General information
1. Where can I get the most up-to-date Health advice?

For the latest information for the public on the outbreak of coronavirus, please visit the government website.

For information on how to help prevent the spread of coronavirus and other questions use the NHS information and Health Protection Scotland.

2. Where can I get the most up-to-date Travel Advice?

All work and study related travel outside the UK should be postponed until further notice. Field trips and study visits in the UK should also be suspended. We are also strongly recommending that potential visitors to the Aberdeen campus from overseas should delay their travel at this time. Any queries related to this should be directed to coronavirus@abdn.ac.uk.

Those planning to travel outside the UK for personal reasons should follow latest Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice for your destination and for any country you will be transiting through. You should be aware that severe travel restrictions are being increasingly introduced around the world, and if you decide to travel there is a risk that you may find it difficult to return to the UK.

3. Who should I contact if I have any further concerns?
If you are worried and can't find the answer to your questions in our FAQs, please email coronavirus@abdn.ac.uk
Travel

Last updated 27 March 2020

All work and study related travel should be postponed until further notice. The University campuses are not currently open for visitors, and the large majority of staff are now working remotely, in line with Government advice. Potential visitors should therefore not travel to the University of Aberdeen.  

The UK government is recommending against all but essential travel outside the UK. It is important that everyone follows UK Government advice, for work but also personal travel. For the latest advice, go to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

1. What are the current travel restrictions to and from the UK?

Travel from the UK: The UK government is advising against all non-essential travel for British people worldwide. This advice took effect immediately on the 17th of March and applies initially for a period of 30 days.

Travel to the UK: Anyone wishing to travel to the UK should ensure they are aware of the travel advice from their home country BEFORE booking and/or embarking on travel. The Covid-19 pandemic has lead to unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions. All countries may restrict travel without notice. It is important to note that the UK Government has put in place significant restrictions across the UK and therefore travel is strongly advised against.

2. I am a University of Aberdeen student and I'm due to be taking part in an outgoing summer school - will this be going ahead?

Unfortunately the University, working with our partners across the world, has made the decision to cancel the outgoing summer schools due to take place over the Summer of 2020. The Go Abroad team will contact impacted students directly. 

3. I have work related travel booked - will costs be covered if I decide not to go?

The University’s insurance policy does not cover costs if the insured person decides not to travel prior to the commencement of the trip, or if already on a trip decides not to continue, UNLESS this decision is made as a result of the FCO advising against all or all but essential travel AND the advice had not been given before the trip was booked.

If you need to claim for any costs already incurred, you can request a claim form by e-mailing insurance@abdn.ac.uk.

4. Can I book for future travel?
As the University has now advised that all work and study related travel outside the UK should be postponed until further notice, and field trips and study visits in the UK should be suspended, you should not book travel for future dates.
Health and wellbeing
1. I am feeling worried by the coronavirus-Covid-19 outbreak and it is impacting upon my mental health - is there support available?

We understand you might be worried about coronavirus and that being asked to stay at home or avoid other people might feel difficult or stressful. There are lots of things you can try that could help your wellbeing. Some examples include: connecting with people digitally; trying to keep active; finding ways to relax and keep your mind challenged (which can be study related, work related or otherwise). For more information about how you can take care of your mental health and wellbeing during the Coronavirus break please visit the MIND website.

If you are feeling overwhelmed students can contact ourstudent support team and staff can contact the university’s confidential employee assistance programme or talk to your line manager or HR partner.

2. I don’t have the same equipment and desk at home that I had in the office. How can I be expected to get the same amount of work done and do it without affecting my health and safety?

You are not expected to work on a laptop, without a separate keyboard and mouse, for extended periods. If you do not have access the these, and/or are not able to achieve a comfortable working posture, or start to experience pain or discomfort, you are empowered to take a break and take much more frequent future breaks than would ordinarily be the case. Your health and safety must not be compromised.

More guidance is available at https://www.abdn.ac.uk/staffnet/working-here/coronavirus/working-from-home/index.php#panel10425

Events
1. Should my event/gathering go ahead?
All events, gatherings and meetings which require individuals to meet in person are to be postponed or cancelled until further notice. This includes Field Trips and Study Visits.
2. What if I have sent invites/marketing materials out for an event that is taking place later in the year? Do I continue to organise this event?

If the event is scheduled to take place before August, we would strongly recommend that you postpone or cancel.

Should you choose to continue to organise an event for later in the year, please ensure you have contingency plans in place and are able to contact audience/guests to inform them if anything changes. You should be advising attendees to be mindful of travel advice and consider delaying booking travel and accommodation until nearer the event.

3. If I cancel my plans, should I claim a refund for travel or accommodation expenses?
You should contact the supplier and request a refund. If this is not available, try to get a voucher or credit note instead. This should then be put towards covering the cost of future business travel or accommodation.
4. Is there a form of words you can provide that can assist in informing of an event cancellation or postponement?

The University has (POSTPONED/CANCELLED EVENT) due to take place at (VENUE) on (DATE). 

Please accept our sincere apologises for any inconvenience this may cause but do be assured, the decision has been taken only after much consideration and reflects government issued guidance.  The continued safety and wellbeing of you, visitors, the University and the wider community are very much our priority.

We will seek to update you on any plans to stage this event at a later date.

Library services

All library buildings are now closed but we continue to provide a digital library service for staff and students.

Find out more information on our Coronavirus and Library Services page.

IT services

For guidance on using IT when on working from home - including IT security, remote access services, and using MS Teams and other online collaboration tools - please visit the Working from Home page.

Information governance and security

1. What health data will be collected in respect regarding staff and students?

Acknowledging that we have a health & safety responsibility to staff, students and visitors to campus, we still need to collect personal data in accordance with the data protection principles:

  • We gather health data if we have a contingency plan that requires that information, i.e. when one of our plans is instruct only the immune-suppressed to self-isolate, or to limit those people’s return to campus on re-opening.
     
  • We gather the minimum amount of health data necessary to fulfil the task, i.e. if we are seeking to identify those staff / students with suppressed immunity, we ask that to be declared, not the underlying health condition. The health data required is specified and consistent across each campus.
     
  • We use a process that maintains accurate health data, i.e. if we are reliant on this data for key decisions about presence on campus, that the data remains accurate for that purpose.
     
  • We are clear who will have access to the health data, how it will be used and when it will be destroyed. We give staff / students a means to object to their health data being collected and used in this way.
     
  • We use technology that ensures the confidentiality and availability of the health data, and particularly that it is not available to third parties and internationally without appropriate safeguards being in place.
     
  • Please contact Digital & Information Services if you intend on collecting data for guidance on the best tool to use.
Revisions to services - July 2020

Last updated 13 July 2020

1. Can I still collect and send mail at the University?

Partial reinstatement of the mailroom and outgoing mail services

Old Aberdeen

The University Mailroom at 9a Dunbar Street, Kings Campus, will open for 2 half days on:
•    Tuesday 14 July 2020     0900 – 1200 hours, and
•    Thursday 16 July 2020    0900 – 1200 hours

in order to process any outgoing mail. It will be open every Monday and Thursday between these times thereafter, with an increase in operational hours and capacity to be reviewed on a weekly basis going forward.

Mail will for all areas of Kings continue to either be retained in the Mailroom or stored securely elsewhere on campus. 

Staff will not be able to collect mail directly from the mailroom.  

Foresterhill

Incoming mail will continue to be sorted between 9-10am Monday to Friday then placed in relevant pigeonholes for collection.  Mail can be collected anytime but only by nominated people, a list of which should be supplied to Polwarth Porters.

Sample deliveries by couriers should be made to the South Tower at the main ARI building where NHS receive deliveries (as per the Christmas closure process).
 
Deliveries

Moving forward, please do not place orders for goods that are not business critical or have personal items delivered to the University.

There will be no mail redirection service from either Old Aberdeen or Foresterhill until further notice. 

Mailroom operations will be scaled up as required according to operational need.  

2. Are there still cleaning services throughout the University?

Cleaning activities are currently being reinstated in line with government guidance and University priorities. This includes cleaning and preparing buildings for reoccupation, reinstating existing cleaning services and undertaking an enhanced cleaning regime.

Information on the changes to the cleaning service are provided .

It is important to clarify that changes to the cleaning services are only one element of a suite of preventative activities which contribute towards minimizing the risk and opportunity for the possible transmission of Covid-19.

All staff, students and visitors have a shared responsibility for themselves and towards others to ensure they are supporting our community by practicing good hand hygiene, using hand sanitiser, adhering to and respecting physical distancing measures, and using face coverings and PPE appropriately.  

3. Will there be portering services on campus?

From 6 July, basic portering services are back in operation, with altered duties, staffing levels and activities to reflect front line requirements. 

These will be scaled up according to operational need. 

4. Will maintenance and security services still be available?

Maintenance

Reactive maintenance continues for the buildings that are open and in the process of reopening. Emergencies and call outs continue as before, although response times may still be affected.  

Statutory testing and other important compliance checks are in the process of being undertaken across campus as part of the reinstatement process and the ongoing cycle of these checks is recommencing as activities on campus increase.   

All repairs should be directed via the online reporting portal, or to efrequests@abdn.ac.uk.

Grounds and the Botanic Gardens

While Grounds maintenance activities have recommenced on campus the Cruickshank Botanic Garden remains closed with staff returning to this area from furlough on Wednesday 1st July to prepare the garden for future opening.

Security

Emergencies should continue to be reported to Security Control. 

The Security team continue to operate as normal but with a reduced staffing complement.  Please contact estates@abdn.ac.uk with any queries.

5. Can I still access the buildings on campus?

There is now no access to any University premises for staff and students, with the exception of key core designated staff who have access requirements pre-arranged through their Head of School or Director.

Buildings will be physically locked down and all swipe access permissions will be removed, including local administrator amendment rights. This will be centrally controlled through Estates and Facilities for the foreseeable future.

Pre-authorised access

Access arrangements have been made for staff undertaking certain core business critical functions and have been pre-authorised by Heads of School and Directors.

A specified cohort of staff will have swipe access enabled to specific pre-agreed areas within the campus to enable business critical activity.  We would ask that you let Security know on x3327 when you arrive and leave the premises for lone working purposes.

Some staff will have facilitated access through Security.  This will mean they must attend at Security Control to sign in and will be escorted by a Security Officer or a Porter to their destination. They must then sign out at Security afterwards.

Campus wide access is restricted to specifically designated Estates and Facilities and DDIS staff only.

Requests for access

Any requests for access should be routed through estates@abdn.ac.uk.   Individuals must provide written email authorisation from their Head of School or Department/Directorate in advance, and submit it to estates@abdn.ac.uk.  

The following details should be supplied with any access request:

  • Name
  • Building
  • Staff ID number
  • Where access is required
  • Activity
  • Frequency of Access (one off, daily, weekly etc)
  • Contact
  • Department
  • Authorisation from HoS/Director

Because access is being managed remotely, it will not be immediate and may take a day or two.

All essential/nominated staff are encouraged to download the SafeZone App and utilise it for lone working purposes when they are coming onto campus.

Queries relating to building access requests should be directed to estates@abdn.ac.uk.

6. Will the 9U shuttle bus still be running?

The 9U service is temporarily suspended and will not operate during the first semester. This position will be reviewed in early December where a decision will be made to assess whether it is appropriate and possible for its reintroduction in January 2021.

7. Will waste still be uplifted from campus?

Waste services (non-hazardous, recyclates and confidential waste) are gradually being reinstated in line with University priorities, but in some cases on reduced uplifts.  This will be monitored and adjusted as required.

Any issues or requests relating to waste should be reported through estates@abdn.ac.uk.

 

8. Are campus car parks still available for use?

Car park enforcement at Old Aberdeen remains on hold for the time being, except at Foresterhill, where the parking barriers and restrictions have been reinstated.

Campus cleaning services

Last updated 02 July 2020

Interim revisions to the cleaning service

In this difficult time, we are doing our best to make sure the campus environment is suitable for working and studying in. 
 
The pre-Covid cleaning activities at the University will be reinstated incrementally as they were prior to lockdown, with some changes and enhancements planned. 

It is very important to clarify at the outset that changes to the cleaning regime will not eliminate the risk of transferring or preventing Covid-19 infections.

Changes to cleaning provision are only one element of a suite of other preventative activities such as encouraging good hand hygiene, physical distancing, use of face coverings, provision of hand sanitiser etc, all of which contribute towards minimizing opportunity for a surface to become contaminated immediately after cleaning, thus reducing transmission risk.

Key changes to the existing service

Due to the ongoing requirement for physical distancing and minimizing risk there will be some slight alterations to services in the short to medium term.

Personal/individual offices will not be cleaned in Semester 1.  This will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.  All shared office areas will continue to be cleaned weekly.

Computer and IT Classrooms

Computer classrooms will be cleaned as per the normal cleaning cycle. In addition, each room will have cleaning wipe dispensers installed which users can use to clean equipment. These will be replenished by Estates and Facilities.  

IT Classroom Users will be expected to maintain good hand hygiene and practices including wiping down their desk, mouse, keyboard and monitor before and after use.

Other Teaching Facilities 
(This includes lecture theatres, seminar rooms and teaching classrooms)

Centrally timetabled teaching facilities will be cleaned as per the normal cleaning cycle.  In addition, each room will have cleaning wipe dispensers installed which users can use to clean desks.  These will be replenished by Estates and Facilities.   
 
Staff, students and room users will be expected to maintain good hand hygiene and cleanliness practices including wiping down desks, chairs and any IT or other equipment used before and after use. 

Hand Sanitiser Stations

A total of 700 hand sanitiser dispensers are to be installed in the following areas:

  • All entry/exit points to each building on campus, both at Kings and Foresterhill 
  • Throughout key core circulation areas in buildings with normal occupancy levels over 100 people 

These dispensers will be replenished daily by Estates and Facilities. 

The services do not include provision of hand sanitiser at MFDs, vending machines, every kitchen area, keypads, IT classrooms etc.

Daytime touchpoint cleans

In addition to the normal cleaning service levels, the following will be undertaken using relevant appropriate disinfectant and antibacterial solutions, equipment and disposable cloths and wipes:

1.    Enhanced touchpoint cleaning to specified agreed touch points.  These include (but are not limited to)

  • Door handles (except inside individual offices)
  • Lifts
  • Push plates
  • Light switches and sockets
  • Sanitary ware touchpoints in toilet areas
  • Keyboards and mice in IT facilities, computer classrooms 
  • Toilet and washroom areas including taps, toilet flushes, sanitary bin lids etc
  • Waste receptacle lids
  • Kitchenettes (with support from users)

These will be cleaned through the day, Monday – Friday.  The target minimum clean is twice per day, resource dependent.

Enhanced touch point cleaning is only guaranteed to be effective at the time the clean is undertaken - after that cleanliness is totally dependent on building user hygiene.  

Workplace Hygiene Programme

We have installed a Workplace Hygiene Programme in some of our bigger buildings which will support staff and students in remembering to undertake enhanced hand hygiene after touching certain contact points.  

The programme identifies certain key touch points (through use of a sticker) where the risk of potential contamination to users is higher, thus prompting them themselves to take appropriate action i.e. going on to wash or sanitise their hands.  It also clearly highlights these touchpoints as areas where cleaning is targeted at regular frequencies through the day. 

Please look out for the touchpoints:
 

Please also read and follow the guidance provided on the blue board available at the main entrance to your building.

User cleaning responsibilities

Building users and occupiers have a shared responsibility to maintaining good personal hygiene practices.

Schools and depts are expected to make relevant local arrangements for purchasing gloves, wipes for telephones/keyboards and screens, providing sanitising wipes for local school, department or personal use, providing masks/face coverings and goggles, and any other appropriate additional supplies.

In recognition of the fact that the revised cleaning regime is very resource intensive, this provides valuable supplementary local support alongside the centrally provided services.

We would ask for support and cooperation from all staff and students to ensure that they maintain the highest levels of hygiene, and take a responsible, shared approach to hand hygiene and general cleanliness.

When on campus, users are expected to clean

  • Their own desk, telephone, keyboard, mouse and screen
  • Personal Offices - Office door handles and light switches/touchpoints
  • Any lecterns, IT or other controls, desktop equipment, projectors, laptops, mice and keyboards which have been in use during a class (before and after use)
  • Their own pens, stationery items and cutlery and crockery
  • Touchpoints in kitchens after they have used them e.g. kettles, toasters, microwaves, cupboard handles, water coolers etc
Schools and Departments will be expected to make appropriate arrangements to provide staff with the relevant appropriate PPE and equipment required for their day to day activities.
Laboratories (including research)

Laboratory users in specialist areas or dealing with specialist equipment will be expected to clean their own equipment and touchpoints within the labs. Schools are required to purchase the appropriate materials to do so, e.g.

  • Hoists
  • monitors
  • gym equipment
  • specialist laboratory equipment e.g. microscopes, autoclaves etc and including sinks and taps, etc.

Schools and Departments are also expected to provide their own sanitiser in these areas and make arrangements to ensure specialist equipment is cleaned and maintained.

Electrostatic cleaning

Regular disinfection of High Footfall areas will take place by Facilities staff utilising the electrostatic cleaning system, e.g.

  • Lifts
  • Reception areas
  • Foyers and entrances
  • Library desks and chairs
  • Eating areas: including chairs, tables door handles, vending machines etc.
Enhanced service summary

Please note that delivery of these revised services is resource contingent.

Door handles, exit buttons, push plates and digital locks

Twice daily

Appropriate wipes, disinfectant & antibacterial solutions

Cleaning staff and seconded resource

Eating areas: including chairs, door handles, vending machines etc.

Twice daily

Appropriate wipes, disinfectant &antibacterial solutions

Catering staff (once service reinstated)

Entry card readers

Twice daily

Appropriate wipes, disinfectant & antibacterial solutions

Cleaning staff and Library staff

Food service areas

Twice daily

Appropriate wipes, disinfectant & antibacterial solutions

Catering staff (once service reinstated)

Handrails on staircases and corridors

Twice daily

Appropriate wipes, disinfectant & antibacterial solutions

Cleaning staff and seconded resource

Kitchenettes – kettles, fridge handles, cupboard handles, microwave door, dispensers

Once daily, touchpoints twice daily

 

Appropriate wipes, disinfectant & antibacterial solutions

Cleaning staff, seconded staff and users – shared responsibilities

Keyboards

Twice daily by cleaning team

 

Disinfectant wipes available through schools & departments & computer labs

Cleaning staff and users – shared responsibilities

Lift controls

Twice daily

Appropriate wipes, disinfectant & antibacterial solutions

Cleaning staff and seconded resource

Light switches

Twice daily

Appropriate wipes, disinfectant & antibacterial solutions

Cleaning staff and seconded resource

Office desks

Recommended once daily

 

 

Appropriate wipes, disinfectant &antibacterial solutions

will be available through Schools for users.

Users

Personal (Single Occupancy) Offices

Service suspended

 

 

Photocopiers, MFDs and other office equipment

Clean after each use

Disinfectant wipes available in all offices & computer labs

Cleaning staff and users – shared responsibilities

Reception desks

Once per hour

Appropriate wipes, disinfectant & antibacterial solutions

Front of House and Library staff

Rubbish collections and bins

 

Twice daily

Appropriate disinfectant & antibacterial solutions

Cleaning and Portering staff

Specialist Equipment (e.g. lab & schools equipment)

Clean after each use

Disinfectant wipes available through schools & departments

Users

Taps, dispensers and hand washing facilities

Twice daily

Appropriate wipes, disinfectant and antibacterial solutions

Cleaning staff and seconded resource

Telephone equipment

Before and after use

Disinfectant wipes available through schools & departments

Users

Toilet flushes, hand dryers, sanitary bin lids, seats

Twice daily

Appropriate wipes, disinfectant and antibacterial solutions

Cleaning staff and seconded resource

If you have any feedback or suggestions about what else we could be doing to support our community in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, or if you have any further queries that haven’t been answered in our FAQs, please contact coronavirus@abdn.ac.uk.