New Covid-19 protection measures for Scotland

Published: 5 January 2021

The Principal updates on the new Covid-19 protection measures for Scotland, announced on 4 January.

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you enjoyed a relaxing break over the holiday period and had the opportunity to recharge, despite the ongoing restrictions.

I am writing to you today because this afternoon the Scottish Government announced some important changes to the current Covid-19 protection levels across Scotland, as a result of the increase in national transmission rates.

From midnight tonight, this will include a legal requirement to stay at home except for essential purposes.

I appreciate this comes on the eve of the staff return to work after the holidays, so I want to keep you updated about what this means for our staff and student community.

As has been the case throughout the pandemic, staff who do not have to be on-campus should continue to work remotely. I recognise that this is challenging for a range of reasons, but today’s announcement underlines the importance of persevering with this mode of working in the weeks ahead.

The advice we have received from Scottish Government says that the new rules continue to allow travel for essential work purposes, including essential research activities, if you cannot work from home. Guidance for research is unchanged from when we entered Level 4 restrictions in November 2020.

Colleagues should continue to use their good judgement when determining whether their research activity meets the criteria above and should refer to their line manager if in doubt.

I also recognise the extra burden being placed on colleagues with children in nursery and school and with caring responsibilities. Please be assured that the University will be as flexible as possible in accommodating your childcare needs. Colleagues should also note that the latest guidance includes changes to advice on shielding.

Please have a conversation with your line manager in the first instance should you need support with your working arrangements during this time; we will continue to explore what we can do to support you.

Currently, Scottish Government advise us that the guidance around student travel remains unchanged and any student who is travelling to Glasgow for face-to-face teaching (in those very limited areas where this is necessary) can still do so.  We are expecting to receive further updates in the next day or so from Scottish Government. There is more information available about this on our January Return to Campus webpages, which will be updated regularly.

We will continue to communicate with you in the next few days as more detailed guidance emerges, or if this position changes.

With best wishes,

Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli

First published: 5 January 2021