Ready to keep you safe


Health and Safety in a post-coronavirus world.

Alongside Health and Safety and SafeGuarding, every team and facility are working hard to make the safety of students our number one priority. From the Oriam’s phased re-introduction of classes, to new click and collect and online payment options at food and drinks services, to Accommodation Halls preparing for international arrivals and self-isolation, every part of your student journey has been designed with safety in mind.

Keeping you safe on campus, through the three W’s:

  • Wash your hands: With hand-sanitiser stations around campus.
  • Wear a face covering: Following the latest Govt Guidelines, and see below. 
  • Watch your distance: Following the latest Govt guidelines, all communal areas have been designed with social distancing in mind; with one-way systems and signage to help guide you.

Face Coverings

When indoors, unless you are exempt, face coverings must be worn at all times except when eating or drinking, or when seated at your office desk where a minimum distance of 1m is maintained.

At the start of semester 1, again, unless exempt, face-coverings will be required in all teaching settings, the library and our study spaces. Students should not remove their face-covering during an on-campus teaching session or whilst seated in either the library or our learning commons. However, staff who are delivering a class and are suitably physically distanced from their students may remove their face coverings if they wish for the duration of the lecture once all students are seated.

Whilst we cannot enforce their use, we will be encouraging those who are exempt to wear a sunflower lanyard or apply for an exemption card.

Quick Guides

Dealing with suspected COVID cases related to Student (living off campus)

Dealing with suspected COVID cases related to Student (living on campus)

Concern about symptoms/contact with others

If you have any concerns about symptoms or contact with others please contact SafeGuarding through SafeZone or on 0131 451 3500

Heriot-Watt University Global Community COVID-19 Pledge

During the coronavirus pandemic it is more important than ever that we act in a way that demonstrates our mutual respect for one another, consistent with our University’s values.

Together we will act in a way which demonstrates consideration and respect for those within and beyond the University community by following Government and University guidance related to reducing the spread of COVID-19.


SafeGuarding Officers on site 24/7 and the SafeZone App is available at all campuses.

  • SafeGuarding officers are available to help all staff and students on campus 24/7, 365 days a year
  • SafeZone App available for students and staff. Download the App and, wherever you are in the world, our SafeGuarding team will support you. Once the alarm is raised, officers can with you within 4 minutes

NHS University Health Centre

The NHS University Health Centre on our Edinburgh campus is open to all students living on campus or in the Edinburgh area, and there is no waiting list. Make sure you register as soon as you can on your return. Please note, that testing for Covid-19 will not be run through the Health Centre.

Protect Scotland

The Protect Scotland app from NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect is a free, mobile phone app designed to help us protect each other, reduce the spread of coronavirus and avoid further lockdowns.

The app will alert you if you have been in close contact with another app user who tests positive for coronavirus. And if you test positive, it can help in determining contacts that you may have otherwise missed while keeping your information private and anonymous.

Using the Protect Scotland app, along with sticking to current public health measures, will help us to stay safe when we meet up, socialise, work or travel.


The Scottish Government encourages everyone to test themselves regularly. Please see below for more information.

Lateral flow testing – regular testing without symptoms

PCR testing – if you develop symptoms or are requested to test

  • book a PCR test 
  • The NHS advise that anyone with symptoms of coronavirus should get tested within the first 3 days of symptoms appearing, although testing is effective up until day 5
  • Individual should also book a test if they have been asked to by a Health Protection Team, have been asked to confirm a positive LFD result, or you have been identified as being in close contact to someone with Covid-19 through the Test and Protect or Protect Scotland apps.

Vaccination Centre

The University is delighted to announce that we will be hosting an NHS Vaccination Centre in the Ground Floor area of the Postgraduate Centre at the Edinburgh Campus. 

The Vaccination centre will offer a drop–in service for all students, staff and the local community and will operate between 12 – 7pm during welcome week (Monday 6 – Friday 10 September) and week one of the new academic year (Tuesday 14 – Saturday 18 September). Please note you do not need an appointment or be registered with a GP to get your vaccine.

Arrangements for a mobile vaccination centre for international students at the Scottish Borders Campus are also being planned in partnership with NHS Borders.

While having the vaccine doesn’t eliminate the risk of coronavirus, by both you and your loved ones having it, it does reduce the impact of the virus.

If you are travelling to the University from overseas and have not had the vaccine in your home country yet, there is no legal requirement for international arrivals into the UK to have had the Covid-19 vaccine. You will able to get the vaccine in the UK. In addition to the on-campus drop-in facility, clinic locations can be found on the NHS Lothian website: Drop-in Vaccination Clinics

We would strongly encourage you to get vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccine is our best way out of this pandemic and getting back the things we’ve all missed.

Socialising safely

  • Food and drink services and social spaces have new safety measures, online payment service, click and collect options, extra cleaning services and compartments for social distancing.
  • The Student Union now also have click and collect options for food and drink, along with online payment options and an online booking system for tables with breaks between slots to enable full cleaning and sanitising between customers.

For more information, see our Ready to be social 

Return to fitness

  • In line with the latest Scottish Govt guidelines, Oriam (Scotland’s Performance Centre) is currently running all facilities and services on an almost ‘normal’ basis. We continue to maintain thorough cleaning & social distancing protocols and regularly review our activities and services.
  • If you are joining us from online using the Responsive Blended Learning model, follow @Oriam on social media for more info on staying fit from wherever you are in the world.

For more information, see our Ready to be active 

Keep an eye on this page for more updates on health and safety on all our Scotland based campuses over the coming weeks.

For more details on study spaces and facilities on campus see Ready for studying safely.

Read the latest guidelines from Scottish Government

We look forward to seeing you! Stay safe, and don’t forget we are here to support you, every step of the way.