Omicron Coronavirus Variant Update

Published: 29 November 2021

An update following the First Minister's briefing in response to the Omicron Coronavirus variant

Image of the main building from the south front

We wanted to provide you with an update following the First Minister's briefing earlier today (Monday 29 November) in response to the Omicron Coronavirus variant.  

We understand that with the development of a new variant, this continues to be an anxious time. We want to reassure you that our main focus is always on safeguarding the health and wellbeing of every member of our community. We will continue to keep arrangements under review and operate in accordance with Scottish Government guidance. 

The First Minister reiterated that whilst there is still much to learn about the Omicron variant, we must do everything we can to minimise the risk of spreading infection.  We must comply with the protection measures that are already in place.  

Protection measures incude: 

  • Wearing face coverings unless you are exempt, including when moving around in buildings, outside, in congested areas, in libraries and study spaces, in classrooms (including teaching labs) and in offices and other workplace settings, where one metre distancing is not possible. 
  • Being mindful of social distance if you’re mixing with people outside of your household. 
  • Maintaining good hygiene including washing hands regularly and cleaning surfaces. 
  • Ventilation - keeping windows open where possible. 
  • Testing yourself more regularly with Lateral Flow Test, especially before mixing and socialising with people outside of your household. You can also collect tests from campus locations listed online.   
  • Working from home where possible. 
  • Vaccination is strongly encouraged as our best form of defence. 

Testing and Travel  

The Scottish Government has adopted the expanded red list of countries identified by the UK Government. This will be kept under review. 

From 4am on Tuesday 30 November, the rules for fully vaccinated travellers arriving in Scotland from abroad will change. The rules for people who are not fully vaccinated will stay the same. You can find guidance around both the current rules and the new 30 November:

Again, please be aware that further guidance and rule changes may be issued at short notice.    

We know many of you will be thinking ahead and making plans to travel home for Christmas. As well as testing before you travel, we would encourage you to keep an eye on Government travel guidance as many countries have already introduced new travel restrictions and others may do so in future. 

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and update you with any important information.  

Thank you for everything you’re doing to keep yourselves and others safe. 

Take care and stay safe. 

David Duncan, Chief Operating Officer and University Secretary 

First published: 29 November 2021