Coronavirus (Covid-19) updates for staff and students

Entering and returning to the UK

Information and support for staff currently living and working overseas and who will be entering or returning to the UK during enhanced travel restrictions.

General information 

(Updated 20 September 2021)

Information for staff who will need to isolate when they arrive in the UK.    

Staff entering/returning to the UK from abroad need to keep up to date and familiarise themselves with the Scottish Government’s international travel restrictions, commonly referred to as ‘red’, ‘amber’ and ‘green’ list countries. Further information is available on the Scottish Government website:

Coronavirus (COVID-19): international travel and managed isolation (quarantine)

Support for staff who are relocating to Edinburgh from overseas

Information on how staff relocating to Edinburgh from overseas can access help with the cost of UK quarantine accommodation.   

We realise that international travel restrictions may prevent new staff from relocating to Edinburgh and that consequently they may be working remotely. 

If you are required to stay in a managed isolation hotel (due to travelling from a red list country) when you do eventually move to Edinburgh, you will be able to claim the cost of quarantine accommodation as a relocation expense.

For further information, please refer to the Annex in the Relocation policy. For general queries please email

If you are relocating from an amber list country and need to self-isolate you will need to agree with your manager what, if any, work you can do from that accommodation.

Support for staff required by the University to work abroad

Information on how staff whose role requires them to work abroad can access help with the cost of UK quarantine accommodation.  

If you work abroad because the University requires you to do so, and you are returning from a red list country, we will reimburse the cost of quarantine accommodation on your return to the UK. If your family joined you abroad, the cost of their accommodation will also be included. Please contact your local HR Advisor for further information.    

Support for staff who personally chose to leave the UK and go abroad 

Information on how staff who personally decided to go abroad can access help with the cost of UK quarantine accommodation.    

If you personally  decided to leave the UK to live and work abroad during the pandemic, when your role does not require you to do so, the University will not reimburse the costs associated with your return to the UK, including if you need to enter managed quarantine.

However, to ensure you do not suffer undue hardship, we will provide access to an interest free loan. You can secure a loan to cover the quarantine costs for yourself and your accompanying immediate family. A maximum loan of £5,000 will be available. The loan will be paid with your monthly salary and you will be required to pay it back in a maximum of 12 monthly instalments. 

Please note: you can nominate a shorter repayment period. You will need to do this if your contract is due to end in less than 12 months. 

Full terms and conditions can be found on the Request Form which you can find on the A to Z List of HR Forms.

Reporting and recording 

Guidance for staff on reporting their return from overseas and need to self-isolate or enter managed quarantine.    

You will need to let your line manager or designated contact in your School or Department know when you will be travelling to the UK and whether you need to self-isolate or enter managed quarantine. You will also need to complete the Staff Covid-19 Reporting Form: 

Inform the University if you're self-isolating

If you are unable to work for any or all of the period of isolation i.e. because you don’t have the equipment, access or approval to do your job remotely, your manager will place you on paid leave.