Good Citizen Guide

Guidelines on how our University community can act responsibly to help slow the spread of Covid-19.

Download our Good Citizen Guide  

Our responsibility as a community

Each person in our University community holds a responsibility for slowing the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19). Each of us must follow guidelines designed to meet that obligation and where we don’t, we might find ourselves in breach of University regulations including our Code of Student Conduct.

If you are new to Scotland, then it’s important to realise that the Covid-19 guidelines in Scotland are different to the guidelines in England and the rest of the UK, and of course internationally. We all need to know the guidelines that apply across Scotland – we’ve included the main points below. 

The University has adapted many aspects of its operations to comply with the Covid-19 guidelines and to keep us all safe. We have summarised what these changes are and what they mean for students in our Student webpages. You will also see guidance and temporary signage around the University.

We also have a role as members of the wider community of Edinburgh to act responsibly when we are off campus, and not put our friends and neighbours at risk through our behaviour or actions.

Of course we all know that the guidelines are designed to protect us. But, when there are so many new and interesting things to distract us, and when lockdown measures might look very different for you back home, it is easy to forget that there is a real current risk to our health, and the health of others, as we enter a new semester.

Therefore, in order to help supress the virus and ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone on campus and in the wider community, we all need to act with a renewed level of personal awareness and responsibility - whether we are on campus, in our accommodation, online or in town. 

This means that we must:

Stay safe, protect ourselves and each other by:

  • Following the Covid-19 regulations.
  • Observing distancing guidelines on and off campus at all times.
  • Frequently washing hands.
  • Wearing face coverings in all University buildings. This is mandatory in libraries and study spaces, as well as shops and public transport, unless you have a good reason for not wearing one.
  • Only moving around campus or between campuses when it is necessary to do so.
  • Assuming there is an extra risk when we meet new people or we are in groups.
  • Remembering that alcohol consumption alters judgement, but that this is no excuse for breaking the guidelines.

Be considerate, supportive and inclusive by:

  • Remembering some people are more vulnerable and some may be shielding.
  • Acting, where necessary, to prompt and gently remind others to follow the guidelines.
  • Offering support and signposting services to others.
  • Acting with empathy, compassion and kindness in both online and offline interactions.
  • Respecting cultural differences and honouring diverse perspectives.

If we all stick to these guidelines, then we will have played our part in helping to keep the University and the wider community safe and well.

The Covid-19 guidelines in Scotland

The following information is provided by the Scottish Government. We all need to be aware of the guidelines and where to find the latest guidance. Full details of the government’s route map including the key dates for future changes, local measures and advice on staying safe can be found on the Scottish Government website.

Stay safe, protect others, save lives.

We expect you to:

  • wear a face covering in shops, on public transport including railway and bus stations, airports and in certain other indoor public places including libraries
  • avoid crowded places as much as possible
  • clean hands and surfaces regularly
  • stay 2m away from other people who are not in your household
  • not meet with another household within your home
  • not host or attend parties in private or student accommodation
  • self-isolate and book a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms (new continuous cough, fever or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste)

Download the Protect Scotland contact tracing app

If you intentionally or repeatedly fail to comply with Covid-19 safety measures, you may be subject to a Police fine and possible disciplinary action from the University.

Failure to comply with Covid-19 guidelines

We expect the great majority will behave in line with these guidelines, however there may be occasions where individuals do not.

First steps

The guidelines encourage each of us to prompt others to stick to the guidelines where they are not doing so. Be mindful that many of the measures we are taking are very different to our natural habits and ways of interacting with other people. People who are not adhering to the measures will generally just need reminding of what the expectations are.

Next steps

Where someone continues to behave in a way which you feel places others at risk, or appears to be intentionally failing to follow the guidelines, you should report this to the University using this webform:

Good Citizen's Guide reporting form

You can also:

  • email
  • contact ResLife if you are in University Accommodation.

If your concern is urgent or you need help out of hours please contact Security. If you have a complaint you can raise this through the University’s Complaint Handling Procedure.

It is likely that even at this stage, a reminder about the expectations on members of the community, and warnings about future behaviour, will be the appropriate response to a report of this kind in most cases, but there may be situations where further action is necessary.

Managing misconduct

All students are subject to the Code of Student Conduct. The Code sets out expectations which include behaviour on campus, online and off campus where the safety, interests or reputation of the University, its students and others are concerned. The Code also sets out the procedure for investigating and taking disciplinary action where there is an allegation that an individual student has breached these expectations.

If a student intentionally or repeatedly fails to comply with Covid-19 safety measures, they may be in breach of the Code and could face an investigation and possible disciplinary action.

The Code outlines (at Section 12) the kinds of behaviour which would be considered unacceptable within the University community. These include:

  • behaving in a way likely to cause injury or to impair safety;
  • failing to comply with any University rule, regulation or policy.

Advice for students

If you are subject to action under the Code of Student Conduct, you should contact The Advice Place, which is run by Edinburgh University Students’ Association. Staff at the Advice Place are professionals who are experienced in the University’s student conduct process.

If you need further advice about what the expectations are regarding Covid-19 safety measures, you can check the guidance on the University’s web pages, or contact