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 1 February 2020 when the measures will be 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 vast majority of our teaching was already due to take place online. However, due to the current situation with Coronavirus and the increasing number of cases, we have further reviewed this, and extended teaching online until the beginning of March. There will be limited exceptions to this, where teaching and learning is essential and time sensitive, such as critical assessment and learning, and placements. Revised timetables will be provided next week which will give students specific teaching and learning arrangements.

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 14 days.

If, however, you do not have symptoms of COVID-19 but have other cold and flu-like symptoms, you do not need to be tested and you do not need to self-isolate. You can attend university or college if fit to do so.

Scotland’s most senior clinicians have written a joint open letter to college and university students with advice on what to do if they develop cold or flu-like symptoms during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Read the joint letter

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 and we are awaiting confirmation of when the building will reopen. 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.

Will I be able to use the university’s catering facilities? If so, what safety measures will be in place in canteens and cafes?

There will be two catering facilities on site located in the Sir Ian Wood Building and Garthdee House Annex. Both will be operating with increased hygiene measures in place.

There will be both hot and cold food options all fully packaged and/ or individually wrapped with disposable cutlery to go – there will be no self-service in operation and all payments should be contactless or by card.

Both the seating layout in the refectory areas and queuing systems take into consideration physical distancing rules.

Vending machines across campus will sell a variety of hot and cold drinks and food. In addition to the normal sweets and crisps, the machines will also have other options like porridge and snack pots.

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. You will be able to use our study spaces on campus with robust public health measures in place to keep you safe.

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.

Due to 2m social distancing and building capacity, study space on campus will be significantly reduced with some spaces available only through booking. Details on the campus study spaces and how to book them is available on CampusMoodle.

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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