Here you will find frequently asked questions (FAQs) and information for students and staff on COVID-19 which reflect the current position and which we hope you will find reassuring. 

Last updated: 25 November 2021 (subsidiary FAQ pages updated on different dates, as indicated on each page.)

In addition to the general FAQs, you will find more FAQs specific to you on the following pages:

FAQs for Students

FAQs for Staff

FAQs for International Students

FAQs for Applicants and Offer Holders

Accommodation FAQs

We also have a dedicated - for COVID-related questions from students and their families.

Where can I find information on how the University is operating now and our route map to full normal operations?

QMU Covid Route Map 2021

Published 22 July 2021

What are the symptoms of coronavirus and what should I do if I have symptoms?

For advice on symptoms and what to do if you think you have coronavirus, visit NHS Inform.

If you suspect you have coronavirus, please stay home. If you experience symptoms while on campus, please tell Security immediately (wherever possible by phone - 0131 474 0000 ext 2222 - rather than travelling across campus to see them in person).

Staff - if you are self-isolating or suspect you have coronavirus or have been diagnosed with coronavirus, it is important that you advise us. Please tell Security (0131 474 0000 ext 2222) and email the Head of Human Resources at Please also advise your line manager.

Students - you need to tell us if you are self-isolating or suspect you have coronavirus or have been diagnosed with coronavirus. Please tell Security (0131 474 0000 ext 2222) plus Accommodation (0131 474 0000 x 4902) if you live on campus, and contact the School Office -

Getting a Coronavirus Test

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, you should book a  PCR COVID test and self-isolate immediately.

COVID test booking for people with symptoms


How do I book a coronavirus test?

If you have symptoms:

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, you should book a PCR COVID test and self-isolate immediately. You can choose either to have a test sent to your home or to attend a testing site, which are located across Scotland.

COVID test booking for people with symptoms

Students - in the event that you need assistance in arranging transport to a testing site, you should contact either Accommodation services or Security for assistance.  If you live in the halls of residence, speak to the Accommodation Services team as they may have a supply of testing kits for use in particular circumstances.

If you don't have symptoms:

If you do not have symptoms: everyone in Scotland can now order lateral flow tests online or collect them from a test site, for fast twice weekly testing at home. Many people have COVID-19 but have no symptoms, which is one of the ways it can spread quickly to different people. That’s why being tested is so important. It protects everyone within your household and in our community.

Find out more about regular COVID testing for those without symptoms

Specific COVID testing arrangements for QMU University students and staff without symptoms. 




What should I do if I receive a positive COVID test result?

If you receive a positive test result (whether a lateral flow or PCR test) you must follow NHS guidance on self-isolation and contact tracing. You must also advise the University that you have tested positive as follows:-

Staff - please tell Security (0131 474 0000 ext 2222) and email the Head of Human Resources at Please also advise your line manager.

Students - please tell Security (0131 474 0000 ext 2222) plus Accommodation (0131 474 0000 x 4902) if you live on campus, and contact the School Office -

The University will also implement contact tracing. You may be asked to provide details of potential close contacts but you should not contact individuals outwith your own household directly unless you are advised otherwise by Test and Protect.

What steps can I take to help keep myself and others safe?


  1. Please wear a face covering when required. (View our face covering policy)
  2. We encourage you strongly to get fully vaccinated if you are not already (see NHS Inform’s vaccination website)
  3. Participate in twice weekly LFD testing: everyone who does not have symptoms should take regular LFD tests. See our Testing and Vaccination webpage for more information.
  4. Keep your distance and keep left when moving around the campus: please don’t congregate in narrow walkways or communal spaces, and try to avoid crowded spaces generally.
  5. Keep your hands clean by washing them regularly throughout the day and using the hand gel at sanitiser stations on campus.
  6. Go cashless: where possible, please use contactless to pay for food and drink with the Round app, your QMU smartcard or another form of contactless payment.
  7. Swipe for security: students will be asked to swipe into teaching spaces at the start of class to help us with Test and Protect.
  8. Take advantage of fresh air: try to keep windows open, and where you can, socialise outside.
  9. Complete the  'Working Safely on Campus' e-learning module issued in Sept 2021 (staff) or view the Keeping You Safe video found on this webpage (students)
  10. Download the Protect Scotland app and self-isolate immediately if you asked to.
  11. Feeling unwell? If you symptoms of coronavirus Isolate, Test and Tell following the guidance in our FAQs for staff and for students.

For advice on symptoms and what to do if you think you have coronavirus, plus general advice on self-isolation, visit NHS Inform



Where can I find Scottish Government guidance on the current coronavirus rules?

When should I self-isolate?

Please see NHS Inform for a simple guide as to when you should self-isolate.

If I need to self-isolate, how long do I have to do so?

See the NHSInform guide to self-isolation for guidance.

What support is the University offering students who are self-isolating?

If you do need to self-isolate, we will support you, and if you live on campus, we will help you access food and medicine. We can help with accessing online food deliveries from our on-campus caterers and can supply essentials in emergency situation. We are keeping in direct contact with all those self-isolating and will ensure that you can keep up with your studies.

Should I self-isolate if I come into contact with someone who has COVID-like symptoms or is awaiting a test result?

Please follow the NHS Inform guide to when you need to self-isolate.

Is QMU's campus open?

Yes, the campus is open and operational.

Most staff are hybrid working (partially on campus and partially at home), When staff are working from home, they are contactable by email.

What is the University's approach to physical distancing?

We are fortunate in that our modern, airy campus is well suited to avoiding congestion.

The specific physical distancing measures that we take at any time will be in accordance with Scottish Government guidance and based on a full risk assessment.

For information on current requirements in terms of physical distancing, please see our route map to normal operations.

Do I need to wear a face covering on campus?

In line with Scottish Government guidance, anyone on campus is required to use face coverings when inside the buildings. This includes in classrooms, in the atrium and LRC and other indoor spaces. 

Exceptions are as follows:

  • Residents within their flats in student accommodation.
  • When seated in the open plan staff offices, where a minimum distance of 1m is maintained.
  • Staff who are delivering a class, where a minimum distance of 1m from their students is maintained.
  • Staff in meetings where they are keeping at least 1m apart from others in the room.
  • When eating or drinking.
  • Where you have a legal exemption. The government have outlined a number of'reasonable' reasons for not wearing a face covering.  If you need advice on exemptions (eg if you think you cannot deliver a particular specialist class with students wearing face coverings) please email Health and Safety (

The requirement to wear a face coverings on campus will be reviewed mid-semester and will take account of government guidance prevailing at that time.


How can I contact University staff and departments during COVID?

We are offering the full range of student services face to face, and also online where appropriate.

At the moment, many staff are hybrid working (combining work at home and on campus). Where staff are working at home, they  are contactable by email


Useful contacts 

Disability Advice
Finance Office
Graduate School
Human Resources
International Office
Learning Resource Centre (Library)
Press Office
Research and Knowledge Exchange
School Office
Student Funding
Student Services
Students’ Union

How do I access the Learning Resource Centre?

The Learning Resource Centre is open. For information on current operating arrangements, please see our Library website.  If you have any specific requirements please contact the LRC staff in advance



Where can I find help and support on looking after my mental health and wellbeing?

Please remember that that there are staff across the University here to help when you need it and it is important to talk to someone about any anxieties. Do draw on the support services around you as and when you need them. Student Service's Counselling and Wellbeing teams are providing both face to face support sessions and online/phone support. You can book an appointment either through Student Central or by sending us an email. 

You can also contact your Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) (names on the Student Portal)

We are all here to help.

You might also want to sign up for Togetherall which is available to you through the University. This is a digital mental health support service which is available online, 24/7, and is completely anonymous so you can express yourself freely and openly.

In addition, there are various helpful sources  of information including:.

Coronavirus and your wellbeing - Mind

What do to if you're anxious about coronavirus - YoungMinds 

Mental Health Considerations during COVID-19 outbreak - World Health Organisation (pdf)

These resources supplement the University resources available to students through QMU’s Student Services and staff through the HR team (including, for staff, our Employee Assistance Programme - intranet link).

Our Student Wellbeing service also has a webpage with useful resources.

Is the Sports Centre open?

Yes. For information on the Sports Centre, see their website.

Are we considering the car parking requirements of those for those who wish to avoid public transport?

Through our timetable planning, we are spreading out activity across the day to spread the load on the car park and other facilities and thus maximise the availability of parking space. We have also introduced more flexible car parking permits, eg day tickets, to suit those who are combining on and off campus work.


What health protection measures are in place on campus?

During the pandemic, we have implemented a range of campus adaptations based on full University-wide COVID risk assessments.

Specific measures will vary based on government guidance at the time, but, for example, we have sanitiser stations across the campus,  have re-arranged  seating, and have made adjustments to our ventilation systems to optimise air flow.

More information

What access is there to catering facilities on campus just now?

We continue to offer a wide range of catering options. 

For full details, please visit our Eat and Shop on Campus page.



Are we prepared for any increase in COVID-19 infections on and off campus?

Our plans are designed to be flexible so that we can react promptly to any developments.

Rest assured  that we have been planning, and continue to plan, for any developments, liaising with Health Protection Scotland, other Edinburgh institutions and council officials. This will help mitigate the impact of any developments on our campus operations and University life, helping us to ensure that we can consistently provide our students with the education and support that they need and deserve.

In terms of  contingency planning for any scenario where large groups of students or staff need to self isolate, while we can’t plan for every eventuality, we hope you will find it reassuring that our Incident Management Group (IMG) is meeting as required, and that our Business Continuity Group (BCG) is meeting frequently to enable a swift response to any emerging situation. The IMG includes senior professional services staff from Student Services, the School Office, Security, the residences, Human Resources and Health & Safety, as well as Student Union (SU) representatives.  IMG reports in to BCG which includes the deans and senior staff across the University, as well as Trade Union and SU representatives.  We have detailed COVID incident plans, created with input from NHS Lothian and other partners.

Staff can find our COVID incident plan on our intranet.

Where can I find the Scottish Government's COVID guidance for universities?

You can find the Scottish Government guidance for universities, colleges and student accommodation providers on the Scottish Government website. There is guidance specifically for students on the Student Information Scotland website.

Where can I find information on QMU's approach to teaching and learning in the 21/22 academic year?

See our statement for students.  Our route map to normal operations also provides helpful information.


More FAQs

FAQs for Students

FAQs for Staff

FAQs for International Students

FAQs for Applicants and Offer Holders

Accommodation FAQs


Our dedicated COVID email is now open for students who want to speak directly to someone at QMU about any COVID-related questions or concerns. 

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