safety team right away on 07966923668.

If you are a contact of a positive case you may be asked to have a test yourself.  It is important to remember that even if your test is subsequently negative you must still continue to isolate for a full 10 days.

What is the university’s ‘Test & Protect’ CHECK-IN system and how is it different from the Protect Scotland app?

RGU’s ‘Test & Protect’ Check-In web app is an access procedure which  you can use to sign in and out of all buildings. This eliminates the need for staff and students to queue at reception to check in to the buildings on campus. The RGU Test & Protect Check-In web app is fast, secure, easy to use, and can be used to share information on building visits with the NHS, in support of their contact tracing processes. Staff and students will be able to check in to the app using their university log in details and external visitors will be checked in by the Reception team. The Scottish Government’s Protect Scotland app is recommended in addition to our building Check-In system as this will continue to function off-campus.

What facilities will be open and available for me to access on campus?

Under current restrictions, the Library is closed but most Library services are available remotely and Library staff can answer email enquiries. RGU SPORT is closed and will only reopen when safe to do so for users and staff and in line with Scottish Government and University guidance.

What will my on-campus study experience look like?

Our on-campus activities will follow government guidelines, including the use of our facilities for practical work in labs, studios or clinical teaching.

Lecture and seminar rooms and other teaching facilities such as laboratories will be subject to restrictions in order to maintain social distancing at all times. Please adhere to signage and guidance from teaching or support staff.

Watch our video to see some of the measures we have in place to ensure your safety.


We will continue to place huge importance on the wellbeing of our students and staff. The most recent statement from the Scottish Government was released on 8 January and has emphasised their instruction that undergraduate students should not return to their university accommodation until such time as they are required to undertake face-to-face teaching or for limited extenuating circumstances. For more information please visit the Accommodation FAQ page.

What steps would the University take if there was another peak or a second wave of COVID-19?

The safety and wellbeing of our staff and students is our number one priority. We regularly monitor government and public health guidance which currently supports a return to certain on-campus activity for staff and students. We have been planning for a number of different scenarios which will allow us to respond swiftly to change in circumstance and safeguard the health and safety of staff and students. The university’s significant experience in digital learning will ensure that students will always be able to access a high-quality learning experience.

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