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

COVID-19: ADVICE FOR STaff, STUDENTS AND COMMUNITY
Making Accommodation Safer for Students

Studying at RGU

COVID-19: Student Accommodation

For our undergraduate students who are due to return to term-time accommodation, we must stress that the Scottish Government is only allowing students to return when in-person teaching is scheduled to resume or for limited extenuating circumstances.

While we have addressed the most common queries, you can also refer to the latest information on student accommodation from the Scottish Government:

Please note that government guidance is being constantly updated and the restrictions for Scotland may be different to those in other parts of the UK. Read more about the Scottish Government advice:

If you have any other questions, please get in touch:


Returning for Semester 2

When can I return to my term-time accommodation following the winter break?

For our undergraduate students who are due to return to term-time accommodation, we must stress that the Scottish Government is asking students to return only when in-person teaching is scheduled to resume teaching or for limited extenuating circumstances. The following are examples of what would constitute a ‘reasonable excuse’ for returning to university halls:

  • Commencement of face-to-face teaching
  • Mental health and/or wellbeing concerns
  • Parental estrangement

It has been made very clear in the latest guidance that returning to university accommodation on the basis of personal preference does not constitute a reasonable excuse.

We are therefore in the position of not permitting our residents to return to university accommodation, unless for any of the reasons outlined above. Any resident who is returning to university accommodation for any reason other than to undertake face-to-face teaching must contact Accommodation Services prior to their return and will be required to agree the basis and date for their return.

In the event that you do have a valid reason for returning to your university accommodation, we would ask for your co-operation in ensuring that you do so as safely as possible. Those who have been away over the winter break will have to reform their household bubbles, and we would ask that all sensible precautions are taken such as minimising contact with site staff, maintaining social distancing and wearing face coverings outside of your own flat, and adhering to legislation at all times by not visiting other households. 

All students who are returning to term-time accommodation must book a test from the University’s asymptomatic Coronavirus testing programme.  The two tests should be booked three days apart. If you are returning to campus, the latter test should be booked as close as possible to the start of your in-person teaching. Testing will be available at the RGU test-site within an isolated zone in the Sir Ian Wood Building from 11 January on a Monday and a Thursday. Tests must be booked in advance through ASK RGU.

All residents should be aware that any rooms within their flat which were vacant prior to the vacation period may now have been re-let to students who have joined RGU in January to start a course. These new residents will now be part of your household bubble. There will also be some residents who have remained in accommodation over the break. We would like to remind you that you are very welcome to stay and that our support services are still available should you need them.

Postgraduate students (taught and research) may return at the commencement of the new term, although they should continue to follow FACTS Guidance at all times. 

CAN I GET A REFUND OR TERMINATE MY LEASE IF I DO NOT RETURN TO MY RGU ACCOMMODATION AS PLANNED?

Anyone wishing to make an application for an early termination of their lease should contact us by e-mail at accommodation@rgu.ac.uk for advice on how to proceed. Lease terminations from January onwards can now be submitted with a 7-day notice period, with the termination back dated to the day the request is received. Due to the number of requests the team is processing, there may be some delay and we appreciate your patience in dealing with this.

We are also offering a flexible and individualised approach for students returning to RGU owned accommodation, following the Scottish Government’s recent advice on the staggered return to university.

For those students who are taking up a new lease, we are able to modify your entry date to suit your academic timetable and provide a delayed entry date when face-to-face teaching is scheduled to begin.

For those students who are returning to university accommodation, and whose academic timetable indicates a delayed return to on campus teaching, then a credit or refund can be offered for the period 4 January 2021 until face-to-face teaching recommences.  In order to make an application for a credit or refund of your accommodation fees, please contact accommodation@rgu.ac.uk. Due to the number of requests the team is processing, there may be some delay and we appreciate your patience in dealing with this.

We will continue to keep the situation under review as the Government advice changes.

We look forward to welcoming all residents back into university accommodation when it is safe and legal to do so and will continue to keep you informed of any change to the current situation.

I have a work placement that begins/continues in the new year. Will my return date reflect this? 

Work placements will begin/continue as normal, subject to any specific restrictions to ensure the safety of staff and students.

I don’t live in a student accommodation building but I plan to change my household at the beginning of term. Does the guidance on a staggered return to in-person teaching and term-time accommodation, reducing social mixing and asymptomatic COVID testing apply to me?

Yes. The guidance applies to all students changing household at the start of the new term.

Can a family member drive me to my term-time accommodation? 

Yes, this is encouraged where it is a practical option. You can travel in a private car to return to university. You should not share a car with anyone outside of your household, extended household or end of term household to minimise risks of transmission, unless there is no reasonable alternative.

Can I travel on public transport to go back to university?

Yes, as long as you don’t have any symptoms of COVID-19 or need to self-isolate because you have tested positive or are a contact. If you are using public transport you should follow our guidance on how to travel safely. This includes wearing a face covering unless you are exempt, planning your journey in advance to avoid busy times and routes, washing/ sanitising your hands regularly, and keeping your distance while travelling where possible. 


Accommodation at RGU

WHAT MEASURES ARE IN PLACE FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING WITHIN STUDENT ACCOMMODATION?

The latest guidance from the Scottish Government  provides advice regarding students forming new households. 

Social distancing and wearing of face coverings will not be required among residents of your flat as you are part of the same household. However, you must socially distance from people outside of your household, such as residents of other flats and RGU staff.

In communal areas, such as staircases, laundry rooms corridors and site offices where social distancing is made difficult due to tight spaces, you are required to wear face coverings.

Please be aware that full 2m social distancing is in operation across the campus.  Therefore, the 2m rule must be maintained on campus at all times, even with your householder members.

Out with an individual flat i.e. in communal areas such as the laundry or stairwells, current Scottish Government Guidelines apply. 

Can my family or friends help me to move in?

Due to the new rule which prohibits interaction between households, combined with the existing 2m social distancing requirements,  we are unable to permit guests or parents inside the flats without violating these restrictions. 

We understand that going to university is an exciting time, but the pandemic may have also caused some anxieties, particularly those who are moving into halls of residence for the first time. However, we would like to reassure you that our accommodation team and the onsite ResLife advisors are on hand at all times to help students settle in and make sure their stay is safe and enjoyable.

The safety and wellbeing of our students staff and RGU community remains our top priority and we are taking every effort to ensure that all students are fully supported at all times, while we reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Can I visit home after I move to student accommodation?

Students who are already in halls of residences are considered a separate household. As you have formed a new household within your student accommodation, this means that you cannot stay overnight at another household.

The Scottish Government have provided some exceptions; a reasonable excuse to visit family might include a family emergency, such as a bereavement, or for wellbeing reasons. Please read Scottish government guidance on what you can and cannot do.

We understand this may be frustrating to many students, but our priority is reducing the risk of spreading the disease.

CAN I SELF ISOLATE at HOME instead of within STUDENT ACCOMMODATION?

Students should self-isolate at student accommodation as far as possible. The university’s ResLife team are available 24/7 to support students in self-isolation and to help you through this difficult time.

If you feel you need to return home to self-isolate for physical, financial or mental health support, then please contact the Accommodation Team in the first instance. They will help your parent, family member, friend or other supportive person collect you from your accommodation site in a safe manner. Please visit the Scottish Government guidance for more information.

Under what circumstances will I have to self-isolate upon arrival? Can I arrive early so that I’m ready for on-campus teaching?

Any self-isolation requirements will be determined by the Scottish Government guidance in place at the time of your arrival.

Where a student is legally required to self-isolate on entry into the UK, RGU can provide accommodation for the full period of self-isolation at a reduced cost of £49 per week. This offer is open to all students*, regardless of whether they intend to stay in university accommodation following the completion of their self-isolation. It is very important that anyone who requires self-isolation accommodation makes a booking in advance and this can be done by sending an e-mail to Accommodation Services at accommodation@rgu.ac.uk

*Please be advised that we are currently unable to provide university accommodation to students who are arriving with a spouse, partner or family, University accommodation is only suitable for single occupancy. Students who are coming with their partner or family and who need assistance with finding suitable accommodation should contact reslife@rgu.ac.uk for advice.

Does the ban on house parties apply to student accommodation?

We understand that social interaction is a big part of life in student accommodation. However, the latest guidance from Scottish Government makes it an offence to attend a party in student accommodation as such parties pose a major risk of COVID-19 transmission.

You are therefore asked to respect and comply with the strict no-party policy throughout our accommodation. Anyone found to be in breach of these rules will be subject to misconduct proceedings and penalties including but not limited to, warnings, fines of up to £250 and eviction from university accommodation, potentially impacting your academic record. Based on the severity of the offence, you may be excluded from the university. So we ask that you carefully consider these consequences during your stay at RGU accommodation to keep yourself, other residents and the wider community safe. 

We continue to monitor changes to Scottish Government guidance and will review the policy when it is considered safe to do so.

Will you place me in a flat with people studying similar courses?

The RGU Accommodation Team always makes a huge effort to ensure that accommodation is allocated in such a way as to promote integration and social opportunities with those who are of a similar age and who are at a similar stage in their academic journey, and we will continue to do so. However, guidance will be given to all of our new residents regarding the steps that can be taken to stay safe in student accommodation.

What happens if a student living in halls is displaying symptoms of COVID-19?

As per the latest government guidance, anyone displaying symptoms of COVID-19 (new continuous cough, fever/high temperature (37.8C or greater), loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste (anosmia)) should contact the NHS to arrange testing. Contact tracing will follow which is part of the national Test and Protect approach to containing the virus.

Any resident self-isolating in their student accommodation should inform site staff immediately.

If a fellow student in my flat has symptoms, will I need to self-isolate too?

If a student in a flat (household) displays symptoms of COVID-10, everyone in the flat should also isolate for 10 days and book a test if they develop symptoms. Self-isolation means you should remain in your flat and should not go out under any circumstances. If during your self-isolation period you are struggling with finance, essential supplies of food, medication etc. you can contact the ResLife team for advice and support. For more information on how to self-isolate visit NHS Inform.

What support is available for sick, or self-isolating students in RGU accommodation?

The ResLife team is committed to providing full support to students in RGU Accommodation. Where ResLife have been made aware that a resident is unwell or self-isolating, they will regularly check in with the resident to care for their welfare.

ResLife have produced information on local shops within the area who can provide food deliveries. They will also assist with an emergency supplies package for any student within RGU accommodation who may be having difficulty in getting essential items.

What should a student do if they need to be seen by a doctor?

All students should register with a GP practice on arrival to Aberdeen. A list of all medical practices in the surrounding area of the RGU accommodation site is available from the Student Help Point.

In the event that a resident requires access to a GP prior to registering with a practice they should call NHS 24 on 111 for assistance.

Can self-isolating students receive care packages or deliveries from friends or relatives?

If family or friends are delivering food or medicines for self-isolating residents, they should ensure that all packages are properly addressed with the resident’s name, flat and room number.

Can students who need to self-isolate decide to self-isolate in another premises?

Current Scottish Government guidelines require you to remain in one place for the period of your self-isolation.

Can I have guests at my flat?

As per the latest government guidance, there are restrictions in place which limits household visits. Under these rules you cannot meet with people from any other households and guests and visitors (except essential RGU staff or contractors) are not permitted to enter flats. Even members of your family are considered part of a different household and will not be allowed to enter your flat, under current restrictions. We will keep this under constant review and hope to reinstate our standard guest policy in line with government guidance.

CAN STUDENTS MIX WITH THOSE FROM OTHER FLATS IN THE COMMUNAL AREAS OR ENTER OTHER FLATS ON THE SITE?

For the latest Government guidance and information please see the postcode checker for COVID restrictions by protection level in areas of Scotland.

CAN STUDENTS WHO ARE NOT SELF-ISOLATING RETURN HOME FOR THE WEEKEND OR TERM BREAKS?

This would be subject to both the Scottish travel and social distancing guidelines, as well as the individual’s circumstances

What happens if a student cannot work because of COVID-19, and can’t afford to pay their rent?

Students who find themselves in financial difficulty for any reason should contact financialassistance@rgu.ac.uk for advice and assistance.

For other help and advice, please contact the studenthelppoint@rgu.ac.uk

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