covid-19: managing the risk 

Stay Safe. Stay Positive. 

The continued impact of COVID-19 on our personal and work lives since March 2020 has been unprecedented. 

The Scottish Government's Route Map provides an indication of the order in which we can carefully and gradually seek to lift restrictions in various aspects of our lives, including work and study.  

To ensure we continue to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and under tougher restrictions, we must comply with the Government and University of Edinburgh guidance, and new procedures and guidelines are regularly circulated to help ensure your safety on Roslin Innovation Centre and the wider Campus.  

As of mid-April 2021, lockdown restrictions began to ease and vaccine roll out continues at a pace. In line with Scottish Government guidelines, we will move into Level 3 on 26 April.

Over the next few months, we will be going through a period where, if things go to plan, lockdown restrictions will continue to ease and we follow a framework from the Scottish Government indicating we will move to Level 2 on 17 May, with an expectation to move to Level 1 in early June and Level 0 by the end of June 2021.

Most of the guidance/framework from Scottish Government is subject to the provision of more detailed information, but there are a number of key points which are worth highlighting: 

  • indoor capacity in all Easter Bush Campus settings (including RIC) is subject to the relevant physical distancing requirements for all Levels
  • ‘work from home’ where possible is the position in Levels 4-1 and ‘work from home’ remains the default
  • phased return to offices’ once guidance has been agreed, is likely to begin under Level 0
Physical distancing, face coverings, hand sanitising and other limitations currently remain in place at RIC. Vaccine status does not change the need for appropriate social distancing or the use of appropriate masks or facial coverings.

There has been no change to access rules.

Communication channels between the Roslin Innovation Centre administration team and tenants have remained open throughout and we continue to make every effort to ensure that this support is uninterrupted during normal working hours.

"We would like to thank all our staff, colleagues and tenants for your positivity and collegiality as we work together to address the challenges posed by Coronavirus (COVID-19) during these uncertain times. Your safety remains our utmost priority and at the same time we appreciate you require to maintain and operate your business.

“Those who can work from home are still encouraged to do so until further notice, we will expect all tenants who require building access to have undertaken a building ‘induction training’ package and we will require ‘sign off’ from all tenants who access the building, that they have read, understood and will follow these guidelines and plans. 

"On this occasion, I make no apologies for any inconvenience our new building regime might cause, which is all in the interests of everybody’s safety in beginning to return to our ‘next normal'. Finally, my sincere thanks for everybody’s continued patience and assistance in all these matters, which I appreciate has been highly disruptive for us all.”

John Mackenzie, CEO, Roslin Innovation Centre

Many Roslin Innovation Centre tenant companies will continue working remotely over the foreseeable future whilst remaining operational and are still very much open for business, collaboration and to explore opportunities.

Information has been prepared specifically for Easter Bush Campus and this includes Roslin Innovation Centre (RIC) tenant companies with their staff in mind, as well as all other University staff and student users of the Charnock Bradley Building facilities, in terms of precautionary measures within the working environment.

Following lockdown restrictions implemented by the UK and Scottish Governments from 24 March 2020, only ‘essential-services’ were operating on Easter Bush Campus and from 13 July 2020 we began to enter Phase 2 with a view to transitioning to Phase 3. As of 5 January 2021, we moved into tougher Tier 4 restrictions as was the case for most of Scotland. 

Currently Roslin Innovation Centre is accessible only to those approved and named staff. Easter Bush Campus now use an electronic sign-in system, called ‘Sign In App’, which will replace the requirement to email Security (within normal working hours). This app is GDPR compliant and allows us to comply with Scottish Government and H&S rules for maximum occupancy, fire evacuation and to assist with Track-and-Protect, where necessary.

The University of Edinburgh is managing the risk of COVID-19 by ensuring suitable arrangements are in place, including measures to encourage physical distancing, hand/respiratory hygiene, limiting numbers in buildings etc.

For those that have returned to the building, you should all by now be using our ‘sign in and out’ app/iPad (see below) for entry and exit to/from Charnock Bradley Building (CBB) and you will have become familiar with our new one way system and signage. 

Footfall within the building will be monitored closely and any changes to access patterns, as numbers accessing Charnock Bradley Building gradually increase.

As a reminder, and for the benefit of those yet to return, please view the video demonstration in the link below for your safety and that of others in the Charnock Bradley Building while social distancing is in place. 

The clear message from the Scottish Government is that 2 metre physical distancing should still be observed, so we will continue to conduct random weekly compliance checks to observe we are each respecting and practising this safe distancing rule.

Our new electronic software, ‘Sign In App', has been chosen to make the required sign-in process as quick and contactless as possible.  

  • Please use the Sign In App or iPad to sign in and out when accessing Roslin Innovation Centre during normal working hours.

The system uses a unique QR code to identify individuals during sign-in and out. Using a personal or works smartphone will be the simplest way to sign-in at entry or exit points or an App (Companion App) from anywhere in the building.

You will have received advice on downloading the Sign In App and if you don’t have a smartphone, a unique QR code will be provided, printed and laminated to scan at sign-in entry or exit points.

For out of hours and lone working, please see procedures below.

The Roslin Innovation Centre out-of-hours policy applies out with normal working hours ie between 7pm and 7am Monday - Saturday and all day Sunday.

  • email Security at with your name, company and location in the building and email when leave
  • advise Security when you leave the building  
  • avoid long periods of lone working

If anyone needs to phone Security for any other reason, you can call Security on 517351. 

Please use the Sign In App (as detailed above) to sign in and out during normal working hours.

Currently the use of face coverings on public transport, certain public indoor spaces e.g. shops, banks, libraries and indoor communal settings e.g. workplace corridors, is mandatory in Scotland. The Scottish Government has introduced these measures where physical distancing is difficult to implement. Evidence suggests that wearing a face covering may reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

The University’s guidance on face coverings was updated on 6 January 2021. It is now mandatory to wear face coverings in all University buildings and when moving around, plus in communal areas eg corridors etc and this includes movement around open plan office and lab space and the designated one way system at Roslin Innovation Centre. 

Please be aware that there are certain conditions and hidden disabilities that may preclude persons from wearing face masks and we should ensure they understand and respect this.

The use of face coverings does not replace physical distancing or hand and respiratory hygiene measures (for example, washing hands and covering mouth if you cough), but could be used alongside these measures if desired.

Washing your hands is one of the most effective methods of preventing transmission of the virus.  Where hand washing facilities are not readily accessible, hand sanitiser will be provided. You must sanitise your hands as soon as possible when entering a building and also wash/sanitise your hands frequently during the day.

How to protect yourself and other, enhanced hygiene and face coverings advice.

 Please watch this short video by BBC Health for further information on the safe use of face coverings.

Please watch this short video by World Health Organization (WHO) to demonstrate how to correctly wash your hands.

The University aims to take all reasonable measures to comply with the physical distancing requirement and therefore it is not expected that general risk assessments will identify a need for additional personal protective equipment.

Staff and students are required to wear and store personal protective equipment as part of their normal activity and role. These requirements are documented in task/department specific risk assessment.

Our PPE Guidance document (below) sets out general guidance on how we will use, store, launder or dispose of PPE to ensure we do not increase the risk of transmission of COVID-19 due to its use.

We continue to follow Scottish Government advice and encourage you to work from home when this is possible and not to attend work or meet others, even friends or family if you have any symptoms.

Reminder of the Scottish Government’s FACTS policy:

  • F  - Face coverings
  • A  - Avoid crowds
  • C  - Clean your hands and surfaces regularly, 
  • T  - Two-metre distancing
  • S  - Self-isolate if you have symptoms or are contacted. 
These all apply wherever you are, including when you are in Roslin Innovation Centre/Charnock Bradley Building.

Generic guidance for small and micro businesses to help micro (less than 10 employees) and small (less than 50 employees) companies safely re-open.

This sets out Government expectations on the steps that should be taken before and after re-opening. 

This guidance is based on the principles set out in COVID-19: a Framework for Decision Making. It does not constitute legal advice, and businesses may wish to seek their own advice to ensure compliance with all legal duties.

On 23 April 2020, the Scottish Government revealed its thinking behind lockdown exit planning by publishing ‘COVID-19 - A Framework for Decision Making’. 

This helpful document covers restrictions, recovery and living with the virus. While nothing is set in stone, it is clear that we will see the impact of this pandemic for a long time to come.  

This document sets out challenges Scotland faces and outlines the approach and principles that will guide us as we make decisions about transitioning out of the current lockdown arrangements.

On 21 May 2020, the Scottish Government published Scotland's route map through and out of the crisis which gives an indication of the order in which the Scottish Government will carefully and gradually seek to change current restrictions. It provides practical examples of what people, organisations and businesses can expect to see change over time. The phasing table will continue to be updated.

University of Edinburgh Estates Department have implemented strict cleaning protocols with an enhanced cleaning regime (e.g. increased cleaning in shared spaces, and touch points) and including wipes and sprays in meeting rooms for use before and after meetings.  This is obviously supported by both social distancing and hand washing regimes.  

The University is also supporting staff, students and visitors, providing enhanced hygiene and face coverings advice. It is now mandatory to wear face coverings in all University buildings and when moving around, plus communal areas (corridors etc). 

Social distancing rules and guidelines for people and businesses in Scotland are set by the Scottish Government. 

Roslin Innovation Centre and tenant company staff should continue to work from home when this is possible, to minimise the risk of personal contact and to reduce the potential for spread of the virus.

With effect from 18 January 2021, Roslin Stores has reduced the time they are open for collections during the lockdown period.

Revised opening hours are: 11am - 12 noon and 1.30pm - 2.30pm, Monday to Friday for collection only.

Please do not place pressure on the Stores team by attending outside of these time slots.  Your patience and understanding during this period is appreciated.

Shipping of goods outwards will be restricted to critical shipments only and will be subject to the latest transport advice.

Deliveries and collections for RIC require to be coordinated directly by respective tenants with suppliers and pick-ups. Please direct them to the rear door entry of RIC, by the goods lift and arrange for tenant staff to meet directly with them there.

The Central Services Unit will continue to operate - with contingency measures in place for a restricted service in order to support essential Roslin Innovation Centre lab operations, Roslin Institute laboratory experiments and clinical services should this be required. Autoclaving and waste handling services therefore continue to be undertaken for RIC lab based tenant companies.

Please do remember that working in buildings also requires other staff to be present, such as security and cleaning services, who are making a huge contribution to dealing with this situation.

From 3 May 2021, The View on Easter Bush Campus will reopen from 7.45am until 3.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Latest guidance about COVID-19 from NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms (fever and/or persistent cough), as an individual you must stay at home for at least 7 days. 

If you live with others with COVID-19 symptoms, you must stay at home for at least 14 days.

Expectant mothers, individuals with underlying health conditions, or those with responsibility for caring for elderly relatives may wish to self-isolate to reduce the risk of exposure.

With the vast majority of people now working from home, it is easy to feel isolated and at odds with this new way of working. Being separate from colleagues, friends and family can be very difficult. 

The Mental Health Foundation has created some tips for how to look after our Mental Health when working from home. Building a routine, connecting with others, keeping active round the house and taking time to relax can all help us to stay positive in these testing times.

Daily updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and support for businesses in Scotland. Sign up for email alerts.

Information is available for businesses of all sizes – from those thinking about starting a business to large, well established companies - providing quick and easy access to all business support services provided by public sector organisations in Scotland.

There are a number of funding calls focused on tackling COVID-19, many with closing dates approaching very soon due to the urgency required in tackling this current crisis.

 Check directly with your networks for any calls that may be relevant to your organisation to help combat this disease or check our Funding Opportunities page.

The University of Edinburgh continues to closely monitor Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and liaise with Government and NHS agencies to obtain the latest public health guidance.

Following lockdown restrictions implemented by the UK and Scottish Governments, from 24 March 2020 onwards only ‘essential-services’ should be operating on Campus.

Online provision of teaching and administrative support is now in place and will be improved further, with counselling, research and study spaces adapting to the changing situation to ensure the health and safety of our students and frontline staff is protected as much as possible.

For the latest University messages and guidelines, please refer to the University's COVID-19 update page, which has a raft of details with updates to help you in the current and unusual situation we find ourselves in.

All non-essential travel is to be avoided where possible. 

Reduced public bus services are operating. Please take time to read Lothian Buses advice and guidance for travelling safely on their transport network.

Lothian Buses  communicate updates and any changes via their website and social media.

"We look forward to welcoming you back safely to Roslin Innovation Centre."