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Self-Isolation Support (International Arrival)

By HWResLife 12 Aug 2021

Welcome to Heriot-Watt University

We know things are a little different this year, and we want to reassure you that we are doing everything we can so that you feel comfortable, safe and supported in your accommodation.

Self-isolating in a new country can be very challenging and difficult at times, but please be reassured that we are here to support you during and after your isolation period.

Please read this article carefully, as it will outline the University’s Self-Isolation protocols and all the available supports you can get on campus. If you have any additional queries, please contact

Scotland is currently operating a red, amber, green list system. Arrivals, including from the Common Travel Area (CTA) (UK, Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man), must follow the rules relevant to the status of the country or areas you are arriving from.


Green list countries and areas
Before travelling to Scotland from a green list country or area, you must:

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 have been in a country or area on the red or amber list in the 10 days before arriving in Scotland, you will need to follow the rules for red or amber list countries.

For more details on green country list, approved vaccine sources, please visit the Scottish Government website.


Amber list countries and areas

All students arriving from Amber countries, and who are not fully vaccinated by a government recognised vaccine, are required to self-isolate. This must booked in advance with the accommodation team (contact 

If you are fully vaccinated:

  • If you are travelling to Scotland from an amber list country and had been fully vaccinated in the UK, the UK or the EU, you need to follow the guidance for arriving from a green list country

    ‘Fully vaccinated’ means that you’ve had your final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine through approved sources, at least 14 days before you arrive in Scotland.

Before you travel to Scotland you’ll need to make sure you have a record of your vaccination to show on your journey:

  • if you have been vaccinated in the UK, you can get a paper record of vaccination through NHS
  • if you have been vaccinated in one of the European countries, this record is accessed through the European Digital COVID certificate
  • if you have been vaccinated in the US, this is the CDC card. You must also normally reside in the US and provide proof of your address

You will need to show the record of your vaccination during your journey to Scotland.

If you are not fully vaccinated:
If you’ve been in an amber list country in the 10 days before travelling to Scotland and have not been fully vaccinated, you must:

On arrival in Scotland you must:

  • Isolate at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days
  • Take a COVID-19 test - on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of your 10 day isolation, if you test positive you will need to self-isolate for longer

For more details on amber country list, approved vaccine sources, please visit the Scottish Government website. 


Red list countries and areas
If you have been in a country or area on the red list 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, or you have the right to remain in the UK- this includes if you have a visa to work or study in the UK

Before travelling to Scotland from a red list country, you’ll need to:

  • Take a COVID-19 test
  • Book a quarantine hotel package, including 2 COVID-19 tests

On arrival in Scotland, you must quarantine in the hotel you have booked for 10 days. If you test positive for COVID-19 while in quarantine, you may need to quarantine for longer.

You can check GOV.UK for the latest travel advice on red list countries.

Self-isolation rules apply to all travel to Scotland, by train, ferry, coach, air or any other route. Please read the Scottish Government’s protocol on international travel thoroughly to be sure that you understand the rules which apply to you.

Also, be aware that countries may move between lists at short notice so make sure you check the status of the country you are travelling from before you travel. 

a collection of face masks

Required to Isolate at your accommodation?

  • You should self-isolate in one place – the room allocated by the accommodation office, for the full 10 days. You can use your kitchen but should limit the time spent with your kitchen mates to the minimum and observe social distancing.
  • You cannot leave your hall unless for emergency (Fire evacuation, Emergency Hospital Appointment, etc), this includes not to go out to the public areas outside your hall.
  • You must not travel to supermarket to purchase food. Please order a supermarket delivery or restaurant delivery. Please read the Food guideline for more information.
  • You are allowed to do laundry and to take your bin bag (garbage or waste bag) from the kitchen to the skip (metal garbage container) outside your hall during specific times. Please read the Laundry and Rubbish Removal guideline for more information.
  • You are allowed to smoke, but please read the Smoking guideline carefully.
  • You cannot have visitors / guests during your isolation
  • If you are feeling unwell, please contact SafeGuarding immediately for support. 

PCR testing

There are different requirements for PCR tests depending on whether you are arriving from a red, amber or green country. Please read thoroughly to understand the requirements you will be required to take.

When arriving from a country on the Amber or Green list, a PCR testing Kit must be purchased in advance of arrival and addressed to The ResLife Hub, Christina Miller West, Heriot- Watt University, Riccarton Campus, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS.  Once ordered, forward a copy of the receipt to as proof of purchase. ResLife are not responsible for making sure your PCR has arrived – but you may contact ResLife to check, especially if the test is late. 

When arriving from a country on the Red List, you will be required to purchase a PCR test kit as part of your hotel booking.

Arriving from a country on the Amber List:

  • When your PCR Test kit arrives on campus, a member of the ResLife team will bring it to your room. The kit contains full instructions. Take your time to read the instructions thoroughly.  

  • Once complete, seal the test in the box provided and drop the kit into the allocated box (outside the cleaning supervisors office in your hall) before 2pm on Day 2 and Day 8.  

  • ResLife will collect and post all completed kits between 2:00 - 2.30 pm. Any tests deposited after 2 pm will not be collected until the next day.  

  • If your result comes back positive, you must notify SafeGuarding immediately (details below) 

  • It is your responsibility to make sure the tests

Please be advised that a negative result does not mean you can end your isolation.

When arriving from a country on the Green list 

  • When your PCR kit arrives on campus, you will receive an email that it is in the parcel room  in Christina Miller West, with details of the opening hours 

  • You will need to come to the parcel room during the opening hours to collect your PCR kit 

  • Once the test is completed, drop the kit into the red Royal Mail postbox (there are 2 on campus – one by the bus stop at Main Reception and the other outside George Burnett Hall)

SafeGuarding & SafeZone

Our SafeGuarding team are available 24/7 and are contactable through the SafeZone App.

Please make sure you download the SafeZone app for whenever you need an immediate emergency response, first-aid or any other general assistance.

University Medical Centre

You must register with the local Medical Centre as per the Accommodation contract, and we strongly recommend you register during your first week on campus.

Registration can be done online. Go to where they have the registration form and medical questionnaire available to download.  Once completed, email this to the Medical Centre (there are instructions on emailing on the website).

For more details go to


Being in isolation can be both physically and mentally demanding. If you need support, you can contact Student Wellbeing at, or book through the HW portal. The ResLife team can also provide with support, over email or through a Teams meeting. Contact them on for more information.

There is also useful information relating to wellbeing and Covid 19 here.

Feeling unwell?

If you become unwell with Covid-19 symptoms, please contact SafeGuarding immediately through the SafeZone App or by calling 0131 451 3500.

If you become unwell for another reason, you can speak to a medical professional on the phone by calling NHS 24 on 111. Let them know you are currently self-isolating due to recently arriving to Scotland. Please also contact SafeGuarding or Reslife so that the University can support and advise you on what steps to take.

In a medical emergency, call SafeGuarding immediately.

Kitchen Access

You can still use your kitchen but please maintain social distancing if possible.  Take your meals back to your room, and clean and dry your used cutlery and crockery.   We have provided cleaning products for your kitchen as well as guidance on how to keep your kitchen clean.  Avoid sharing household items. During your period of self-isolation, you cannot visit anyone who is not in your household, and this includes visiting their bedrooms/flat/kitchen or meeting in a public area of the hall.

Your kitchen will not be cleaned by the university cleaning team during your period of self -isolation.


You are permitted to go to the laundry room to do laundry while self-isolating, as long as you do not have any symptoms, wear a face covering and use hand sanitiser before and after.  Please check the Circuit website ( ) before you go to the laundry room. This will show you when a machine is available in your hall.  If you have laundry to do, once you have loaded your washing, please return to your flat until the washing is completed. Please do not wait in the laundry room.  When you have finished with the equipment, please wipe all touch-points with the wipes that will be available in the laundry room.


You must not smoke in your room, bathroom or kitchen under any circumstance.  The smoke detectors are very sensitive and will set off the building’s fire alarm. It is an offence to tamper with the detector.  Although you are in self-isolation, we have set up a schedule of times of the day when you can go outside to smoke, as long as you do not have any symptoms.   This schedule is designed to ensure minimum contact between flats (households).  Please remember to wear a face covering whilst moving around the building and to use the hand sanitiser regularly.   The Government requirements stop you from taking a walk – so please go directly to the smoking area and remain out of your flat for as short a period as possible.

The designated times are

Floor1st smoking Time   2nd smoking Time   3rd smoking Time   4th Smoking Time   5th Smoking Time   
3 and 4   10:0013:0016:0019:0022:00

Rubbish Removal

Please use one of the time slots above base on the floor you are living on. Only 1 person from the flat should take rubbish to the bin stores.  Again, please remember to wear your face covering when moving around the building and use the hand sanitiser. 

Maintenance Requests

If there is a problem in your room, please scan the QR code in your room to report to the maintenance team. In the report please state that you are currently in self-isolation and the date that you will be out of isolation. Minor maintenance issue will be addressed at the end of your isolation period. Urgent maintenance (e.g loss of power, flooding) should be reported to ResLife (during working hours) or SafeGuarding immediately

If your issue is related to your internet connection, please report it to Glide (there should be a leaflet on your desk from Glide) who will be able to assist you remotely.


There will be a small food package in your room containing some basic food ingredients, which should last for several days, until you can order supermarket delivery. We recommend using the delivery service offered by supermarkets (all large supermarkets such as Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda, Morrisons and Waitrose offer such services).  You can do so by logging on to their websites and creating an account.

Morrisons supermarket is also offering a one-day delivery service via Amazon Prime.

When ordering from a supermarket, please read the guidance below:

  • Delivery Address to “Your Hall and room number – Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton Campus, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS
  • Please also provide a contact number so the driver can call you once your shopping has been delivered
  • Please let the supermarket know that you are self-isolating due to arriving from a non-exempted country, thus you would need to stay 2 metres away from the driver. 
  • Please keep an eye on your phone as the driver will contact you when they arrive.

The Student Union Shop is also running a click and deliver service. You can access the shop via this link  

When ordering from a Student Union shop, please read the guidance below:

  • Delivery Address to “Your Hall and room number – Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton Campus, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS”
  • Please also provide a contact number so the Student Union can call you once your shopping has been delivered
  • They will leave the delivery in the main entrance, please collect it as soon as you can.

Please note – you will need a UK number to make an online shopping order. Free UK Simcard is available from Main reception or from the Residence Life Hub. Email us if you require them.

text, letter, whiteboard

Post and parcel delivery

Your mailboxes are situated near the main entrance of the building. You are permitted to check your mailbox but please do so within the designated smoking hours as in the table above. Parcels, and mail that requires a signature, are delivered to the parcel room in Christina Miller West. Please do not come to the parcel room during your isolation period. If there is a need for packages to be delivered, please contact the ResLife team:  Packages will only be delivered when they are urgent (e.g. bank card, ID, medication). We would ask that students refrain from ordering any non-essential items until their isolation period is over.  

Face Coverings

You must wear a face-covering at all times in all public areas – including the corridors, stairwells, lift, laundry room and main entrance foyer. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action. If you are exempt, you may wish to wear a lanyard to avoid questions, please see and contact the Wellbeing team for more information.

Fire Alarm

If the fire alarm in your hall goes off, you must evacuate the building. Once outside please practice socially distancing until you are allowed to re-enter the building. Once back inside please wash your hands.

The fire alarm is tested weekly – during which it will sound for around 15 seconds. During the test there is no need to evacuate. Follow this link to find out when the testing will occur in your hall -


If you are locked out, please do not worry. Please contact SafeGuarding through the red phones (located near or on fire exit staircases), by pressing the enquiry button on your SafeZone app or by calling the SafeGuarding control room on 0131-4513500. 

Guests / Visitors

students are not able to have any visitors or guests during their self-isolation. Students are also not allowed to host overnight guests on campus. 

If you have any additional queries, please contact

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