Face coverings remain, travel restrictions lifted and testing changes - message to students

Dear student,

Just a brief update following the First Minister's announcement on Tuesday (15 March) on Covid restrictions.

As you may already be aware and given the current spike in Covid numbers, face coverings must still be worn on public transport and in most indoor places for at least another fortnight. 

Face coverings will continue to be worn at the University until at least Friday 1 April when spring break commences.  Guidance on the use of face coverings going forward will follow in the weeks ahead.

Although legal requirements around physical distancing end from Monday, there will be no immediate change in current timetabling arrangements – which have been calculated based on distancing requirements in classrooms – to ensure no disruption to students.

More details can be seen in the Scottish Government update and the First Minister’s speech but in short, the announcement said:

From Friday 18 March – in line with the rest of UK – all remaining Covid-related travel restrictions will be lifted

  • Requirements on businesses /services, which include collecting customer details for contact tracing, moves from legal requirement to guidance on Monday 21 March
  • From 18 April there is no need to continue twice weekly lateral flow testing.
  • Between 18 April and the end of April lateral flow tests should still be used by close contacts (daily for seven days) and by anyone visiting a hospital or care home.
  • PCR tests will continue to be available for those with symptoms until the end of April. 
  • Contact tracing of positive cases will also continue until the end of April.
  • PCR test sites will remain open during this period, though opening hours and locations may change during the transition.
  • Our Community Testing Centre at Butchart Recreation Centre, University Road will continue to operate as normal until the end of April.

The need for everyone across the community to be vaccinated and to get all doses of the vaccine was stressed again by the First Minister.  We would encourage our students, who are able to do so, to get fully vaccinated.

Finally, we recognise that some of you continue to face challenges, and our Wellbeing Toolkit provides information on the help available if you feel you need a little extra support.

The Wellbeing Toolkit includes details on the Student Helpline, which gives you access to trained counsellors 24/7 by calling 0808 196 2707 (in the UK) or 00353 1518 0277 (from outside the UK), or use WhatsApp by texting "Hi" to 00353 87 369 0010

As we move towards the start of spring break we hope that you can make the most of what remains of the current teaching period and that your studies are going well.

Best wishes


Tracey and Ruth

Tracey Slaven

University Secretary and Chief Operating Officer


Professor Ruth Taylor

Vice-Principal (Education)



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