8 January - Updated guidance on student travel to University

Issued: Fri, 08 Jan 2021 17:19:00 GMT

Dear Students,

Today the Scottish Government announced further guidance about student travel to term-time accommodation, both for those travelling within the UK, and internationally.

We have summarised this below; please take the time to read this and consider how it applies to your situation.

Thank you for your understanding and continued patience which is helping to keep our community safe during this difficult time.

With best wishes,

David Duncan

Chief Operating Officer and University Secretary


Student travel

The latest guidance confirms that most students should not plan to travel back to term-time accommodation at this point. Where there is a time-sensitive element to your course, a small number of students will be able to travel from 15 February; however, most students are not scheduled to receive in-person teaching and so are unlikely to be permitted to travel back to term-time accommodation before the beginning of March.


There are some exceptions to this advice, with the following groups of students allowed to be on campus from the beginning of term:

  • those who have remained over the winter break;
  • those whose attendance is critical and whose education cannot be delivered remotely or postponed, essential placements, or for reasons of student wellbeing


Please note that all arrangements are subject to a future review of COVID-19 conditions.

The Scottish Government will publish more information on this next week (w/c 11 January).

The revised expected term starts for university undergraduates are as follows:

 Phase 1 - From 5 January:

  • any university education that can be done online must be done online.
  • campus/accommodation can open - but only for students who have remained over winter break and other exceptional returners, including related to where their attendance is critical and time-sensitive to their course or assessment and cannot be delivered remotely or postponed, essential placements or student well-being.

 Phase 2 - From 15 February

  • essential returners to campus/accommodation for in-person teaching where their attendance is time-sensitive to their course or assessment, especially ability to graduate, and cannot be delivered remotely or further postponed.

 Phase 3 (provided safe and virus control is at a reasonable level)

  • other students may return on a gradual basis to campus and accommodation.
  • guidance on the extent of in-person teaching will depend on the level the institution is in.
  • Scottish Government will review at the beginning of February and regularly thereafter when this phase can start.
  • it is unlikely that it will start before the beginning of March.

There are no specific additional restrictions in relation to Postgraduate students, but we would discourage travel except where it is necessary because of face-to-face teaching or for other important reasons such as placements or wellbeing.

There is more detail in the Scottish Government’s news release, and information about what this means for you on our Return to Campus webpages.


As always, you can receive support from our counselling service, and advice from our Student Services Enquiry Team, and the UofG Helpdesk.


International travel


The UK and Scottish governments have also updated guidance for people travelling into the country.


Students travelling to Scotland from abroad will be required to have proof of a negative test taken a maximum of 72 hours before travel. See Scottish Government’s Pre-departure coronavirus testing. 


All students coming from countries not on the quarantine exemption list will be required to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival. Our International Student Support Team will provide assistance for students who need to isolate following their arrival to Glasgow.