Self-Isolation in our accommodation
Why self-isolating is important
When you arrive at your final destination in Scotland, it may be necessary for you to self-isolate and stay in your accommodation for 14 days. After you catch the virus, it can take up to 14 days for you to develop coronavirus symptoms and, in this time, you can pass on the virus to others. Self-isolating will help Scotland keep the R number low and help avoid more people contracting COVID-19. This safeguards family, friends and the community, as well as helping to protect the NHS. For more information on how to self-isolate, go to https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-public-health-checks-at-borders/pages/self-isolation/
Where your household is in isolation within University accommodation, any incoming residents will be contacted in advance and allocated to a space elsewhere, until the household is no longer in isolation.
What to do if you need to self-isolate
Current Scottish Government COVID-19 protection measures require residents arriving from a number of countries outside of the UK to self-isolate on arrival, currently a 14-day period. If you fall into this category, it is essential that you inform us of your need to isolate so we can provide practical support.
If you do need to self-isolate, please can you complete the form below and a member of our Community Support Team will get back to you within 24 hours to confirm arrangements.
Please note if you have previously provided details regarding the need to self-isolate we still require you to complete the above form.
During the period of this isolation, the person in isolation will reside with other residents/flatmates. In these circumstances, the rest of the household are not required to self-isolate (unless the resident begins to present symptoms of COVID-19). However, the self-isolating resident will be required to remain in their room and minimise contact with other residents.
All students in University accommodation will be provided delivered food suitable to the kitchen/pantry facilities available within your accommodation.
It is useful to note that over this extended Arrivals period new residents may join your household at a different time to yourself and need to self-isolate upon arrival. You may also find residents self-isolating on your arrival.
Click on the links below to see useful visuals of how long you need to self-isolate for.
Self-isolating due to arriving from outside the UK
Under current Scottish Government guidelines, you must self-isolate for 14 days if you are travelling from the countries listed here.
The University of Edinburgh can provide accommodation for those who need to self-isolate (see details below). While in self-isolation you should not have visitors, including friends and family, unless they are providing essential care. The only friends and family who you can have contact with are those who travelled with you or the other residents in your accommodation. These people are defined as your household. The people staying in your household do not need to stay at home, unless they also travelled from outside the UK.
If you have to share facilities, ie bathrooms, common rooms or kitchens/pantries careful cleaning will be required after each person has used the shared facilities - this is your responsibility. We can provide cleaning materials for you and our domestic staff will visit regularly to assist in the cleaning of communal areas. Please make sure you use separate towels from the other people in your household, both for drying yourself after bathing or showering and for hand-hygiene purposes. While you are self-isolating, try to physically separate yourself from other people in your household as much as you can if they are not self-isolating.
You should not go out to lectures or visit public areas. The majority of Welcome Week will be digital and, therefore, you can enjoy these events in the comfort of your own room. You should not go shopping, other than to obtain basic necessities. If you require help buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication and/or in order to limit your need to go out for basic necessities, you should ask friends or relatives or order a delivery (see below). All students in University accommodation will be provided delivered food suitable to the kitchen/pantry facilities available within your accommodation.
Self-isolating if you or someone in your household has symptoms
People who have symptoms of COVID-19 must self-isolate for 10 days, and the people you live with should self-isolate for 14 days. That means not leaving the house at all, even to exercise or to get food and medicine. You must contact the NHS to arrange to be tested for COVID-19 – for all the information on how to get tested go to https://www.ed.ac.uk/students/living-in-edinburgh/what-you-should-do-if-you-need-to-self-isolate.
While you are self-isolating, try to physically separate yourself from other people in your household as much as you can. Spend as little time as possible in shared facilities such as your sitting room, kitchen or bathrooms and try and avoid while others are present. If you can, use a separate bathroom from the rest of the household. If you do need to share a toilet, bathroom and kitchen, wipe clean any surfaces you come in contact with. After you wash your hands, dry them with a separate towel from others in your household. When your whole household is isolating, domestic staff will no longer visit your flat but will continue to clean in other communal areas.
You should not go out to buy shopping or pick up necessities. Pharmacies can often arrange to deliver repeat prescriptions if you run out while you remain at home. Other people can collect a prescription on your behalf. If should order a delivery for shopping (see below).
See below information that explains more about your self-isolation period while in University of Edinburgh accommodation
Through the self-isolation contact form you will be able to confirm the start date of your isolation, the reason, and any dietary requirements so that your needs can be met. Once you’ve completed the form, an email will automatically be sent to you confirming your requirements. If you don’t complete the self-isolation form, there is a risk that you won’t receive your meal and your dietary requirements may not be met.
If there are any changes in circumstances such as changes to dates or self-isolation reasons (e.g. you subsequently test positive for Covid-19), you will need to complete the self-isolation contact form again to update us.
All students in University accommodation will be provided delivered food suitable to the kitchen/pantry facilities available within your accommodation.
In catered halls, students will be provided packed meals (including re-heatable meals) with vegan and gluten free options available as well as additional allergen requirements met. There is a different option each day over 7 days.
In self-catered accommodation from Wednesday 7 October, we will gradually change provision to grocery boxes (standard and vegan options available), fruit and vegetable bags with bread, which is suitable for a 7-day period.
If you ordered a meal pack delivery through the self-isolation form and your meals have not been delivered or have questions about your dietary requirements, please email ACE.Covid.SelfIsolation@ed.ac.uk. Alternatively you can check dietary information through the Wellbeing Portal http://selfisolationmeals.mysaffronportal.com/ .
Special dietary requirements
By filling in the self-isolation contact form, you will be able to notify us of any dietary requirements – vegan, gluten free or allergen restrictions. We will ensure food suitable to individual dietary requirements will be taken care of.
Online food deliveries
Of course, as well as the University food delivery, you can also order online food deliveries from the wide range of providers in the city (Let’s Eat, Deliveroo etc.) or, if you are staying in catered accommodation you can order food from JMCC Bar to be delivered from the University using the Upay system: www.accom.ed.ac.uk/for-students/our-cafes/upay-cashless-catering-order-ahead/
Cleaning, hygiene and supplies
Delivery of essential products such as medicines, toilet roll or sanitary products
Medicines can be delivered to your accommodation from most pharmacies. You could also ask a friend to collect a prescription on your behalf or buy over the counter medicines and deliver these to your accommodation.
Both toilet roll and sanitary products can be ordered during your daily check-in call/email.
Mail and parcels at Pollock Halls
Parcel delivery Monday – Saturday
Upon delivery of your parcel at Pollock Halls reception centre, we will deliver those to your bedroom within a maximum of 48 hours. If you are not in your bedroom at time of delivery the parcel will be returned to reception where it will be processed through our parcel system upon which you will receive a notification that the parcel is available for collection at the reception centre. Please ensure you have received this email before coming to reception. If you are self-isolating you must not come to reception to collect your parcel but where possible get someone to collect on your behalf with your collection number which is contained in our notification email as well as your student ID.
Please note there is no delivery on Sunday.
Using communal facilities in your flat or household
If you are not required to self-isolate, you may use shared facilities within your household or flat. We have however had to close common rooms in University accommodation at the request of the NHS Public Health team.
If you need to self-isolate:
- You can still use facilities such as shared bathrooms or kitchens however you should do so on an individual basis, and you should clean and sanitise any facilities that you use after you have finished. If you need cleaning supplies, please let us know during your daily check-in call and we will deliver these to you directly.
- You should return to your own room when you have finished using the shared facilities.
- You should try to physically separate yourself from other people in your household as much as you can at all times, or wear a face covering where this is not possible.
Keeping shared areas of University accommodation clean
If you need cleaning supplies, please let us know during your daily check-in call and we will deliver these to you directly.
Keeping your bedroom clean during self-isolation
You will be responsible for cleaning your own bedroom while you are in self-isolation.
Removing rubbish from your room / household
A non-symptomatic member of your household can remove rubbish and take it to the communal bin store while maintaining good hand hygiene.
Due to hygiene requirements, you will need to wash clothes by hand while in self-isolation. If you need washing materials, please ask about this in your daily check-in and we can arrange to provide detergent for you. We can also deliver clean bedlinen and towels on request (but we can’t take away the dirty ones.)
Wifi (included in the accommodation charge)
The University is taking immediate action to improve the Wi-Fi available. If you are having problems accessing the University Wi-Fi in student accommodation, please read the advice and support on our Information Services webpages: www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/help-consultancy/students-it-requirements-guidance-and-support
Mental health and wellbeing
We recognise that self-isolation can be hard and we have a range of resources to support you.
If you are struggling in University accommodation, please speak in the first instance to your Resident Assistant (RA) or warden. They can help you access other services if needed:
You can also access a number of central University services remotely. If you need urgent mental health support, call the NHS on 111.
Speak to someone
The Listening Service (24/7)
Operated through the University Chaplaincy for students who want to discuss any concerns or anxieties, or if you are looking for a timely or purposeful conversation. This service is now accessible 24/7.
The Advice Place
Part of the Edinburgh University Students’ Association, the Advice Place is a professional, independent and confidential advisory service. They advise on health and wellbeing, accommodation, finances or anything related to your studies.
Get in touch online, by phone (0131 507 0815), or book an appointment via Microsoft Teams.
Run by student volunteers, Nightline is an anonymous and confidential helpline for students in Edinburgh. The team is available every night of term between 8pm and midnight via online chat.
0131 557 444
The Counselling Service
Counselling can be provided remotely by telephone or email if needed. Find out more:
Or call: 0131 650 4170
Using your University email address, you can access Togetherall which is available 24/7 and monitored by trained clinicians. It is a safe place online to get things off your chest, have conversations, express yourself creatively and learn how to manage your mental health.
Website and app resources
Feeling Good App
The app contains a safe and effective programme ‘Positive Mental Training’ that is widely used within the NHS in Edinburgh, for increasing wellbeing and recovery from stress, worry and low mood.
Clear Your Head
A resource developed by the Scottish Government in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, with tips and advice on things you can do to help clear your head.
SilverCloud offers mental health treatment programmes based around Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Students have free access to complete interactive courses focused on depression, anxiety, stress and positive body image.
Headspace is an app featuring a wide range of guided mindfulness and meditation activities. You can choose from hundreds of guided activities on everything from managing stress and anxiety to sleep, productivity, exercise, and physical health. You can purchase reduced student membership through Spotify by using your University email.
Online courses and workbooks
There is a further range of self-help resources for your mental wellbeing from the Counselling service. Allowing you to take courses at your own pace, by working through online slides or downloading a workbook.
Pick up the phone and speak to Breathing Space on: 0800 83 85 87.
A confidential phone line for anyone in Scotland feeling overwhelmed, anxious, depressed.
Student accommodation self-care toolkit
Produced by the ResLife team the toolkit is designed to put self-care on the table and give you some tips on how to invest time in yourself.
Sport and Exercise
Sport and Exercise have a collection of how-to videos and home workouts as part of their Keep Active programme.
The Sports Union runs a wide range of sports clubs and activities to help students meet other people and to participate in sports of all levels. They have brought together information on events and strategies to help you remain engaged and active throughout your self-isolation period. Sports clubs will share the Zoom/Teams links for sessions on the website daily for students to access.
The Chaplaincy host online yoga workouts every Tuesday and Friday on Zoom:
Mindfulness is a well-researched and effective means of alleviating stress, anxiety, and depression, and promoting wellbeing and flourishing. The University Chaplaincy’s Mindfulness programme is available to all students and staff. Find out more:
Stay busy and connected
It's important that you stay connected with others and keep your mind active during your period of self-isolation.
Connecting with others online
The Students' Association is hosting a wide range of events to engage with students and enable them to link up with up with other people.
Societies are a big part of the student experience and can be a great way to enhance your social and academic life. You don't have to be an expert on a particular topic to join a society. It is about developing new interests and experiences, meeting like-minded people and having fun.
Any students who have recently joined us at Edinburgh can join the University's New Students Facebook Group to get to know their classmates and fellow students.
The University is taking immediate action to improve the Wi-Fi available. If you are having problems accessing the University Wi-Fi in student accommodation, please read the advice and support on our Information Services webpages:
Individual help is available – please raise any continuing issues by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 0333 308 0000.
The Residence Life team should be your first point of contact for all matters relating to your accommodation. You can find all of the available contact information online:
If you have specific issues relating to your meal deliveries then you can contact ACE.Covid.SelfIsolation@ed.ac.uk
For general IT support, please visit the EdHelp team at www.ed.ac.uk/edhelp.
For further guidance, advice and support for students self-isolating, please go to the University's self-isolation webpages.