Edi Uni students will have to sign contracts that include fines for Covid-19 rule breaks

Penalties range from £50 fines for not wearing a mask on campus to expulsion for repeated breaches

Edinburgh Uni students will have to sign contracts when enrolling for the next academic year that allow the uni to fine, suspend, and exclude them for breaking Covid-19 rules.

The Good Citizen Guide has been updated to include specific expectations, rules, and penalties for life at uni during the pandemic – and importantly, students have to agree to it to be able to start or resume their studies in September.

Low level breaches like not wearing a mask on campus, not following one way systems, or not observing social distancing outdoors will see formal reprimands and fines of up to £50. However, this escalates to 12 month suspensions, evictions from uni accommodation, and expulsion for repeated, persistent, or multiple breaches.

So, what are the rules?

There are six levels of breaches – each with its own set of increasingly serious penalties.

Attending indoor gatherings that break government Covid-19 rules (as well as ‘refusing to comply with a reasonable request’) can see students fined up to £150, put on probationary measures for three months, or have some privileges suspended for up to 3 months (e.g. access to certain facilities).

Anyone hosting indoor gatherings will see the same penalties but can also be kicked out from halls.

Students who don’t self-isolate or quarantine when needed can also be put on probation or have privileges suspended for three months – and can also be evicted from uni accommodation.

As well as those breaking the rules repeatedly, anyone who coughs, spits, or makes physical contact with another person (or threatens to do so) risks being suspended from uni for 12 months, having privileges revoked for 12 months, kicked out of uni accommodation, or permanently excluded from uni.

Potential rule breaks will be investigated like all other breaches of Edinburgh Uni’s code of conduct and any students accused of breaking these news rules are being encouraged to contact the EUSA Advice Place.

Why are they needed?

In September and October last year, Edinburgh Uni freshers were fined a total of £6,700 – including freshers in Baird House in Pollock Halls that owed £1,300 in fines.

Police were also called to Pollock Halls and Kincaid’s Court to deal with flat parties. And after Pollock became a Covid hotspot by the end of September, all of Ewing House was put under lockdown.

However, Scotland currently has no restrictions on indoor gatherings after moving ‘Beyond Level Zero’ in early August – and most other legal restrictions were also lifted.

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