COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Information for students, staff and visitors content

Information for students, staff and visitors

Last updated: 26th February 2021

The Scottish Government has now published its updated strategic framework. This sets out their priorities and a timeframe for easing restrictions due to COVID-19.
This new document means that our situation won't change for the moment and you will continue to study as you have already been advised and we have emailed all of our students to confirm this.
There are a small number of exceptions for some subject areas and groups of students and we have already been in touch if this applies to you.
So for our students, the situation has not changed substantially:

  • Most of our teaching will be delivered online only
  • Very limited face-to-face teaching is taking place on certain courses.
  • You should not travel to your college centre unless by prior agreement
  • You should not return to term time accommodation until you are advised by your tutor that this is required for the practical elements of your course to resume
  • If you are advised you can return, then this will be your new residence for the remainder of the course practical delivery.
  • You will be contacted individually if you previously had requirement to access the college centre study facilities and individual student support

Our priority is to provide a safe learning environment for all of our staff and students. So please familiarise yourself with the latest guidelines in order to protect you, your friends and family and our local communities.

We've made a number of changes at our college centres to ensure the health and safety of our staff, students and visitors and have prepared some general guidelines for everyone.

Logo for Protect Scotland, an phone app to aid contract tracing for COVID 19

General Advice content

General Advice

General Advice

We are working closely with NHS services and Health Protection Scotland who are taking the lead in responding to this situation and we will take direction from them. Please continue to go to the NHS Inform website for the latest health related information, including advice on self-isolation if you develop a cough or fever.

Meanwhile the following information might be of use:

Return to study for 2021 content

Return to study for 2021

Return to study for 2021

Updated January 19th 2021

Please do not travel to your college centre unless by prior agreement.

You should continue to check your student emails and our website as we regularly update the information we have to provide specific guidance for students at West Highland College UHI. 

Further guidance on travel and transport can be found here, including international travel.  We will also continue to update our website as more information becomes available. 

 If you need to update your contact information with a termtime address you can help us by:

If you need any assistance with this, feel free to call 01397 874000 and we’ll be happy to help.


Please note: the Scottish Government have also provided information for your wellbeing and support here.


Further questions you may have:


Can I travel to my term-time accommodation?

Travel solely to take up residence in term-time accommodation without some other factor such as the start of face-to-face teaching, essential placements or serious wellbeing or safety reasons, is unlikely to provide a reasonable excuse for travel.

Therefore, apart from exceptional circumstances, students who changed household over the winter break (to form an 'end of term household') should not go back to their term-time accommodation until in-person teaching for their course has resumed and they need to move location in order to access education.

Students returning from overseas must follow the guidance on international travel including quarantining if they are from a non-exempt country.


I have belongings there that I need to access - can I travel to pick them up?

Students should not return to accommodation on a temporary basis to collect belongings. If students need to access resources or materials related to their studies, they should contact us in the first instance to see how best their learning can be supported.


If I am allowed to return to take up my studies under the current guidance, what do I need to do?

Where a return to term-time accommodation is necessary in line with the legal restrictions as outlined above, we are asking students to minimise the risk to themselves and others in their term-time household by voluntarily reducing their social mixing for ten days before and ten days after the return. This means going out only for essential reasons including learning, food shopping and exercise. The current lockdown restrictions in effect already require this reduction in social mixing.


Will I need a test before my return?

If you have been told by your lecturer that you should return for the practical elements of your course, we would ask you to book a test BEFORE you return in order to keep you, your fellow students and our Highland communities as safe as possible.

If you require a test before returning to college you should attempt to access a test through the national system by going through NHS Inform, calling the booking number on 0800 028 2816, or calling the helplines number on 0300 303 2713 if you experience issues with the booking system.

If you need any assistance with booking a test, please get in touch with

Access to our buildings content

Access to our buildings

Access to our buildings

Access to our buildings for both students and staff is by prior arrangement only and the majority of students and staff will continue to work remotely. Our buildings will be closed to visitors and members of the public.

Initial priority for access to centres is for students on courses that have a highly practical element and need access to specialist equipment and facilities. Except for these practical courses, all other courses will be delivered through scheduled, online connected learning time and flexible learning time. More detailed information about how our courses will be delivered is available on our website; select a particular course and then select the “Study Mode” tab. These pages are being updated regularly.

Café facilities on our sites content

Café facilities on our sites

Café facilities on our sites

In our Fort William and Portree campuses, we are providing areas for students and staff to eat snacks and lunch, but for the time being there will be no on-site vending or catering. Students should bring their own packed food and we are looking at ways of providing hot water for drinks. This situation will be reviewed and updated regularly in line with Scottish Government guidelines.

Information for students arriving from outside Scotland – Coronavirus content

Information for students arriving from outside Scotland – Coronavirus

Information for students arriving from outside Scotland – Coronavirus

We’re delighted to welcome students and staff from outside Scotland who have to come live and study here in the West Highlands. Please be aware that the COVID regulations and guidance here in Scotland may be different from your home, so please familiarise yourself with the relevant information here Coronavirus in Scotland.

Scotland has a published route map identifying how Scotland is transitioning out of lockdown.

Information for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens or a family member of an EU citizen content

Information for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens or a family member of an EU citizen

Information for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens or a family member of an EU citizen

We continue to welcome applicants and students from the European Union and beyond. For those already studying with us,   please make sure you have the most recent information regarding your status here.

Local area restrictions content

Local area restrictions

Local area restrictions



From Tuesday 5 January, mainland Scotland will move from Level 4 to a temporary Lockdown, with new guidance to stay at home except for essential purposes.

The Scottish Government website provides further information. You must remain vigilant to any local changes and abide by any local restrictions that may be put in place if we are unfortunate enough to have a localised outbreak.

Quarantine arrangements content

Quarantine arrangements

Quarantine arrangements

If you are travelling to Scotland from a country not exempt from quarantine requirements you must complete a passenger locator form and self-isolate for 14 days. This is a legal requirement and it is essential that you comply.

Please check the Scottish Government website for the latest advice as this may change at short notice. If you are in quarantine, you must stay away from others and stay in one place for the full 14 days and this must be at the address you provide on the passenger locator form.

For students it can include:

  • Your own home or accommodation
  • Staying with friends of family
  • A hotel or other temporary accommodation

We are expected to take non-compliance of quarantine requirements very seriously and sanctions will be determined on a case-by-case basis, but may include the full weight of the disciplinary process.

What to do if you develop symptoms content

What to do if you develop symptoms

What to do if you develop symptoms

Joint open letter from Scotland’s senior clinicians to college and university students, Common Cold, Flu-like Symptoms and COVID-19 Symptoms, 10th September 2020

ANYONE with the symptoms of COVID-19 should go online to the NHS Inform website to book a test. If you cannot get online please call 0800 028 2816. You should self-isolate at home straight away along with other members of your household.

If you develop any of the symptoms of COVID-19 while you are in Scotland, you and your household should self-isolate. The symptoms are:

  • new continuous cough
  • fever/high temperature (37.8C or greater)
  • loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste (anosmia)

  • However, people with COVID-19 can present with a wide range of symptoms including headache, sore muscles and joints, tiredness, sore throat, cold-like symptoms and diarrhoea and vomiting. Anyone that becomes unwell should isolate immediately and seek a test.

A new continuous cough is where you:

  • have a new cough that’s lasted for an hour
  • have had 3 or more episodes of coughing in 24 hours
  • are coughing more than usual

A high temperature is feeling hot to the touch on your chest or back (you don’t need to measure your temperature). You may feel warm, cold or shivery.

Self-isolation means you should remain at home and should not go to your placeof study, to work, public areas or use public transport. You should not go out to buy food or other essentials.

If you are a student living away from home, please contact us and we will support you in arranging for food or supplies so contact us at - we're here to help.

What do I do / who should I tell if I feel unwell or need to self isolate? content

What do I do / who should I tell if I feel unwell or need to self isolate?

What do I do / who should I tell if I feel unwell or need to self isolate?

If you are self-isolating, please inform your teaching team so that they are aware. Additional support or questions can be directed to Student Services by email to or by telephoning 01397 874000.

We have committed to supporting any of our students who need to self-solate and have plans in place for this.  We are also mindful of the guidance from Universities Scotland and have committed to these core standards, so please contact us for any support you might need.

What additional support is there for me? content

What additional support is there for me?

What additional support is there for me?

All students have access to Togetherall, a digital mental health support service which is available online, 24/7, and is completely anonymous so you can express yourself freely and openly. 

The university's health and wellbeing Facebook page provides regular updates, resources and links to help you to maintain your mental wellbeing.

And don't forget to look out for a range of HISA events and activities in the next few weeks to keep you busy and connected.


HISA - social groups and activities content

HISA - social groups and activities

HISA - social groups and activities

Our Highlands and Islands Student Association (HISA) have been working tirelessly throughout the lockdown period to redevelop existing activity and introduce some totally new opportunities for students across all centres and Academic Partners. HISA can be found through a number of ways including their website, and social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). Please do get in touch with them and see what’s on offer.

How to make and wear a face covering content

How to make and wear a face covering

FACTS content


Remember – the best protection for us all in these times is to follow the FACTS:

Face coverings in enclosed spaces
Avoid crowded places
Clean your hands and surfaces regularly
Two metre social distancing
Self-isolate and book a test if you develop coronavirus symptoms

How to handwash effectively - a film from the World Health Organisation content

How to handwash effectively - a film from the World Health Organisation

Risk assessment content

Risk assessment

Risk assessment

Do I need to register with a new GP? content

Do I need to register with a new GP?

Do I need to register with a new GP?

The Scottish Government has urged us to remind students that you should register with a local doctors' practice to access healthcare support. To register please complete this form. You should then contact a local practice and ask for their email address where you can send your completed form. The link above also provides details of local GPs. If you have problems finding a GP please call 01382 425664 and they will inform you which practices you can register with.