covid-19: managing the risk 

Stay Safe. Stay Positive. 

As we welcome a new academic year, the University of Edinburgh's aim is for all campuses to be increasingly the ‘centre of gravity’ once again, meaning that incrementally more learning and teaching, student support and research and tenant activity, as well as social activity will take place on Easter Bush Campus again. 

In this year of transition, University focus is to provide support, reassurance and guidance to all who are returning to Campus in different phases. The University is therefore implementing stringent health and safety measures, as well as mitigations – all with the intention of keeping us all safe. University planning assumptions also reflect a genuine cause for cautious optimism. 

Based on the Scottish Government guidelines for University operations, the University set out some Covid-19 safety measures, to help us mitigate risks as more activity, tenants, staff and students return to our campuses.  

As set out in a prioritised approach for on-campus activity, with the Scottish Government’s move to ‘beyond level 0’, we are preparing for a phased return to Campus which aligns with this guidance. 

The Campus will become increasingly busy as the University plans for a phased return to Campus for staff and students. As such, we are at a critical point where health and safety measures are absolutely vital. 

Although we are seeing increasing numbers of cases in the general population, it is encouraging by the clear evidence that the current measures that we have in place are ensuring that the incidence of Campus transmission remains low.  

As the University moves towards the start of Semester 1 with returning students from 13th September 2021, it is worth reiterating the important measures we have for health and safety on Campus relating to Covid-19.  

The health and safety of our tenants, staff and students remain our top priority, and as a value-based organisation, the University expects its staff and students to respect the choices of others. 

For example, as a University, we expect staff and students to respect others who wish to keep a reasonable distance between themselves and others or wear a face covering in areas where this is not mandatory, I know our RIC tenants will do likewise. 

There will be two phases: the immediate, careful and gradual increase in footfall on Campus, and a longer term hybrid working practice. The latter will take time to evolve, for now please keep adhering to the 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.

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.

Roslin Innovation Centre is accessible only to those approved and named staff. Easter Bush Campus operate 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 already back or are newly returning to Roslin Innovation Centre at Charnock Bradley Building, please be mindful of the guidance and restrictions still in place.  Irrespective of vaccination status, it is essential that everyone still abides by the prevailing regulations, especially in terms of social distancing and face coverings.

Our building regime effectively continues to remain the same as during restrictions, but with a few simple self-evident changes to observe from Monday 13th September:       

  • Refresh of some signage, walkways and corridors, whilst 
  • Reverting back to a 2-way central staircase
  • Meeting room capacity limits have effectively doubled, being cognisant of the 1 metre distance
  • Extra people can be accommodated in meeting rooms by way of risk assessment 

For those returning to Campus and CBB for the first time in a while, it will be important to take note of the local arrangements to help you get used to what changes are in place, not least the continued use of our sign in/sign out app

The 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 (in entrance/atrium) 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.

The health and safety of our tenants, staff and students remain our top priority, and as a value-based organisation, the University expects its staff and students to respect the choices of others. 

For example, as a University, we expect staff and students to respect others who wish to keep a reasonable distance between themselves and others or wear a face covering in areas where this is not mandatory, and this applies to Roslin Innovation Centre tenants and staff.  

Please do note that the University will continue to ensure rigorous hygiene and baseline mitigations are in place in line with new guidance and will keep this under review. These mitigating measures currently include:

  • Everyone on Campus to continue to wear face coverings in indoor spaces - this includes all tenants, staff, students and visitors in offices, labs and teaching spaces or other indoor areas. 
  • There is legislation in Scotland on the mandatory wearing of face coverings and also statutory exemptions. One exemption, for tenants, staff and PGR students, is if 1m physical distancing can be maintained or there is a physical barrier – for example when sitting in an office, meeting room, or at a reception with a Perspex screen.
  • Good hand hygiene and surface cleaning
  • Continued promotion of good ventilation  
  • Continued compliance with Test and Protect, including self-isolation where necessary.

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.

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.

The re-opening of University campuses and individual buildings has also been, and will continue to be, done in consultation with Trade Union and Health & Safety representatives and with robust measures in place to ensure a safe and secure working environment. These include: 
  • Full health and safety measures as detailed here and on the University website
  • The University Health and Safety team have recently updated Guidance for controlling the risks of Covid-19, and this document outlines all of the measures in place on Campus         
  • Staff arriving on Campus are encouraged to get regularly tested twice a week
  • Equally, the University strongly encourage all staff to be vaccinated if appropriate to their health status 

So that we can manage any Covid-19 cases effectively, it’s important that staff and students continue to inform the University, or your employer if tenant staff, if they test positive. 

Self-isolation forms have been updated to reflect the latest Scottish Government guidance and further information on the support that’s available can be found below: 

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

We continue to follow Scottish Government advice and for you not to attend work or meet others, even friends or family if you have any symptoms.

These apply wherever you are, including when you are in Roslin Innovation Centre/Charnock Bradley Building.

Roslin Stores has returned to opening hours Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm.

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.

The View on Easter Bush Campus is open from 7.45am until 3.30pm, Monday to Friday.

From 20th September, Dolly’s Café will re-open and serving hot breakfast rolls from 8:30am onwards and then from 12:00 until 2:30pm serving homemade soup, paninis, toasties, sandwiches (although currently no hot meals) and between 2.30pm to 4pm teas, coffees, cookies, cakes etc.

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

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.

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 have been number of funding calls focused on tackling COVID-19. 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.

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.

"I would like to take this opportunity to extend my thanks, whether at home or on Campus, for working so hard over a very difficult year, to ensure that Roslin Innovation Centre has remained operational throughout.

"We look forward to welcoming many more new and old faces returning in person over the coming weeks."

John Mackenzie, CEO, Roslin Innovation Centre