Covid 19 meeting room and events guidance

Considerations for room layout, ventilation, conducting a risk assessment and recording attendance.

Capacity and layout

Default room numbers and layout are set to meet the criteria for the safe removal of face coverings, i.e. at greater than 1-meter distancing.

Note: the default set-up reduces room capacity; please ensure you consider this when booking meeting space.

Staff are permitted to add chairs and adjust the room layout to accommodate more attendees if desired; however, any increase on the default capacity will automatically require face coverings to be worn for the meeting duration and a new room plan provided

Note; attendee numbers must not exceed the rooms standard Pre-pandemic capacity.

  • 'Unmasked' room capacities can be found by checking the room booking system or signage on the meeting room doors.

For 'masked' capacity, i.e. pre-pandemic max capacities, please see Room layouts & capacities | InfWeb (ed.ac.uk)

Meeting rooms must be reset to the default layout by organisers.

Ventilation

We strongly recommend that, where possible, windows in meeting rooms are opened when in use.  COVID-19 spreads mainly through droplet and airborne transmission. Good ventilation is paramount to reducing the risk of an outbreak, especially in closed spaces.

Meeting organisers should take responsibility for opening the windows on arrival and closing them at the end of the meeting.

Recording attendance and seating arrangement

To assist with any potential Test and Protect (TaP) follow-up or outbreak management, we must manage in-person meetings' attendance.

The meeting organiser (if present) is responsible for ensuring attendees fill out the log sheet and the seating arrangement is recorded. If the organiser is not available, then the appointed meeting Chair must take responsibility.

To reduce the chance of surface transmission, please do not pass the log sheet folder from person to person. Attendees should be invited to move to and fill in the log sheet one at a time.

Please factor this process into your meeting duration times.

Risk assessment

The following activities could potentially increase the risk of coronavirus transmission and, therefore, require a risk assessment.

Interactive sessions - Meetings will be classified as events and subject to additional guidelines when involving activities that require participants to move around a room.

Organising Events at beyond level 0

Such activities may make it challenging to maintain safe distancing and or increase the risk of surface transmission. Organisers must show that they have considered the risk and the steps taken to mitigate them. 

Catering provision – Several aspects relating to catering should be considered from a Covid standpoint:

  • Food service areas and congregating.
  • Increase levels of unmasked interaction.
  • Multi-accessible touch points, shared utensils and/or food items (e.g. pizza) risks.

If you are unsure, please get in touch with facilities@ed.inf.ac.uk

Bookings

The room booking system is accessible to view by all DICE account holders. Please check room availability and unmasked capacities on the booking system before submitting requests. Information on pre-pandemic capacity and layouts can be found here: Room layouts & capacities | InfWeb (ed.ac.uk)

Bookings can be processed much more efficiently, reducing the need for multiple correspondence when submitting an informed request. 

Academic bookings – Please get in touch with your Institute admin.

Professional services staff bookings – Please go through the department assigned room booker.

PGR bookings – Please get in touch with the Graduate school office.

 

Organising Events at beyond level 0

This following only refers to safety measures and practices to help manage the risk of coronavirus transmission at organised events. Please review the School's existing events policies and guidance in addition to this document.

We strongly recommend that organisers also review the risk assessment pages found on the School's health and safety site.

Please allow sufficient time to plan appropriately and, if need be, consult with Facilities@inf.ed.ac.uk to ensure you are providing all reasonable measures to limit the risk of coronavirus transmission.

A worked example of a model event risk assessment is provided here: http://www.docs.csg.ed.ac.uk/Safety/covid/Model_event_RA.docx 

You must complete your own risk assessment and submit it to facilities@inf.ed.ac.uk when making a booking.

Guidelines

  • Information should be given to participants and staff in advance to remind them that if they are experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19 or are required to quarantine or self-isolate, they must not attend.
  • Attendees must be informed of the Schools current COVID-19 safety measure in advance.
  • A record of attendance will be required to assist with any potential Test and Protect (TaP) follow up or outbreak management.
    • Pre-booking is strongly recommended as it can assist with managing attendance numbers and will be a simple way to collect contact details
  • If allowing walk-ups, ensure a registration process is in place to collect attendance names and contact details- This could be a table with a staff member or a QR code to register using an MS Form.
  • Event organisers/hosts are responsible for monitoring attendance and cooperating with contact tracers in the event of a positive case.

On any pre-booking or attendance information, encourage the use of the Protect Scotland app.

  • Ensure an explanation of why attendance data is being collected, who it is shared with and how long it will be held is provided.
  • All attendees must wear a mask. Exceptions include when actively eating and drinking in approved or pre-determined areas or when a medical exemption applies.
  • Ensure there are adequate numbers of staff to supervise and ensure that plans are being correctly implemented.
    • All individuals involved in organising such events should be clear in their role and for which individuals they are responsible.
  • Ensure easy access to hand hygiene facilities.
  • Do not exceed 'Covid safe' room occupancy limits. If you are unsure about room capacities, please get in touch with facilities

Depending on the size, scale and type of gathering or event planned. You will need to consider the flowing.

  • Signage
  • Ventilation
  • Traffic management measures, i.e. one way systems
  • Seating arrangements.
  • Crowd behaviour
  • Entry/exit and potential pinch points
  • Facility requirements, i.e. hand sanitising stations and toilets

Opening addresses or general housekeeping announcements must include clear and concise spoken instructions relating to the Covid safety measures in place, and the rules attendees must abide by throughout.

If you have any other questions regarding events, please get in touch with Facilities.

Contact Facilities