General Covid FAQs

What should I do if I develop symptoms of a cold or flu-like infection?

All staff and students are advised by RCS and the Scottish Government to stay at home and NOT attend campus if they have potential Coronavirus symptoms (new and persistent cough, fever/high temperature (37.8C or greater), loss or change to sense of taste or smell).

If you become unwell with coronavirus symptoms on campus you should:
• Avoid touching anything and maintain 2m distancing.
• Leave the room you are working in and, if possible, wear a face covering on route to Client Services reception so that you can access the first aid room.
• You will need to self-isolate straight away and Client Services will support you with arrangements to get home and take details so that AAS can be informed. Students must also follow the Student Absence Reporting process using the ASIMUT absence function on Moodle.
• If at any point you become very unwell, Client Services should be contacted to call an ambulance.
• Try to avoid public transport but if you need to use it try to keep away from other people
• If you are not a driver with a car nearby, or too unwell to drive yourself home, arrangements should be made for a household member or taxi to take you home.
• Ensure your Head of Programme, or supervisor is informed by someone else or by phone / email.
• You should arrange a test though www.nhsinform.scot or, if you can’t get online, use your mobile to call 0800 028 2816, to arrange to get tested.
• Cough or sneeze into a tissue and put it in a bin, or if you do not have tissues, cough and sneeze into the crook of you elbow.
• You must then follow the guidance on self-isolation and not return to work or study on site until your period of self-isolation has been completed.
• Domestic Services should be contacted by Client Services and advised of any areas where the person has spent time recently so that these areas can be subjected to enhanced cleaning.

Until you have been tested and told if it is safe to leave home, you must not come to the RCS campus.

Students who have symptoms, however mild, should remain in their accommodation (or home, if it is in Glasgow) and arrange to be tested at the first possible opportunity by visiting the NHS Inform website. You should not leave your accommodation for any reason other than to attend for a test and you should minimise contact with others in your ‘household’. You should notify all other members of your ‘household’ as they will also be required to quarantine for 14 days, unless you subsequently get a negative test result.

People who have tested positive for the virus will need to self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days and must not return to RCS until they have completed the isolation period and been fever-free for at least 48 hours. If they feel well enough, and they are able to study remotely, they may do so.

If you receive a positive test result for covid-19, NHS contact tracers will interview you and get in touch with people you have been in close contact with, and tell them they must self-isolate for 14 days. If you are informed by a contact tracer that you should isolate, you should do so straight away. You may feel well, as the virus could still be incubating when you are asked to isolate. Some people who are asked to isolate may not become unwell, but they must stay at home and self-isolate for the full 14 days.

If you become unwell and are too unwell to continue study, you should inform your Head of Programme that you are unwell and sickness absence will be recorded in the normal way. If you test positive for Covid-19 during this period you should notify your Head of Programme.  Heads of Programme should give as much support to their students as they can while they are away.

RCS will not ask anyone isolating to come into the buildings before their period of isolation is complete, in any circumstances.

Once a person who is a possible Covid case has left the premises, the immediate area occupied by the individual, e.g. first aid room and activity area, will be cleaned with detergent to remove organic matter such as dust or body fluids then a disinfectant to kill pathogens. This should include any potentially contaminated high contact areas such as door handles, telephones and grab-rails. Once this process has been completed, the area can be put back into use. Activity in the room will have to be temporarily suspended till this process has been completed.

Any public areas where a symptomatic or COVID-19 diagnosed individual has only passed through (spent minimal time in), e.g. corridors, and which are not visibly contaminated with any body fluids, do not need to be further decontaminated beyond routine cleaning processes.

Points to keep in mind
• Self-isolation may be required on more than one occasion.
• NHS contact tracers may require someone to self-isolate even if they have previously tested positive for coronavirus and have recovered.
• Covid-19 could affect any of us so please remember to be supportive to anyone who may be affected.
• If we follow the social distancing guidance, hand hygiene guidance and other measures such as wearing face coverings we are less likely to be affected and therefore less likely to need additional measures that could affect our studies or work.

You should self-isolate when:

For new or returning students coming to RCS from outside the Common Travel Area (UK and Islands + the Republic of Ireland), the requirement to enter managed isolation (quarantine in a hotel) or self-isolate at home (or wherever you are planning to stay) in Scotland, depends on whether you are:

Please note the pre-flight testing requirements on the above links and the list of acute risk countries.  If you have travelled through an acute risk country within the 10 day period before travelling to the UK this may affect your ability enter.  UKCISA explain the details of this further.

The Scottish goverment has published a comprehensive guide to International Travel and Managed Isolation 

Under the rules currently in place, passengers travelling from – or transiting through – a Red List country, are be required to undertake a 10-day/11-night ‘managed quarantine’ at a designated hotel. We recommend considering this when you plan your journey.

What to expect when I’m on campus?

What will be building be like?

There are videos of both Renfrew Street and Wallace Studios to show you exactly how things will look.

Mask-wearing is required as you move around the building.

Social distancing and good hygiene practices are in place, with additional handwashing and sanitising facilities available.

There is a strict limit on the number of people that can be in the building at any one time. If you are on the premises, it must be for a scheduled reason and we ask that you do not linger any longer than necessary, allowing others who are scheduled to be in later to have access.

There will be no access for members of the public, just staff and students.

There is a registration system in place on entry to capture the names and contact details of those in the building on any date, as required by government guidance. If there were to be an outbreak, there are measures in place to help support official track and trace functions.

Please make sure that you give your up to date contact details to  the AAS office.

Am I required to work in the building?

Timetable details and any specific guidance will be sent to students by their programme teams. A Welcome Home Support Team is in place for students offering a range of support, including assistance for those who require to quarantine.

What’s the process for arriving from overseas? Will I need to isolate/self-quarantine? Do I need a Covid test upon arrival? Does it depend on where I’m arriving from?

The UK currently has foreign countries on three lists: red, amber, or green.

Before travelling to Scotland from a green list country or area, you must:

  • complete a passenger locator form
  • take a COVID-19 test before you travel to Scotland
  • book and pay £68 for a COVID-19 PCR test – you should take this test within 2 days of arriving in Scotland.

You will not need to isolate unless the result of the COVID-19 test you’ve taken on day 2 after arriving back in Scotland is positive or NHS Scotland Test and Protect contact you to let you know that you need to isolate as you’ve travelled with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. If you’ve been in a country or area on the red or amber list in the 10 days before arriving in Scotland, you’ll need to follow the rules for red or amber list countries.


If you’re travelling to Scotland from an amber list country and have been fully vaccinated, you will not need to self-isolate but you must:

  • declare that you have been fully vaccinated on your passenger locator form
  • take a COVID-19 test before travelling to Scotland
  • book and pay £68 for a COVID-19 PCR test – you should take this test within 2 days of arriving in Scotland and you must book your testing kit using the CTM Booking Portal


If you have been in a red list country at any point in the 10 days before arriving in Scotland, you will only be allowed to enter the UK if either:

  • you are a British or Irish National
  • you have the right to remain in the UK- this includes if you have a visa to study in the UK

If permitted to enter the UK from a red list country, before travelling to Scotland, you’ll need to:

  • complete a passenger locator form
  • take a COVID-19 test
  • book a quarantine hotel package, including 2 COVID-19 PCR tests

On arrival in Scotland, you must quarantine in the hotel you’ve booked for 10 days.

For further information on the requirements, including the CTM Booking Portal, the definitions of “fully vaccinated” and to note any changes before you arrive in Scotland go to:


What do I need to know about vaccination?

Taking two doses of Covid vaccine is the best way of keeping yourself and others safe and we recommend strongly that all students and staff take up the opportunity to be vaccinated when offered. There is also evidence that Long Covid infections are also reduced in the vaccinated population.

UK students:

Covid vaccines are now available to everyone over the age of 16. There is still time to ensure that those of you can have both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine before arriving on campus. The more people who are vaccinated against coronavirus, the better we can help reduce transmission and the health consequences if you do catch the virus.

If you are resident in the United Kingdom and do not currently have an appointment for the first or second dose (8-weeks after the first) of the vaccine, you can find out details on how to arrange an appointment or walk-in vaccination centres at NHS Inform. If you are under 18 and attending a drop-in clinic, please check that the clinic offers the Pfizer before attending.

For further info:


International students:

It is not necessary to have been vaccinated before arriving in Scotland as there will be opportunities to be vaccinated when you arrive at RCS. Further details here.

Vaccination on campus

There will be a mobile Covid vaccination centre in the car park at the Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) campus across from RCS on Tuesdays September 21st and 28th from 10:00-18:00. This is a drop-in service, no appointments are required and anyone requiring vaccination can attend.

Will face coverings be mandatory inside campus buildings?

The wearing of a face covering while moving around the campus buildings is currently mandatory. Risk assessments will determine the appropriateness of not using them in teaching spaces, to facilitate learning interactions. There will be Perspex screens to facilitate communication in key places (such as AAS reception) and transparent face coverings for our D/deaf community and others who work with the cohort.

There is a growing body of scientific evidence and guidance around face covering usage and types which we are following and, together with Universities Scotland, implementing with priority given first and foremost to protecting health and reducing transmission of viral particles.

Will the cafe bar be open?

At present the café bar is not open but options to provide catering are being explored for the beginning of term.

Will the buildings more public spaces be open to the general public?

The building won’t be open to the general public for the time being.

How are we kept safe in the RCS buildings?

How will numbers present in the building be managed? 

A building occupancy has been set and will be closely monitored. Only staff and students who have programmed activities or agreed access will be allowed on campus.

Will there be regular temperature taking of staff/students?

No. At present we do not plan regular temperature testing. For more information on current government guidance on temperature checking follow this link https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-covid-19-shielding/

What processes are in place to ensure students and staff who have to operate shared equipment are safe both in class and on location?

Each department will carry out a risk assessment to identify hazards such as shared equipment and what cleaning protocols are required to reduce the risk such as minimising the sharing of equipment and cleaning materials needed. Cleaning materials will be provided as required.

Will there be overnight cleaning of the teaching rooms or plans to clean work/office areas and equipment? 

There will be regular cleaning of the campus and this has been increased. Rooms will be cleaned at the end of the day and during the day. Staff and students can play a part in keeping the campus safe by ensuring rooms and corridors are kept clear of litter, equipment is cleaned as appropriate after use and by maintaining a regular personal regime of handwashing and/or sanitising.

Will there be a Perspex barrier of any type to act as a barrier and will there be any extra air ventilation or filtering in rooms?

The room occupancies have been reduced so any teaching room that has been identified as suitable for 2 people has more than 2m distancing space available. Most of the rooms have natural ventilation while the need for any barriers will be identified through departmental risk assessments.

Are there additional hand washing stations?

Additional sinks have been provided in Renfrew Street and Wallace Studios. There will also be additional hand sanitiser stations installed around the buildings.

What if I become aware are that a member of staff or a student is not adhering to the safety guidelines?

We would hope that any concerns can be discussed in a positive way with the individual concerned in the first instance. If this is not possible, anyone who has concerns should inform their line manager or Head of Department in the first instance. Again if this is not possible then concerns can be reported to Health, Safety and Wellbeing.

Are First Aiders going to be identified and receive additional training to deal with Covid-19? 

Client Services staff are the trained first aiders in all buildings. All accidents should be reported to them in the first instance. A guidance document has been created for first aiders and refresher training is being arranged.

Will room set up be done in advance by client services? 

Rooms will be set-up as normal but where distancing is required and controlled by furniture positioning, for example in an ensemble, then moving furniture is discouraged.

Will there be more parking provisions as an alternate to using public transport?

There will be very limited parking available as at present. Limited staff numbers will be in the building at any one time which it is hoped will be of assistance.

What changes have been made to the building cleaning regime?

An additional cleaning programme has been put in place. Deep cleans with safe materials (sanitising solutions and hot water, for example) will take place on a regular basis during the day.

Will there be additional suitable waste disposal provision?

Suitable waste disposal will be arranged. Numbers in the building will be limited which will assist.

What happens if I am shielding or have other health-related reasons that mean I cannot come on campus?

If you are shielding or have other health-related personal circumstances that mean that you cannot come to campus and study safely, even with all the health measures in place, then we will look at your case individually to see what is possible.

Depending on what you are studying, we may be able to support you studying fully at a distance, however, we will not be able to replicate every aspect of the on-campus learning experience.

For some programmes, it may not be possible to complete your studies without being on campus because there may be requirements to demonstrate particular skills.

If you have concerns about beginning your studies, please contact us at matriculation@rcs.ac.uk.

What will RCS be doing to protect my health and wellbeing?

We are taking comprehensive steps to protect the health and wellbeing of every student.

We will always closely follow national guidelines, potentially going beyond them at times, learning from the best practice from around the world. This inevitably has consequences for life on campus.

This isn’t a complete list of the measures we will take, but hopefully gives you a sense of our commitment to your safety.

  • All members of the RCS community will need to abide by clear rules relating to personal hygiene and the way they interact with others
  • A thorough cleaning regime will apply in all spaces used by students and staff
  • The numbers allowed in any given building or room will be limited to avoid congestion
  • Anyone who is showing symptoms of Covid-19 will be asked to undertake a test and may have to self-isolate; those who have been in contact with them will be identified and will also be asked to take tests
  • To reduce congestion on campus, many staff will continue to work mostly from home
What if I need to self-isolate and I need assistance with essential supplies?

We have a Welcome Home Support Team who are on hand to deliver essential groceries, medical supplies and other household items. Please contact welcomehome@rcs.ac.uk to speak to a member of the team – we are here to help.

How can I access the Library & IT services?

The Library will be opening initially to support solo study only.  Access will be via self-service booking via Asimut and spaces will be limited. Booking is on a first come first service basis. You will be able to book a desk for study, or a desk with a PC for study, and browsing the shelves and borrowing in person is allowed again!

To help keep everyone safe, we ask that you follow this guidance when visiting our Library:

  • Always book in advance
  • When you arrive, please check-in at the issue desk
  • When you leave, please check-out at the issue desk
  • Wear a face covering when moving around
  • Keep a comfortable distance from others and avoid going into stacks occupied by others
  • Please clear your desk at the end of your booking use the cleaning stations available to sanitise on arrival and departure
  • Only sit in spaces marked with green stickers and do not move furniture
  • Take all possessions with you when you leave


Remember, you don’t need to visit the Library to:

Study space numbers will be reviewed on a weekly basis and additional spaces will be released when possible.

Can I still access the counselling service?

The RCS Counselling Service is accessible through email. Please contact Dr Jane Balmforth on j.balmforth@rcs.ac.uk or Manisha Gosar (CBT therapist) on m.gosar@rcs.ac.uk to arrange an online appointment or request information.

Students can also arrange CBT counselling by contacting Mairi Gillies, Cognitive Behavioural (CBT) therapist at mairi@mgtherapy.co.uk

Ross Paterson, the counsellor who is available weekday evenings 5-8pm on westendcommunitycounselling@gmail.com

Stephanie McDermid provides counselling in BSL and online counselling on stephanier1975@btinternet.com

For a full list of the Counselling Team and mental health resources, please log on to the Student Portal, click on Student Support, click on Counselling & mental health.

The online supportive community, Togetherall, is also available 24/7  – sign in with your RCS email address.

I am in financial hardship, what can I do?

We are committed to using our Discretionary funds we have to help as many of our students as possible.  Please email welfare@rcs.ac.uk with your circumstances in the first instance.

Help Musicians Scotland has asked us to share their details for performing musicians needing crisis support.  Their link is given here.

Can I access the Effective Learning Service (ELS) for help with written assignments?

Yes, the ELS is available on-line. Please contact Ursula and Josh, the ELS tutors, on els@rcs.ac.uk  for help with written work. This includes help with researching, structuring and planning as well as getting feedback on what you’ve written. You can get help whatever stage you’re at – whether you don’t know where to start or you’ve written 2,000 words. Ursula and Josh can also help, if for example, you’re writing a reflection, summarising, preparing a bibliography or trying to prioritise tasks.

I’m a student with a disability/medical condition/Specific Learning Disability — can I get help?

Yes, support is available, please contact disabilityservice@rcs.ac.uk with your enquiry.

How quickly can I get my student route visa?

You will need a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) code to apply for your visa.  CASs are issued once a successful applicant has accepted an unconditional offer, paid their deposit, emailed to international@rcs.ac.uk  a copy of the ID page of their passport and completed the CAS Evidence Request Form.  CASs are issued in batches once a week and more frequently in August and September.  Most applicants will need to submit their biometric information at a UK Visa Application Centre (VAC).  VACs should all now be now open but there may still delays and reduced availability of appointments. If you are concerned that delays may mean that you can’t arrive in Glasgow in time to start your course, please contact matriculation@rcs.ac.uk . Please do not travel to the UK as a visitor with the intention to “switch” to the Student route from within the UK as this is not possible.   Further information can  be viewed here.

When the Home Office grants you an entry clearance (i.e. a visa), it tells you that you need to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) 90 days after arrival in the UK or before the expiry date on the sticker (vignette) in your passport, whichever is the later. This allows anyone needing to quarantine, enough time to collect their BRP from the Post Office.  Those with electronic immigration permission do not need to collect a BRP.

Base Glasgow (student accommodation) questions

Can I move into Base early?
Base may be able to allow students to move in early if we can accommodate it. This will be on a case by case basis.

What health & safety measures are in place at Base?
Regular cleaning, 2m distancing, hand gels on site and cleaning wipes in communal areas.

Are cleaning crews doing extra work there?
There is housekeeping 7 days a week and all communal areas will be cleaned daily. Base will be carrying out more regular cluster inspections to ensure the level of cleanliness is high in all areas.

Will the cinema room be open? Gym?
Base will open all areas as per government advice however all areas will have reduced numbers of people allowed at one time.

Are practice rooms going to be cleaned regularly as well?
Practice rooms will be cleaned daily and will be supplied with hand gel and disinfectant wipes for students to use before and after use.

What if someone I’m sharing a block with gets sick? What if someone at Base gets sick?
If a student in a cluster gets sick they will be advised to self-isolate within their room and Base can assist with any food delivery. Communal kitchen use will be at set times and will be the responsibility of the student to clean down after use.

Covid-19: discover our latest updates