Health & Safety Department

Returning to the University estate

Guidance for staff returning to the University of Edinburgh estate following the Coronavirus outbreak

Staff classed as essential workers continue to work on campus to maintain services or to conduct essential research. In line with the Scottish Government roadmap and guidance for universities, the university is implementing a planned, phased and flexible re-opening of campus, with suitable safety measures.

Guidance on returning to the University estate sets out information intended to control transmission of the virus in the workplace.  This Guidance is based on a risk assessment approach to the return to each building, and covers the physical layout of the building, hygiene facilities, physical distancing, etc. Guidance is available on the Covid19 SharePoint site at (please note, the Covid19 SharePoint site is managed by Communications and Marketing).

The online module for returning to the University estate is available at which gives an overview of the likely changes staff will see if they do return to work on University premises.

Staff can only return to campus if asked to do so by their line manager.  Further information on when staff may be required to work on campus can be found at:

First aid advice

The Health and Safety Department have also produced guidance on first aid provision as we return more fully to campus and helpful videos for first aiders, available on the First Aid Training page.

Fire safety advice - updated August 2021

The Fire Safety Unit have produced FSU guidance for Schools and Departments as they return to the campus. This replaces the guidance previously issued in 2020 - please remove any references to the old guidance and replace with this new one.

Local cleaning for schools and departments

This guidance note gives advice on local cleaning requirements that Schools and Departments should consider as we return to the campus. It is likely to be updated on a frequent basis as we continue with our return to the workplace.

Process if staff become unwell or call in sick with covid-19 symptoms

This information has been published on the main Covid-19 website on the Health, safety and travel page

Outdoor teaching

Many areas are looking to incorporate outdoor teaching into the teaching timetable. A model risk assessment and accompanying guidance has been prepared to assist Schools with this.

Events on University property

Guidance and a model risk assessment have been produced for small scale events, but which can be used as a basis to scale up for larger events.

Guidance for events

Model risk assessment

Continuing to work from home

Bear in mind that many staff will continue to work from home for the foreseeable future. For more information on how to safely set up your home workstation, please see Working from home guidance page.

Reviewing covid-19 control measures

At times when teaching and other student activities are permitted in-person, in line with Scottish Government guidance, it is recommended that the covid control measures that have been implemented are reviewed, to ensure they are working effectively and being adhered to.This guidance note can be used as a checklist or to copy and paste into your own form (as you may choose to integrate these checks into an already existing system). If any deficiencies are identified, these must be rectified as soon as possible.

Travel (including fieldwork) risk assessment and guidance during Covid-19 situation

Travel (including fieldwork) on University business can now be undertaken but a Covid-19 specific travel risk assessment must be completed for any travel on University of Edinburgh business, both within the UK and abroad. This risk assessment must be submitted as part of your travel insurance application, and will be mandatory for submission.  Ensure you follow the accompanying flow chart before completing the risk assessment and thereafter follow your normal authorisation process prior to booking any travel or accommodation.