Last week we outlined how the University plans to welcome more colleagues back to campus over the coming weeks and months, following Scotland’s move into COVID Protection Level 0.
We would like colleagues to have a positive return to campus experience. Above all our priority remains the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone who uses our facilities.
While we are currently exploring how we can implement hybrid and agile working practices, we believe that working from on campus offers certain benefits that cannot be achieved remotely, such as the opportunity for greater collaboration, social interaction and, potentially, a better work-life balance.
This update sets out some of the health and safety and practical measures that we are implementing as the restrictions are eased, to ensure our campuses continue to be safe and secure environments.
- COVID-19 safety on-campus
- Campus access
- Face coverings policy
- Guide for line managers
On-campus COVID-19 security measures
Our guide for line managers lays out what is expected of managers as more colleagues return to campus. We have a comprehensive set of risk assessment templates which managers are asked to refer to before colleagues return to buildings. All activities must be risk-assessed in relation to Covid before they start again on campus and any existing Covid risk assessments must be reviewed.
The templates, along with some generic risk assessments for specific activities, can be found on the Safety and Environmental Protection website; they are kept under constant review and are updated in response to the latest national and sector guidance. If you have any questions about the risk assessment process, please visit the SEPS website or email email@example.com.
Our Estates team are working with the Colleges and University Services to ensure buildings are re-opened with the appropriate protection measures in place, including limits on capacity, physical distancing signage and hygiene stations and also an enhanced cleaning regime in place. Please note we are retaining the two metre distancing rule when moving around the campus until 1 September, at which point we hope to remove physical distancing except in teaching areas
We are currently undergoing a major review of ventilation across campus to ensure that all spaces are appropriately ventilated, minimising the risk of indoor transmission.
Our on-campus catering is operating sit-in and takeaway services across the following locations, all adhering to COVID-19 restrictions for catering and hospitality venues.
Although we no longer have a lateral flow test centre on the Gilmorehill campus, we want everyone to undertake regular lateral flow testing, in line with the revised Scottish Government lateral flow test programme.
- Find out how to obtain test kits: Scottish Government guidance on getting tested
Colleagues are advised to order or collect lateral flow testing kits and to test twice a week. If you get a positive test result from a LFD test, you should order a confirmatory PCR test kit as a follow up.
If you are showing COVID-19 symptoms, do not use an LFD test – please self-isolate immediately, following the guidance at the Test and Protect website, and book a PCR test instead.
Campus access arrangements
We have published advice on our COVID webpages about campus access arrangements for colleagues who need to visit our campuses.
All staff coming onto campus for any reason should have completed our return to work Moodle induction. This provides more information on the measures in place to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 on our campuses.
Currently, we are only permitting access to campus for work which cannot be done remotely. Work is permitted in research labs, with one metre physical distancing in place. We expect office-based colleagues will begin to return from 1 September, subject to the latest government safety guidance, and we are continuing to plan for teaching to be undertaken with one metre physical distancing in Semester One.
Our Parking Permit Scheme will be reintroduced from 1 September 2021, with some modifications. The arrangements for visitor parking will continue under the terms of the current scheme, with bookings payable online either by card payment or by budget code.
Face coverings policy
As we updated in our communication of 14 July, University policy is that face coverings must be worn indoors when moving around, unless you are exempt and have obtained the Scottish Government exemption card. In line with the general guidance from the Scottish Government, they may now be removed when you are seated, providing you are maintaining physical distancing of 1m or separated from other colleagues by a partition.
Thank you for all your efforts to keep our community safe. Over the coming weeks we expect further guidance to be published around the Scottish Government’s arrangements for moving beyond Protection Level 0. We will keep you informed about how these affect the University’s operations as soon as possible.
First published: 26 July 2021