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Return to Campus

Trinity’s COVID-19 Response Plan has been circulated to all Heads of Schools/Units and the Executive Summary has been sent to all staff. To see the flow chart outlining steps to take if you become aware of a confirmed case of COVID-19 on campus, please click HERE.

 

 

Last updated at 17:44 on 02 December 2021


Staff FAQs

1. General

1.1 Are members of staff required to come onto campus for work?

Wherever possible, staff should continue to work from home, as outlined in the Return to Campus Guidelines. In some situations, where the responsibilities associated with the role require that a member of staff needs to be on campus to fulfil their duties (e.g. teaching) and therefore deemed essential, they must continue to come into campus. In other situations and wherever possible, the guidelines remain that staff should continue to work from home, discuss these working arrangements with their Line Managers and/or Head of Areas. Trinity expects all Line Managers and Heads of Area to ensure this practice. If any member of staff has a concern about what their line manager has agreed with them, they can contact Human Resources (HR@tcd.ie) and copy returntocampus@tcd.ie

In summary, if you can discharge your duties from home, you should work from home and this is particularly important in the face of increasing case numbers.

1.2 I think I might have C-19 Symptoms. What do I do?

Firstly, check the list of C-19 symptoms here. If you are displaying these symptoms, please get in touch with your GP about arranging a PCR test. You should also follow the College guidelines identified here.

What you should definitely not do is come into work where you are displaying symptoms of C-19. Trinity expects each member of the College community to exercise personal responsibility and not put the health of others at risk where there is any possibility that you may have C-19. For a full list of actions you should take, please review section 3. Diagnosis, Self-Isolation and Restricted Movements in the Staff FAQs.

1.3 What should I do to keep up to date on COVID-19 matters in the University?

Staff should check their emails and this dedicated COVID-19 page daily for updates as this is an evolving situation.

1.4 How can I claim tax relief for e-working?

As a public sector employer, we are prohibited from contributing to additional costs for items such as electricity, heating and broadband for staff working from home due to COVID-19 restriction. However, there is E-Working tax relief that staff can claim where they work from home for substantial periods on a full or part-time basis. Such staff can claim E-Working expenses by completing an Income Tax return on the Revenue website as follows:

  1. sign into revenue.myaccount  
  2. click on ‘Review your tax’ link in PAYE Services
  3. select the Income Tax return for the relevant tax year
  4. select ‘Other PAYE Expenses’ in the ‘Tax Credits and Reliefs’ page and insert the amount of expense at the ‘Amount Claimed’ section.

Staff who you have yet registered for revenues online services should do so now at the link above in preparation for making claims in 2021.

As a claim may be selected for future examination by Revenue, all documentation relating to a claim should be retained by the staff member for a period of six years from the end of the tax year to which the claim relates.  Please check the Revenue website  for details on how such relief is calculated.

2. Procedures

2.1 Where can I find the Procedure for Leave and Working Arrangements during COVID-19 Outbreak?

The procedure can be viewed here: Procedure for Leave and Working Arrangements during COVID-19 Outbreak

2.2 Where can I find the College’s COVID-19 Working From Home Procedures?

The procedures can be viewed here: Working From Home During COVID-19 Procedures

2.3 How do I ensure secure remote and mobile working?

Staff must ensure that University-controlled data is processed securely and measures should be taken to ensure that no unauthorised person can access such information. To ensure that Trinity-controlled data is processed securely, the Trinity Data Protection and Information Security Offices have drafted guidance for secure remote and mobile working. This guidance is available at https://www.tcd.ie/itservices/working-remotely/.

3. Diagnosis, Self-Isolation and Restricted Movements

3.1 I’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19. What should I do?

If you have been diagnosed with Covid-19, please follow the steps outlined in this document.

3.2 Why is self-isolation necessary?

If you are at work and have symptoms of coronavirus, even mild symptoms, you have the potential to spread the virus to others. By self-isolation, you limit the number of people you come in contact with and prevent the spread of the virus.

3.3 Steps to take if you need to self-isolate in work  

  1. Inform your Facilitator/Lead Worker Rep that you have symptoms and need to self-isolate. Ensure that you are wearing a face covering. If you do not have a face covering, inform the Facilitator/Lead Worker Rep. who will provide you with one.
  2. The Facilitator/Lead Worker Rep. will accompany you to the designate isolation room, while staying at least 2m apart. Stay at least 2m (6ft) away from others that you meet while exiting and accessing buildings. Please click here FAQs - Estates & Facilities - Trinity College Dublin (tcd.ie) to see the locations of Trinity’s isolations rooms.
  3. Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing using a tissue and dispose of the tissue in the waste bin. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow (not your hand).
  4. Telephone your GP to advise them you have symptoms of the virus.
  5. If you have your own vehicle and feel well enough to drive, you should go home and self-isolate at home or alternatively arrange for a family member to collect you. If this is not possible, your Line Manager/Supervisor will arrange for a taxi to collect you.
  6. Do not use public transport.

3.4 I am a household close contact of confirmed COVID-19 case. What should I do?

Effective from 17th November, Staff who declare that they are a household close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case, even when they are fully vaccinated and showing no symptoms, are required to restrict their movements until they have 3 negative antigen test results within 5 days. Further information on the HSE antigen testing service for close contacts is available here.

Where feasible you may work from home during this period. If you cannot discharge your core duties from home, alternative duties may be assigned to you for this period. You must contact your manager on the first day to inform them of the household members positive result, providing them with a copy/screen shot of the text message confirming the positive PCR covid result from the HSE to the household member ensuring that the date is displayed and agree with them what work you will discharge.

This must be discussed and arranged on the first day of the restricted movement period, such arrangements cannot be advised retrospectively.

3.5 I’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19. Will I be paid?

Special leave with pay may be granted where appropriate HSE or medical confirmation of COVID-19 diagnosis and / or satisfactory evidence of a positive test for COVID-19 is provided, in accordance with HSE Guidelines. Staff must also complete the COVID-19 Self-Declaration Form. The HSE or medical confirmation of COVID-19 diagnosis and / or satisfactory evidence of a positive test for COVID-19 is required with the completed form.

3.6 I’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19 and granted special leave with pay. How long will it continue?

From 1st January 2021, special leave with pay will continue for the duration of the illness, subject to HSE or medical confirmation of COVID-19 diagnosis, satisfactory evidence of a positive test for COVID-19 and / or medical certification being provided and the COVID-19 Self-Declaration Form being completed. If a staff member is still unwell after 28 days, they will move to ordinary sick leave arrangements, including a referral to occupational health. The arrangement relating to the application of special leave with pay for COVID-19 is temporary and will be kept under regular review by the Government.

3.7 Can special leave with pay be extended beyond 28 days?

From 1st January 2021, in certain circumstances, special leave with pay may be extended beyond 28 days for certified COVID-19 related illness in circumstances where:

  1. The staff member had been in the work premises (any work premises outside the home) at any time during the 14 calendar days prior to commencing the self-isolation period of a positive case of COVID-19. The attendance must have been known to and/or approved by the manager in advance. Staff who attended the work premises without the knowledge or approval of their manager will not be considered to have attended for the purposes of the continuation of special leave with pay.
  2. The staff member provides their manager with medical evidence of a positive COVID-19 test including the date of this test and ongoing medical certification is submitted throughout the absence
  3. In accordance with the standard management referral process, the Occupational Health Specialist (OHS) confirms that they are medically unfit to resume work.
  4. The OHS confirms that their absence relates primarily to ongoing COVID-19 illness, and that they are accessing appropriate medical care.

The arrangements relating to the application of special leave with pay for COVID-19 is temporary and will be kept under regular review by the Government.

3.8 I am displaying symptoms of COVID-19, am awaiting a PCR test and have been advised to self-isolate. What am I required to do and how will my time off work be recorded?

The HSE sets out the criteria for self-isolation. Staff cannot voluntarily choose to self-isolate. If you are displaying Symptoms of COVID-19 please contact your GP immediately to determine if you need to have a PCR test. If so, book your PCR test without delay, inform your Manager, providing them with details of the test appointment. Follow the HSE instructions while awaiting the outcome of your test. While you are waiting for your appointment and results, you are required to self-isolate. Those staff who have in-person duties are therefore unavailable for work while self-isolating and will be placed on special leave with pay. If you are unsure if this applies to you, please check with your Head of School/Line Manager. Please note that one of the conditions of being on special leave with pay is that you must keep in contact with your manager.

  • If your test is negative, you must inform your Manager providing them with the test outcome (a screen shot of the text message will suffice), follow the HSE advice on continuing to self-isolate if you have symptoms and until you have not had any symptoms for 48 hours.
  • If your test is positive, you must inform your Manager providing them with the test outcome (a screen shot of the text message will suffice), follow the HSE advise on continuing to self-isolate even if you have no or mild symptoms. You can stop self-isolating when you have been fever-free for 5 days and it has been 10 days since you first developed symptoms. Stopping self-isolation means that you can return to your normal activities including going to work.

Any special leave with pay granted for the purpose of self-isolation in accordance with the above will not count as part of your sick leave record. The application of special leave with pay will apply for the number of days advised by the HSE/doctor. This will be recorded locally as CV19 Special Leave with Pay on the staff members’ attendance record.

3.9 I am on special leave with pay due to self-isolation and have since contracted COVID-19. Will I still be paid?

Where a staff member is already on special leave with pay due to self-isolation and subsequently contracts COVID-19, special leave with pay will continue for the duration of the illness, subject to HSE or medical confirmation of COVID-19 diagnosis, satisfactory evidence of a positive test for COVID-19 and / or medical certification being provided and the COVID-19 Self-Declaration Form being completed. If a staff member is still unwell after 28 days, they will move to ordinary sick leave arrangements, including a referral to occupational health.

The arrangement relating to the application of special leave with pay for COVID-19 is temporary and will be kept under regular review by the Government.

3.10 I am on special leave with pay due to self-isolation as I am displaying symptoms of COVID-19 and I have since had a positive test. Will I still be paid?

Where a staff member is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 and is already on special leave with pay due to self-isolation and subsequently has a positive test, , special leave with pay will continue for the duration of the illness, subject to HSE or medical confirmation of COVID-19 diagnosis, satisfactory evidence of a positive test for COVID-19 and / or medical certification being provided and the COVID-19 Self-Declaration Form being completed. If a staff member is still unwell after 28 days, they will move to ordinary sick leave arrangements, including a referral to occupational health.

The arrangement relating to the application of special leave with pay for COVID-19 is temporary and will be kept under regular review by the Government.

3.11 Will I be entitled to days in lieu of public holidays that occur while I am on special leave with pay due to self-isolation?

No. Staff are not entitled to days in lieu of public holidays that occur whilst they are in receipt of special leave with pay.

3.12 I have been advised to self-isolate as I am a close contact of a variant of concern. Will I be paid?

Special leave with pay does not apply to staff who are required to self-isolate as a close contact of a variant of concern as they are not ill. The HSE sets out the criteria for self-isolation.

There have been a number of changes to the close contact information based on factors such as:

•             If an individual is a close contact of a variant of concern (self-isolation, rather than restriction of movement, is required in certain circumstances).

Where HSE or medical advice is that the staff member is a close contact of a variant of concern and must self-isolate, they remain available for remote working. Working from home for the period will be facilitated where feasible. Where it is not feasible, then the staff member may be assigned work outside of their usual core duties.  Staff must cooperate with all such flexibilities while they are self-isolating. 

In all such cases, staff remain available for work whilst at home, where they have been advised to self-isolate as a precautionary measure. Staff cannot voluntarily choose to self-isolate.

3.13 I have been advised that I am a close contact, I have received my vaccine, do I need to restrict my movements?

HSE advice on close contacts sets out the requirements for each close contact situation.

If you have been advised that you are a close contact and you have received a COVID-19 vaccine you do not need to restrict your movements or be tested for COVID-19 if it is more than:

  • 7 days after your 2nd Pfizer-BioNTech dose
  • 14 days after your 2nd Moderna dose
  • 14 days after the Janssen vaccine
  • 15 days after your 2nd AstraZeneca dose

But you may not get the same level of protection from the vaccine as other people if you:

  • are immunocompromised due to disease or treatment
  • have cancer
  • have chronic kidney disease

A member of the contact tracing team will advise you on what you need to do when they contact you.

3.14 What if I am a casual contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19?

The HSE sets out the criteria for casual contacts. You may have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, but you do not meet the definition to be a close contact. This is a casual contact.
If you are a casual contact, the HSE advise that you do not need to restrict your movements and you do not need to be tested.

3.15 I am on special leave with pay. How often should I update my manager?

The general principles applying to the management of sick leave, for example the requirement to contact managers and for ongoing contact with staff who are on special leave with pay for this purpose, will apply.

3.16 I am on annual leave. I’ve been advised to self-isolate as I am displaying symptoms of COVID-19, diagnosed with COVID-19 / had a positive test.  How will my time off work be recorded?

Special leave with pay only applies to staff who were rostered or due to be working. Special leave with pay cannot be substituted for other forms of leave e.g. annual leave. If a staff member on annual leave has valid medical certification, they can opt to apply for sick leave as per the normal rules.

3.17 What if I don’t provide the appropriate COVID-19 /ordinary medical confirmation to my line manager?

In the event of non-compliance with the University’s Sick Leave Policy and/or the provisions of special leave with pay (including the requirement to provide bona fide confirmation of self-isolation/diagnosis of COVID-19) existing procedures, including with-holding of pay and/or disciplinary measures, may be invoked.

3.18 What if I don’t return to work after being granted special leave with pay?

When granted special leave with pay, staff will be expected to comply at once with any directions which may be given by the University and to take all practicable steps to resume duty as soon as possible. Non-compliance with this may result in the with-holding of pay.

3.19 Can I claim illness benefit whilst on Special Leave with Pay?

Staff on special leave with pay are not permitted to claim any form of Illness Benefit payment from the Department of Social Protection.

3.20 I have a family member that has been told to self-isolate. What leave arrangements can I avail of?

If a staff member in this situation has been advised by the HSE that there is no need for them to self-isolate, they can explore alternative working patterns and working from home with their line manager, where feasible. If the staff member wishes to stay at home for the purpose of caring for family members, they may be able to avail of other forms of leave under University policies such as Annual Leave, Parental Leave, Special Unpaid Leave of Absence or Force Majeure (as defined under the Parental Leave Act 1998). The granting of any leave is subject to the approval of the Head of School /Administrative and Support Area.

Parental leave requests should be made using the parental leave application form. In these extenuating circumstances and on an exceptional basis, the normal notice periods for such applications will be waived and accepted retrospectively.

Special Unpaid Leave of Absence requests should be made using the unpaid leave application form.

Force Majeure applications should be made using the application form available HERE

3.21 I need to be at home due to School/Creche closure. What happens?

Special leave with pay is not available for COVID-19 caring arrangements. Where such staff members can work from home, this should be facilitated to the maximum extent feasible. Steps should be taken to increase the scope for remote working and all opportunities and flexibilities need to be explored. There are other flexible working options that line managers can offer to staff in addition to home working arrangements. These arrangements can support staff to manage caring responsibilities at home (including facilitating shared caring arrangements with partner) and can support segregation of the workforce and social distancing measures. For example, alternative working patterns, flexible or staggered shifts and weekend working may be explored, where feasible.

4. Ventilation & CO2 Monitors

4.1 Is ventilation important?

Yes, it helps to prevent the transmission of Covid-19. Air circulation caused by ventilation results in exhaled air falling to the ground faster and reduces the risk of this air being inhaled by someone else. Ventilation helps to reduce smaller aerosols, which may linger in the air otherwise.

4.2 What type of ventilation does Trinity have?

Trinity has 2 types of ventilation - mechanical and natural, with a combination of both mechanical and natural ventilation operating in some rooms.


Mechanical Ventilation
This is where air is introduced into a space via the use of an air handling system. Larger teaching spaces, labs, lecture theatres, rooms for smaller workshops and bathrooms are generally mechanically ventilated, with supply and /or extract grilles fitted to the ceiling or walls.

Trinity’s mechanical ventilation systems operate on a full fresh air supply, with no recirculation of used air, i.e. fresh air is pumped from outside the building into the space, and is then extracted and vented without being recirculated to a breathing zone in another space.

Some older air supply systems which recirculated a small proportion of extract / used air have been modified and adjusted to now supply full fresh air only.

Whilst there is variation as to how different systems work depending on their age and set up, it is important to note that ‘used air’ is not actively recirculated between the breathing areas of different working areas within Trinity’s buildings.

A small number of spaces in Trinity are fitted with locally controlled air conditioning units. These can be recognised visually as large units mounted on ceilings or walls. These units generally work in conjunction with supply of fresh air and local recirculation to warm or cool this air to ensure comfort. But are constantly displaced with fresh air.

Queries about ventilation should be directed to Estates and Facilities by contacting Estatesandfacilities@tcd.ie


Natural Ventilation
Natural ventilation is where fresh air is introduced into a space via an open window and in some cases open doors.

This kind of ventilation is typically found in smaller teaching spaces.

If you encounter issues with window openings, please contact Estatesandfacilities@tcd.ie identifying the room in question and a member of the team will follow up.

4.3 What is Trinity doing to ensure ventilation standards are met?

Teaching spaces are continuously reviewed by Estates and Facilities to determine the type and extent of ventilation standards in different spaces.

Mechanical Ventilation
All mechanically ventilated teaching spaces on CMIS have been assessed for their capacity to provide adequate ventilation in line with REHVA Covid 19 guidance. You can find the ‘Master Ventilation Document’ which outlines these here.

Systems have been set to run at a higher rate (i.e. introduce more fresh air than usual) for longer periods than would normally be the case, both starting earlier in the day and running for longer periods in the evening where this is appropriate. Any systems with the potential for air recirculation between spaces have been set up to provide fresh air supply only (i.e. 100% of air supplied is drawn from outside of the building).

Any rooms not in compliance with these guidelines have been modified to improve ventilation, have had their capacity reduced or have been removed from use as a classroom. Where the ventilation of spaces has been modified, this has been revalidated within the space and where necessary external guidance and advice has been sought.

It should be noted that as ventilation rates are increased it is likely that there may be additional noise in rooms.
Estates and Facilities will inform members of staff if a teaching space is to be removed from use for maintenance or other reasons and alternative arrangements will be put in place.

Mechanical ventilation systems have been set up to provide an optimum supply of fresh air.

Natural Ventilation
Natural ventilation depends on the use of windows and/or doors. Estates and Facilities are continuing to assess naturally ventilated teaching space to ensure that there are openable windows present in every such space and that such windows are working correctly to allow for adequate ventilation.

If you do encounter issues with window openings, please contact Estatesandfacilities@tcd.ie identifying the room in question and a member of the team will follow up.

In all teaching spaces that are naturally ventilated, CO2 monitors have been installed so that staff can check in real time an indication of the level of ventilation in the space. See 4.6 for more info on this.

To see a list of rooms designated as naturally ventilated spaces, please visit the ‘Master Ventilation Document’ here.

Note
In order to allow time for air to be refreshed in naturally ventilated teaching spaces, and to ensure that there is reduced potential for crossover of students and staff in between teaching sessions, we must insist on teaching finishing on time and kept to 50mins duration, as agreed by the COLSAG committee.

This reduces the risk of poor air quality accumulating during the day. In naturally ventilated rooms, at all times, windows should be opened to maintain the supply of fresh air to naturally ventilated rooms.

4.4 Who can I contact to check if my teaching space has been checked for meeting ventilation standards?

Rooms that have been checked for meeting REHVA ventilation standards have a notice placed outside the doors informing users of this. You can also see a list of the mechanically ventilated rooms that have been checked by reviewing the ‘Master Ventilation Document’ here.

If the room you are expected to teach in does not have a ventilation notice placed outside the door, please contact Estatesandfacilities@tcd.ie cc’ing ReturnToCampus@tcd.ie identifying the room in question so that we can follow up directly with you.

4.5 Are Trinity providing CO2 monitors for teaching spaces?

CO2 monitors have been installed in all teaching spaces that are on CMIS and that we are aware of. You can find a list of teaching spaces that have CO2 monitors installed by visiting the ‘Master Ventilation Document’ here.

A notice with information about how the CO2 monitors work, is placed on the lectern or beside the light switch (if there is no lectern in the relevant rooms) in the spaces where CO2 monitors are introduced. You can find a copy of that notice in 4.7 below.

If you have a query about CO2 monitors, please email Estatesandfacilities@tcd.ie and copy ReturnToCampus@tcd.ie

In 4.6 below, some information about how CO2 monitors work is provided which you may find useful.

4.6 Information on CO2 Monitors

The use of CO2 monitors can provide a useful general indication that areas/rooms may not be adequately ventilated. In general, the lower the reading the better the ventilation in the room. It should be noted that CO2 levels are in no way linked to Covid-19 levels in a space. The CO2 level is an indicator of the rate of ventilation / air exchange within a space.

Both the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers and the Air infiltration and Ventilation Centre advise that CO2 concentrations above 1400 – 1500 ppm are likely to be indicative of poor ventilation (CIBSE, 2020, AIVC, 2021) and therefore require ventilation to be increased by opening windows, doors etc. where possible.

The monitor gives a digital reading but also has an LED display that changes colour like a traffic light. They have pre-set specific bands operating in a “traffic-light style”.

The lower the CO2 reading the higher the level of ventilation present in multi occupancy rooms and the higher the ventilation dilution effect that is possible while maintaining an appropriate balance between ventilation and comfort levels.

Trinity’s monitors are set to alarm at 1000ppm, a lower level than indicative poor ventilation and lower than the 1400ppm specified by the Health & Safety Authority.

The monitor can provide information to occupants to indicate levels of poor ventilation and therefore require ventilation to be increased by opening windows, doors etc.

4.7 What actions should I take based on the CO2 monitor reading?

The monitor can provide information to occupants to indicate levels of poor ventilation and therefore require ventilation to be increased by opening windows, doors etc.

The monitor has an LED display that changes colour like a traffic light. They have pre-set specific bands operating in a “traffic-light style” The lower the CO2 reading the higher the level of ventilation present in multi occupancy rooms. As stated by the HSA, CO2 concentrations above 1400-1500 ppm are likely to be indicative of poor ventilation.

The chart below outlines a traffic light system, Green, Amber and Red and what action should be taken:

Colour

Meaning

Setting CO2 ppm

Action to be taken

Green

Good ventilation

˂800

None

Amber

Upper level approaching

800

Increase ventilation

Red

Upper level

1000

Increase ventilation further/vacate space until light changes to Green

 

Please follow the “Action to be taken” as outlined above

4.8 How can I improve ventilation in my room?

In naturally ventilated spaces:

  1. Ensure that all windows are opened fully and doors are also opened where practical. This may result in a reduced temperature in some spaces.
  2. After leaving a naturally ventilated space, please ensure that all windows and doors are open so air can continue circulating.

If you encounter any issues with window openings, please contact Estatesandfacilities@tcd.ie identifying the room in question and a member of the team will follow up.

In 100% mechanically ventilated spaces, there is no need to open any windows or doors, as the ventilation provided by the system is sufficient to achieve adequate air quality for the room capacities outlined in the ‘Master Ventilation Document’ here.

4.9 How are communal areas ventilated?

Most corridors and access spaces rely on natural ventilation. Where there are windows in these spaces these should be opened where possible.

In a small number of instances, these spaces are mechanically ventilated where fresh air is supplied into the space.

Doors to corridors should be left open where possible, however it is important not to prop open any fire doors, as this would contravene fire regulations.

4.10 Has Trinity installed CO2 monitors in all teaching spaces?

Due to issues around supply, CO2 monitors were previously prioritised for installation in naturally ventilated spaces first. The reason for prioritising naturally ventilated spaces is that the mechanically ventilated spaces have all been tested for meeting REHVA ventilation guidelines and have verified capacity levels where ventilation is deemed to be at good levels. You can find the verified capacity levels by visiting the ‘Master Ventilation Document’ here.

As you can see in the Master Ventilation Document, Trinity has now rolled out a CO2 monitor in all teaching spaces that are on CMIS and that we are aware of.

4.11 Are Trinity going to install CO2 monitors in other spaces?

There is a very real issue with supply of CO2 monitors as all sectors of society are trying to secure them. Teaching spaces were prioritised by Trinity in the first instance because this is where the largest amount of people congregating takes place. 

As supply increases, Trinity is committed to rolling out CO2 monitors in other areas across College where there is high density of people spending time (e.g. in shared office spaces with 10 or more people).

In the meantime, staff are advised to continue working from home, wherever this is possible, and this should reduce the number of staff members working in high density shared office spaces.

4.12 Why is it important that teaching finishes at 10 minutes to the hour?

In order to allow time for air to be refreshed, and to ensure that there is reduced potential for crossover of students and staff in between teaching sessions, we must insist on teaching finishing on time and kept to 50mins duration, as agreed by the COLSAG committee. This reduces the risk of poor air quality accumulating during the day.

In naturally ventilated rooms, at all times, windows should be opened to maintain the supply of fresh air to naturally ventilated rooms.

4.13 Who can I contact about ventilation queries?

If you have questions about ventilation, please contact Estatesandfacilities@tcd.ie and cc ReturnToCampus@tcd.ie into your email.

5. Things to Consider if Returning to the Workplace

5.1 Where do I find the College’s return to campus general induction programme?

The Trinity COVID19 General Induction module is accessible via Blackboard and must be completed as part of an employee’s preparation for resumption of work on campus. Once approved by your Head/Manager to return to work on Campus, please click on Trinity COVID19 General Induction and follow these steps:

  1. In the Module Search box, type in Returning to Work Safely and click on Go
  2. You will see a module called COVID-INDUCTION, click on it
  3. Click on the Enrol button on the left side of the page. (if you can't see the Enrol button, you may need to click on the blue bar to the left of the screen to make it visible.)
  4. Click on the Submit button on the bottom right of your page
  5. Your page will then say you have been enrolled. Click on the OK button on the bottom right of the page to access the module
  6. Then remember to complete your details at step 3 to confirm you have completed the module

5.2 What are the Daily 5-point self-checks I must ask myself each day?

Once approved by your Head/Manager to return to work on Campus, you should ask yourself these 5 questions each day prior to travelling to work, do you have:

  1. A recent cough?
  2. Shortness of breath?
  3. A new respiratory illness?
  4. Fever?
  5. Have been advised to self-isolate in the last 14 days since you last attended the workplace?

If you answer yes to any of the above, please contact your GP immediately, follow their advice and inform your manager accordingly.

5.3 Where can I find an access check list for Schools, research institutes and professional services?

Please see the access checklist here.

5.4 I’m approved to return to work on campus, do I need my staff ID card to gain access to campus?

The campus has reopened to the public so you will not need your staff card to gain access to campus. You may, however, require your staff card to gain access to buildings. The details of how you can have a staff ID card issued or renewed can be found HERE. If you have difficulty accessing the website, then please call the HR Service Centre on 01 896 3333 or email hr@tcd.ie

5.5 Can I work remotely from overseas?

Staff working remotely must be available to attend the workplace as necessary and as requested. This would not be compatible with someone living overseas. As such, the Dept. of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) considers public service staff living overseas as not available for work. This does not affect staff who are resident in Northern Ireland. When the pandemic first evolved, we understand that some staff returned to their home countries to work from there so they could be with family. As the world has opened up internationally, staff should return to Ireland if they have not already done so. If an individual’s work/research requires an element of overseas work for a set period, this can be permitted with the agreement of the Head of School/Director of Professional Area.

5.6 I am essential staff but I don’t want to want to attend work as I'm afraid I will catch the virus. What should I do?

Essential staff who have not being advised to self-isolate by a GP/HSE should attend work as normal. If you have a fear of contracting the virus, then discuss this with your line manager in the first instance. The University must consider the risks and consider whether you are a vulnerable employee. Where there is no increased risk for you, the University can request you to attend work. If you continue to be absent from work in these circumstances, it may be unauthorised absence and dealt with accordingly

5.7 I am required to work on campus however I do not want to travel on public transport. What should I do?

Higher Education workers are considered essential workers for the purposes of travelling to and from work and using public transport. If you are required to work on campus but do not want to travel on public transport, you need to consider sourcing alternative means of getting to work if walking, cycling or public transport are not feasible.  

5.8 I am in a High-Risk Group and feel that I am at risk due to an underlying medical condition. What should I do?

The HSE advice on Higher Risk groups is set out HERE. Staff should self-declare to their Head/Manager where they consider they are at risk of serious illness from COVID-19. In accordance with Government guidelines, high-risk employees can attend the work premises and, in accordance with HSE advice, should take extra care to practice social distancing where possible and wash their hands regularly and properly. Appropriate measures may need to be considered for employees in the high risk category in the work premises where maintaining social distancing is difficult. The University’s Occupational Health service may be consulted for employees in the high-risk category, or to determine if an employee falls into this category if necessary.    

Staff in this category who are ill and not available for work should provide a medical certificate covering their absence in line with the University’s Sick Leave policy.

Heads/Managers who have queries in this regard should contact Employee Relations to discuss further.


5.9 I am in a very high risk (extremely vulnerable) and have been advised to cocoon. What should I do?

Staff should declare to their Head/Manager if they believe that they are at very high risk of COVID-19. Please refer to the  HSE Website for more information. Staff deemed to be very high risk should be facilitated to work from home to the maximum extent possible. Where a staff member is very high risk, is cocooning and working from home in their current role is not feasible, then they may be assigned work outside their usual core duties.

The University’s Occupational Health service may be consulted for staff in the very high risk category, or to determine if a staff member falls into this category.  Where staff member who is at very high risk of serious illness from contacting COVID-19 has been assessed by the University’s Occupational Health service and deemed as medically unfit for work, the terms and conditions of the University’s Sick leave Policy applies.

A staff members risk categorisation may now have changed due to vaccination and/or history of recent confirmed COVID-19 infection. Therefore, if a staff member has previously been placed in the very high risk category, and their work activities now cannot be performed offsite, then referral to the University’s Occupational Health service for updated COVID-19 risk categorisation may be appropriate to see if they can resume work onsite. Staff in the very high risk category who wish to return to the work premises should discuss this locally with their Head/Manager in the first instance.

Heads/Managers who have any queries regarding the above should contact Employee Relations to discuss further.

5.10 I am pregnant and concerned about working onsite. What should I do?

The HSE advice on COVID-19 and pregnancy is set out HERE. If you are pregnant and concerned about remaining at work onsite or returning to work onsite, you should raise your concerns directly with your Head/Manager in the first instance. Your Head/Manager can then contact the Employee Relations Section in Human Resources by email to employee.relations@tcd.ie to arrange a COVID-19 at-risk assessment to determine if you are in a high/very high-risk category and what, if any, accommodations are necessary.

5.11 I live with someone in the high-risk / very high-risk category. What should I do?

In all likelihood at this stage, at-risk persons are likely to have been offered a vaccination. Staff who are required to attend the workplace and who live with very high risk individuals should take extra care to practice social distancing where possible and wash their hands regularly and properly and follow HSE guidelines to protect themselves and minimise risk of transmission. Your School/Area Return to Activity On Campus Plan under the Work Safely Protocol is intended to minimise the risk of transmission in the workplace.

Heads/Managers who have queries in this regard should contact Employee Relations to discuss further.

5.12 What supports are available for staff?

Inspire Workplaces Counselling Services provide the University’s EAP service. University staff and their immediate families (those living at home with them who are 18 years of age and older) can avail of up to 6 professional counselling sessions free of charge. Appointments can be made by calling Inspire on freephone 1800 817 433 or by email to workandstudy@inspirewellbeing.ie.

Inspire also offer a dedicated online Support Hub where staff will find useful information, articles, e-zines, self-assessment tools and much more. To access please click on EAP Inspire Support Hub:

  • On the home page click the purple ‘Sign up’ icon (top right)
  • When prompted enter the company pin (PIN: Trinity!)
  • This will create a randomly generated username – please take note of username
  • Create your own password and start using the Support Hub

There is useful information on the Human Resources website https://www.tcd.ie/hr/working-from-home/ about working from home and staying healthy at home.

The HSE also provides advice on looking after you mental health, the details can be found at https://www2.hse.ie/looking-after-your-mental-health/

6. Travel & Leave

6.1 Is work related travel permitted?

Work related travel within Ireland may proceed once a risk assessment has been carried out in accordance with COVID19 restrictions in place and such restrictions are fully adhered to. Queries on the risk assessment should be directed to your Departmental Safety officer.   

For work related travel abroad, Staff must apprise themselves of the most up to date travel advice and safety status of the country(s) to which they intend to travel from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Travel Advice as work related travel is not permitted to those countries which the DFA security status is ‘avoid non-essential travel’. Please see Guidance for staff intending to undertake overseas work related travel  to which all staff intending to travel abroad for work are required to adhere.  

6.2 If I am required to restrict my movements on my return from international travel, how will this be recorded? 

Ireland is now a part of the EU Digital COVID Certificate for travel originating within the EU/EEA. The Digital COVID Certificate will make it easier to travel to and from these countries and will be accepted as proof of vaccination, recovery or negative test.

Employees who intend to travel abroad should ensure that they are aware of any testing, self-isolation or restricted movement requirements in place at the time of travel, and pertaining to their own circumstances, both for their intended destination and on return to Ireland. Where a restricted movement period is required as a result of travel, all employees must make provision by way of an annual leave or unpaid leave application for that period of restricted movement, in line with the normal rules applying to the approval of leave.

An emergency brake system may be applied quickly to countries where a variant of concern or interest arises. Employees should be aware that whatever restricted movement/self-isolation requirements are in place and applicable to them on their date of return to Ireland will apply. Employees are required to notify their employer as soon as possible if they have to take additional annual leave or unpaid leave in order to satisfy any restricted movement /self-isolation requirement.  Staff should discuss this with their Manager/Head prior to travelling.

This arrangement is applicable to all civil and public servants regardless of whether they can work from home.  Special leave with pay will not apply during this period. Working from home is not an option during this period. 

6.3 I am a new staff member who must travel to Ireland to commence working in Trinity. If restricted movements are required on my arrival to Ireland, how will this be recorded?

For new incoming staff who are due to commence work in Trinity and who must travel to Ireland to do so, such travel is considered essential travel. Staff in this category who are required to restrict their movements on arrival to Ireland may work from home for the required period. The specific work arrangements during this period should be agreed in advance with their incoming Manager.

6.4 I am an existing staff member who relocated to my home country due to lockdown and am now required to return to Ireland to resume my duties. If restricted movements are required on my arrival to Ireland, how will this be recorded? 

For existing staff who relocated to their home country due to the lockdown and who are now required to return to Ireland to resume their duties, such travel is considered essential travel. Existing staff in this category who are required to restrict their movements on arrival to Ireland may work from home for the required period. The specific work arrangements during this period should be agreed in advance with their Manager.

6.5 Can pre-approved annual leave or parental leave be cancelled or postponed during the COVID-19 crisis period?

Annual leave and parental leave should be discharged as scheduled unless it is completely unavoidable to provide essential cover. If requests from staff to cancel / postpone approved leave are received, the Manager should give full consideration on a case by case basis to the consequence of granting the request and how it may impact the function / area overall. Where such requests are approved, the staff member should understand that it may not be possible to grant the cancelled / postponed leave at the preferred time in the future for operational reasons as a consequence of the closure due to COVID-19.

6.6 Can Shorter Working Year arrangements be cancelled or postponed during the COVID-19 crisis period?

The expectation is that any shorter working year arrangement that is scheduled will proceed as planned. Where there is a business requirement, it may be possible for Managers to cancel or postpone shorter working year arrangements with the agreement of the staff member. If requests from staff to defer approved shorter working year arrangements are received, the Manager may agree to defer the arrangements on an exceptional basis and subject to business requirements.

6.7 How should flexi-time schemes operate during the COVID-19 crisis period?

In order to keep delivering essential services to all the College Community, we need flexibility and adaptability. The operation of traditional flexi-time/attendance management rules do not support the flexible arrangements and agility required during this extraordinary situation.

The normal operation of flexi-time or equivalent attendance management rules, including any flexi-time accruals and deficits, is to be temporarily suspended during the period of COVID-19 to facilitate the required new ways of working across the public service. Any balances accrued by employees before the suspension of flexible working hours arrangements can remain and be held over until the COVID working arrangements are no longer in place and Flexitime is reintroduced.

7. Vaccines

7.1 Which vaccines are approved in Ireland?

See list of approved Vaccinations in EU/ Ireland. Please note that this list may be updated at short notice, and it is staff members’ individual responsibility to keep up to date.  

A full course of any one of the following vaccines

Regards as fully vaccinated after

2 doses pf Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine: BNT162b2 (Comirnaty®)

7 days

2 doses of Moderna Vaccine: CX-024414 (Moderna ®)

14 days

2 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine: ChAdOx1-SARS-COV-2 (Vaxzevria® or Covishield)

15 days

1 dose of Johnson & Johnson/Janssen Vaccine: Ad26.COV2-S [recombinant](Janssen®

14 days

Proof of vaccination

A non-Digital COVID Certificate proof of vaccination means a record or evidence in written or electronic form in English or Irish or an official translation into Irish or English, which contains the following:

  • confirmation that the person to whom the record or evidence refers is a vaccinated person
  • the date or dates on which the person was vaccinated
  • the body in the state concerned implementing the vaccination programme (howsoever described) on behalf of the state which administered or caused to be administered the vaccination to the person concerned
  • the HSE Vaccination Card is an example of acceptable non-Digital COVID Certificate proof of vaccination

There is currently no guidance available on individuals who have received mixed vaccinations.
Trinity is also accepting WHO approved vaccinations for attendance at indoor events.

7.2 Can the College make it mandatory for me to be vaccinated against COVID19? 

No. The current legal position in Ireland is such that there are constitutional and other legal barriers that would make it extremely difficult for an employer to implement a mandatory vaccination programme for COVID-19. This includes the right to bodily integrity, the right to a private life and the right to personal autonomy.

7.3 If I decide not to take up the offer of a vaccine, can I be prevented from attending the workplace?

As outlined above, it is an individual’s right to choose whether or not to be vaccinated. If an employer, having carried out a risk assessment in line with their duties under the Act, concludes that there is a risk of a staff member coming into contact with the virus, or, that there is a risk of putting colleagues or service users at risk, your Head/Manager may have to consider re-assigning you different duties to your normal core duties if you are unwilling to be vaccinated.

7.4 Due to medical reasons, I am unable to receive the vaccine, do I have to return to the workplace?

In the first instance, you need to discuss this with your Head/Manager who should consider allowing you to continue to work from home if feasible. You may need to provide evidence from your GP to support this. Your Head/Manager may also request that you be assessed by the College’s Occupational Health Specialist.

If it is not feasible for you to work from home, in conjunction with your local Departmental H&S officer a H&S risk assessment is required to determine if any additional H&S measures need to be implemented in your workspace.  You should also refamiliarise yourself with your School/Area’s Resumption of Activity on Campus Plan which should also alleviate your concerns about the safety of returning to the workplace. Your Head/Manager may need to review the control measures in place as appropriate in line with the Resumption of Activity on Campus Plan.

7.5 My Head/Manager is encouraging me and my colleagues to get the vaccine when it is offered. Can they do this?

Yes, Heads/Manager’s should encourage their staff to get the vaccine, in line with public health advice. The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act (the Act) obliges employers to identify and reduce workplace risks as part of their risk assessment. Individual staff also have a duty under the Act to co-operate with their employer so that Trinity can comply with its duty to reduce workplace risks.

7.6 Can I ask if my colleagues have been vaccinated? 

No, this would constitute a data protection breach.

7.7 My colleague has told me they are not vaccinated; I don’t want to work alongside them. What are my options?

The evidence suggests that receiving the vaccination prevents the recipient of the vaccine from getting very sick. On that basis, arguably the person who has been vaccinated would still be protected working alongside someone who has not been vaccinated. In addition, all other control measures that have been put in place under your School/Area’s Resumption of Activity on Campus Plan should remain, in line with the Work Safely Protocol, such that the employee should be in a position to continue to work as before.

Refusal to work alongside unvaccinated colleagues/students will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and may have to be dealt with under the relevant procedures.

7.8 I received notification for my COVID19 vaccine appointment and it is within my working time, how will this be recorded?

Time off work for COVID-19 vaccines is to be treated as a medical appointment in line with section 1.2 of the Sick Leave Policy and therefore normally recorded as sick leave with employees informing their Manager/Head in advance and provide a copy of appointment details (screenshot if notification received by text). If staff do not wish to discharge a full /half day sick leave for this appointment, they should discuss this with their line manager and where feasible they can agree to:

    • Go straight to the appointment, come into work after it
    • Come into work, go to the appointment, return to work after it
    • Leave work early to go to the appointment if scheduled late in the afternoon

Staff who become ill immediately after receiving the vaccine who cannot return to work as a result will be recorded as being on sick leave.

7.9 I became ill due to an adverse reaction to my COVID19 vaccine and cannot work, how will this be recorded?

Any illness absence as a result of adverse reaction to a vaccine is considered ordinary illness and therefore to be recorded as sick leave. Medical certification to cover the absence is required in line with section 2.2 of the Sick Leave Policy as is application to the Dept of Social Protection (where applicable) for illness benefit as set out in section 7.

8. Ordinary illness

8.1 What happens if I have an illness other than COVID-19?

Under the terms and conditions of the University’s Sick Leave Policy, ordinary illness should be recorded locally by the line manager as sick leave.

8.2 What if I am on ordinary illness sick leave and subsequently contract COVID-19?

If a staff member is on sick leave due to ordinary illness and is subsequently diagnosed with COVID-19, the special leave with pay may be granted retrospectively in lieu of sick leave. The staff member would be required to complete the Self-Declaration Form and return it to their line Manager with the appropriate medical confirmation as soon as possible.

9. Managers

9.1 As a Manager, what should I do when a staff member contacts me about potential COVID 19 infection?

You need to establish specifically:

  • Whether the staff member has consulted a doctor or the HSE (if not, they should be advised to do so immediately).
  • Whether the staff member has been diagnosed as an actual or probable case. If the staff member is medically diagnosed with COVID 19, special leave with pay may be granted.
  • Follow the steps identified here to report diagnosis.
  • Ensure the staff member completes the Self-Declaration Form and returns it to you with the appropriate medical confirmation as soon as possible.
  • Record this locally as CV19 Special Leave with Pay on the staff members attendance record.

If a staff member becomes unwell at work, Manager’s should refer to and follow the guidelines set out in their local Resumption Plan for dealing with a suspected case of COVID-19 infection in the workplace.

9.2 As a Manager, what leave records do I have to keep?

The Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 requires employers to hold records of all forms of leave. It is important that records of all leave (CV19 special leave with pay, annual leave, unpaid leave etc.) are kept locally in each area. These should be readily available for University and DFHERIS statistical data, if requested.

9.3 As a Manager, what should I do if a staff member who is pregnant raises concerns to me about working onsite?

The HSE advice on COVID-19 and pregnancy is set out HERE. If a staff member who is pregnant raises concerns to you about working onsite, you should contact the Employee Relations Section in Human Resources by email to employee.relations@tcd.ie to arrange a COVID-19 at-risk assessment to determine if the staff member is in a high/very high-risk category and what, if any accommodations are necessary.

10. Approved Visitors Access

10.1 Are visitors to campus allowed for academic or research purposes?

Campus has reopened to the public so visitors are allowed on Trinity’s grounds. Visitors for research and academic purposes are allowed to be in buildings on campus where a staff member deems it necessary. The member of staff acting as the host must ask for the self-declaration form to be sent to them 48 hours before the visit. Visitors must adhere to local (departmental) rules for access to buildings (e.g., where signing in and out of buildings is required). In addition, it is the responsibility of the host/staff member to ensure the visitor adheres to College’s Return to Campus guidelines at all times.

The host/staff member must safely destroy the COVID questionnaires after the visit, but the visitors contact information should be retained for contact tracing purposes for 28 days.

Student FAQs

For a quick overview on keeping safe during COVID-19 when you return to campus, please click here.

1. General FAQs

1.1 Why can we not ask for Vaccination or a Covid Certificate to gain entry to lectures, labs and tutorials?

Unfortunately, Universities, unlike Restaurants and Pubs for which settings the Government wrote a Statutory Instrument requiring Vaccination or a Covid Certificate for entry, are prohibited from clarifying vaccination status with their students and staff, (with the exception of clinical healthcare students who require vaccination for their clinical placements).

1.2 What solid commitments is Trinity making for Semester 2 in 2022?

For semester 2 things will fully return to normal, subject of course to prevailing public health guidelines after Christmas.

1.3 Is the College Health Service prioritizing on-campus residents over students living away from campus when it comes to COVID testing?

No, the College Health Service operates a HSE approved Covid-19 PCR testing service, on site at College Health, staffed by our Clinical and Administrative Team at the Health Centre.

All registered students have equal access to testing.

To facilitate students who are living away from Campus, we offer them the choice of on campus testing or, as we are linked to the HSE National Testing Centre Booking System, we can also book tests for them at testing centres close to where they live, anywhere in the country.

1.4 How can I get help from Academic Registry?

You can contact the Service Desk by one of the following methods:

1.5 Which vaccines are approved in Ireland?

See list of approved Vaccinations in EU/ Ireland. Please note that this list may be updated at short notice, and it is students’ individual responsibility to keep up to date.  


A full course of any one of the following vaccines

Regards as fully vaccinated after

2 doses pf Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine: BNT162b2 (Comirnaty®)

7 days

2 doses of Moderna Vaccine: CX-024414 (Moderna ®)

14 days

2 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine: ChAdOx1-SARS-COV-2 (Vaxzevria® or Covishield)

15 days

1 dose of Johnson & Johnson/Janssen Vaccine: Ad26.COV2-S [recombinant](Janssen®

14 days

Proof of vaccination
A non-Digital COVID Certificate proof of vaccination means a record or evidence in written or electronic form in English or Irish or an official translation into Irish or English, which contains the following:

  • confirmation that the person to whom the record or evidence refers is a vaccinated person
  • the date or dates on which the person was vaccinated
  • the body in the state concerned implementing the vaccination programme (howsoever described) on behalf of the state which administered or caused to be administered the vaccination to the person concerned
  • the HSE Vaccination Card is an example of acceptable non-Digital COVID Certificate proof of vaccination

There is currently no guidance available on individuals who have received mixed vaccinations.

Trinity is also accepting WHO approved vaccinations for attendance at indoor events.

1.6 Do all students have to wear a face covering on campus? 

There are a small number of students who are exempt from wearing a face covering on health grounds. In such cases, the Disability Service have issued exemption badges to students and staff who are unable to wear face coverings. This exemption badge states ‘I am exempt from wearing a face covering’ to verify that they are not wearing a face covering on health grounds. In such cases students must wear visors in place of face coverings. Visors are provided by the Disability Service upon request.  

For further details on the exemption process email askds@tcd.ie 

1.7 Where can I find information about end of Semester 1 exams?

You can find all information about exams by visiting the Academic Registry webpages which includes a useful FAQs identifying what steps to take if you are impacted by C-19 and everything else relating to the upcoming examination period.

2. International Students

2.1 Immigration FAQs

Please find the full list of immigration FAQ's here.

3. Accommodation

3.1 Where can I find the latest information on COVID-19 and Government restrictions?

Government of Ireland Information found here:
 https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/3361b-public-health-updates/

HSE COVID-19 Information found here https://www2.hse.ie/coronavirus/

Restricted Movements information found here: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/managing-coronavirus-at-home/if-you-live-with-someone-who-has-coronavirus.html

Please note all residents are asked to review FAQ's regularly, please do not hesitate to contact the Residences team via email residences@tcd.ie or Trinity.Hall@tcd.ie should you have queries at any time. 

Please note if you have symptoms of COVID-19, are deemed a close contact or test positive for COVID-19 please inform the Residences Team on 01 896 1177 or via email residences@tcd.ie.
If you live in Trinity Hall please contact reception on 01-896 8024 (staffed 24/7).

If you require medical assistance, please contact the TCD Student Health Centre details available here: www.tcd.ie/collegehealth or telephone 01 8961591 or 01 8961556

3.2 What does the term "Restricted Movement" mean?

Restricting your movements means avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible. For more information on guidelines regarding how to conduct yourself while on campus please check the HSE - Guidelines to COVID-19.
Guidance will be made available to you on or prior to arrival on how to manage this whilst sharing your kitchen, or where your apartment has shared bathroom facilities.

3.3 Can I have guests or a gathering in my apartment or visit another apartment in Residences?

Yes, please visit the Accommodation Section of the Return to Campus Guidelines for more information about what is and is not allowed.

3.4 Am I allowed overnight guests?

Yes, please visit the Accommodation Section of the Return to Campus Guidelines for more information.

3.5 I do not need to self-quarantine upon arrival - what do I need to know?

If you do not need to self-quarantine upon arrival, we will do our best to allocate you to an apartment with other students who are in a similar situation to you. However, due to the number of arrivals we are anticipating, we cannot guarantee that this is the case. If you are allocated to an apartment with someone who has to self-quarantine, in light of the below ‘Important Points to Note you do not have to self-quarantine with them.  Though we ask, in this case, that all residents of the apartment follow increased hygiene procedures, including sanitisation of surfaces, and that all residents wear a face covering in common areas of the apartment. 
Important Points to Note 
All students who arrive into TCD Residences from an international location will either have:

  1. Completed 14-day mandatory hotel quarantine   OR
  2. Have Proof of an EU approved vaccination OR
  3. Have a negative PCR test result OR
  4. Show they have recovered from COVID in the last 180 days. 

No student travelling from an international location will be able to enter TCD residences without one of the above conditions being satisfied. 
Unless students do not choose to take a COVID-19 PCR test (on day five) or they test positive for COVID-19;  it is anticipated that students will be able to stop their quarantine period once their post 5 day PCR Test result comes back negative.

3.6 I need to self-quarantine - how can I get food/toiletries?

A daily food provision service has been put in place for students who must self-quarantine at Trinity Hall only. This needs to be ordered in advance so that we can ensure your dietary requirements are met and is mandatory for all self-quarantining at Trinity Hall only.
Should you want to supplement the daily meal service (but it is highly unlikely you would need to do so), there are several food delivery services which are available to residents in TCD.

All major supermarkets in the area offer home delivery services. You can find more information on their delivery services, including delivery fees and times, on their respective websites. Please contact the relevant accommodation office who can provide you with a list.

3.7 What if I test positive for Covid-19 while living in campus residences?

As per current Irish Government public health guidelines anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will be required to quarantine/self-isolate. As per Irish government public health guidelines you are required to  quarantine/self-isolate in your own allocated bedroom in your own allocated apartment. Click here for more information from the National Irish Health Service on how to do this.  

Where a positive case of COVID-19 arises, University supports, such as Health and Counselling, will be provided and HSE guidelines will be adhered to.

3.8 What happens if my house mate tests positive for Covid-19?

You must follow the prevailing Irish government public health guidelines if you are a close contact of anyone who tests positive for Covid-19. A household close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case, even when they are fully vaccinated and showing no symptoms, are required to restrict their movements until they have 3 negative antigen test results within 5 days. Shared apartments are as treated as households in this situation. Further information on the HSE antigen testing service for close contacts is available here.

3.9 Where can I find out more information about accommodation?

Please see: Frequently Asked Questions - Student Accommodation (tcd.ie)

3.10 If I am arriving from abroad, is there a need for me to self-quarantine upon arrival?

As of August 16th, 2021, all incoming international arrivals into Ireland are subject to different public health requirements, depending on their origin country of travel and vaccination status. TCD Residences will adhere to the prevailing Irish Public Health Guidelines and we encourage all incoming residents to frequently check the department of foreign affairs website for updated information.

This website is a resource for:

  1. What to do before arriving in Ireland from abroad.
  2. What to do if you are travelling from a high-risk area / country.
  3. The mandatory Passenger Locator Form.
  4. Quarantine Requirements including possible mandatory hotel requirements. 
  5. Requirements for a pre-departure COVID-19 RT-PCR Test.
  6. List of EU recognised vaccines.

3.11 What should I do if I am sick?

Stay at home if you have COVID-19 symptoms. There has been a surge in positive cases, as you will have seen in media reports. This re-emphasises the message that we all have a personal responsibility to adhere to public health advice, keep on wearing face coverings inside, and not to come onto campus if you are COVID-19 symptomatic.

If we don’t take prompt action when we have COVID-19 symptoms – by staying at home and getting a test – we put others at risk. Let’s work together to make this behaviour an essential part of how we protect each other.

3.12 What should I do if I test positive for Covid-19

  • Self-isolate and follow the guidance at https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/covid19/testing/
  • If you are resident in Trinity, contact your Accommodation Office.
  • If you are a student, you must notify your Course Director.
  • If you are a staff member, you must notify your line Manager or Head of School.

4. Library

4.1 COVID-19 Safety Measures in the Library

The requirement for face coverings remain in place and Library stewards will continue to monitor compliance. Readers are asked to use the COVID Tracker app for contact tracing purposes.

A booking system is in place, at the request of the Graduate Students’ Union, in the 1937 Postgraduate Reading Room. The Joint Research Collections Reading Room will also maintain a booking system for the time being, due to preparatory works for the Old Library Redevelopment Project.

For more details on COVID-19 Safety Measures in the Library, please see our Plan your visit section.

4.2 What are opening hours for the Library?

All of the libraries are open. We have introduced extended opening hours to include evening and Saturday openings in the Berkeley, Lecky, Ussher and Hamilton Libraries as well as Saturday opening in the John Stearne Medical Library.

  • Berkeley/Lecky/Ussher Libraries              

Monday-Friday 09:00-22:00; Saturdays 9:30-16:00

(the Ussher closes from 3-4pm on Saturday to prepare Kinsella Hall for weekend study)

  • Kinsella Hall                                                  

Saturdays 16:00-22:00; Sundays 08:00-22:00 

  • Hamilton Library                                          

Monday-Friday 09:00-22:00; Saturdays 9:30-16:00

  • John Stearne Medical Library                    

Monday-Friday 09:00-17:00; Saturdays 09:30-13:00

  • Research Collections                                   

Monday-Saturday, by appointment 

  • 1937 Postgraduate Reading Room           

Monday-Sunday 08.00-22.00

Full details are online of all opening hours and the booking system.  Also see our Plan Your Visit section for full range of Library services.

5. Student Spaces

5.1 Need a space to take an online class?

You can book a space here.

5.2 Need access to a computer?

Lots of computers around campus are available for you to use including both PCs and Macs.

You can book here

5.3 Need a space to sit indoors?

The following indoor Zon Mac Léinn (Student Spaces) reopened on Monday 4th October, with some caveats. 

Bookings are not required but the furniture in these spaces has been carefully laid out in Pods of up to 6, in line with Government regulations for indoor spaces where occupants may have mixed immunity.  We ask you to respect these layouts and only be in the space if there is a seat available for you, to ensure the maximum allowed occupancies are adhered to. 

Goldsmith Hall Zón Mac Léinn (Lobby) 

max 30 

Hamilton Zón Mac Léinn (JCR) 

max 30 

D’Olier St Lobby 

max 24 

Arts Block Zón Mac Léinn (Room 4017) 

max 21 

TBSI Zón Mac Léinn (Grd Flr) 

max 18 

Seomra na Gaeilge  

max 18 

Trinity Hall Oldham House, sitting rooms 

max 30 - doors and windows to be kept open.   

St James Old Stone Building 

UG JCR (max 8)   

PG JCR (max 6) 

5.4 What advice is Trinity providing for anyone considering running an event?

The COVID-19 situation in Ireland remains uncertain and of concern. We remain vulnerable to a

further deterioration depending on a number of factors, including levels of social contact, adherence

to basic public health protective measures, and levels of immunity across the population. (Government Press release 16 Nov 2021) 

In light of this the Trinity Living with Covid Oversight Group offer the following advice in relation to

in-person college events for the remainder of Michaelmas term.

While public health guidelines do currently permit indoor and outdoor events, careful consideration

of the potential impact of events on the wider college community is urged.

For Event Organisers

· Consider whether the event can be deferred to a less uncertain time;

· Consider whether the number of attendees can be reduced by holding the event partially or even fully on-line;

· Anticipate the risk of further Government restrictions when committing spend;

· Anticipate the need for a contingency plan, should further Government restrictions be imposed at short notice;

· Ensure compliance with public health protective measures including Covid Certificate checks (vaccine or recovery certificate) and photo ID for all indoor hospitality and events; face masks (can be removed for consumption of food or drinks as appropriate); collection of contact tracing data;

· As per college calendar, all college events require approval by the Junior Dean. Indoor events with more than 100 require additional approval of the Trinity Living with Covid Oversight Group.

For Event Attendees

· Consider reducing the number of events you attend;

· Do not attend if you are experiencing COVID symptoms or are a close contact of a suspected case. Act fast, isolate and get a PCR test if you have symptoms;

· Maintain adequate social distancing, wear a face mask and keep your hands clean;

· Be mindful of interactions you may have with vulnerable people after the event;

· Take regular antigen tests or participate in UniCoV if you are asymptomatic and engaged in activities in riskier environments (indoor, crowded environments, where distancing is difficult).

5.5 How do I book an event space on campus for my student event?

To book an event space, students should contact enquiries@tcd.ie who will advise of the necessary details required. Where possible, the enquiries office should be given 10 working days’ notice before the event date. 

Event requests submitted within a shorter timeframe are not guaranteed to be approved in time for the event to take place, however best efforts will be made. The key message here is to contact the enquiries office as soon as possible with your event request.
Students should familiarise themselves with the Return to Campus guidelines in the context of the safety precautions that are required for events, highlighted under the section titled Social Activity.

5.6 What events spaces are available to book?

All Student Society Spaces can again be used between Monday and Friday from 10am – 9pm, providing they adhere to the Covid precautions outlined in the Return to Campus Guidelines. Available Teaching Spaces can again be booked through the enquiries office for extracurricular activities. To facilitate this, all Teaching and non-Teaching bookings must be recorded in CMIS.

5.7 Are there any additional restrictions relating to organising indoor events?

All events must adhere to the public health measures announced on October 22nd. Events with 100 or less people now follow pre-Covid procedures, which can be found here. Events with 100 or less people now follow pre-Covid procedures, which can be found here. Approval for events with more than 100 people are now referred to the C-19 Management Group for additional approval. Events in Trinity Hall must also receive approval from Trinity Living with Covid Oversight Group for the time being.
The enquiries office will advise you on what is necessary if you are planning an event with 100+ individuals.

More information about the process to follow for student specific events can be found here and the event checklist is a useful tool you can use in planning your student event.

The Central Societies Committee have also launched a useful page on their website detailing the booking process for societies – you can find more information for societies here http://trinitysocieties.ie/indoor-room-bookings-2021

For a full list of guidelines for indoor events, please see the Social Activity section of the Return to Campus Guidelines.

You can also download the Contact Tracing form to use for indoor events here.

5.8 Are there any additional restrictions relating to organising outdoor events?

All events must adhere to the public health measures announced on October 22nd. Events with 100 or less people now follow pre-Covid procedures, which can be found here. Approval for events with more than 100 people are now referred to the C-19 Management Group for additional approval. Events in Trinity Hall must also receive approval from Trinity Living with Covid Oversight Group for the time being.
The enquiries office will advise you on what is necessary if you are planning an event with 100+ individuals.

More information about the process to follow for student specific events can be found here and the event checklist is a useful tool you can use in planning your student event.

For a full list of guidelines for outdoor events, please see the Social Activity section of the Return to Campus Guidelines. You can also download the Contact Tracing form to use for outdoor events here.

5.9 Are receptions allowed at this time?

Receptions that involve standing and mingling over food and drink are not yet permitted until such a time as the requirement for indoor events to be seated for this purpose is eased.

6. Supports and Counselling Services

6.1 I am a current Trinity student. Where can I get support during this time?

You can find support from your Tutor or Senior Tutor’s office at ST.Office@tcd.ie. Student Counselling is available at student-counselling@tcd.ie while the Chaplains are available at chaplain@tcd.ie

Find information regarding student supports and services.

The Library’s Teaching and Research Support team is available online. They’ve listed a number of supports.

6.2 What college health services are available to me as a Trinity student of staff member?

COVID-19 Testing Centre at House 51, adjacent to the College Health Service, offering free testing for students and staff to help ensure safe return to campus. You can book your test by calling the College Health Service 018961591, 01 896 8555, 01 8961556.

Emergency GP consultations every day.  Emergency clinics are both morning and afternoon.  You can book a same day emergency appointment by phoning 01 8961556, 018961592 or 01 8968555. 

College Health Nurse Services Include:

·          Contraceptive advice
·          Smears
·          Chlamydia
·          Eye testing for driving
·          Phlebotomy (blood tests)
·          Routine vaccinations
·          Routine injections
·          Emergency contraception
·          Mini Screen ( For those who don't have symptoms and have no history of contact with someone with an STI.

You will be tested for 
·          -HIV, Hepatitis B and Syphilis (blood tests)
·          -Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea (Swabs and/or urine)

Wednesday Sexual Health Clinics with Doctor and Nurse (We are a satellite clinic of the Sexually Transmitted Infectious Diseases Clinic at St James's Hospital).

This clinic is available for anyone with symptoms or those who feel they are high risk for STI.  

For Physiotherapy appointments please call 01 8961556, 018961592 or 01 8968555 to book. 

6.3 I have a medical condition in the HSE very high- or high-risk categories. Can I apply to study online?

Students can apply to study online for Semester 1 2021-22 if they have a medical condition in the HSE very high- or high-risk categories. The application should be made via the student’s tutor. Students are advised to discuss their particular circumstances with their tutor. In determining if studying online is a suitable alternative for you, your School or Department will be contacted so consideration can be given to all aspects of your course, such as labs, practical elements, group work, placements and professional requirements. For some students, it may not be possible to study online. In these cases, students can discuss alternatives with their tutor such as going off books.

6.4 What about help with IT?

Advice on remote learning.

IT services have also provided a new way to chat with them for assistance via webchat. See all the ways to contact them.


7. Prospective Students

7.1 Where can I find information about applying to study in Trinity?

If you are considering applying for a position in Trinity, please visit here for more information on how to do this.

8. Student Finances

8.1 Where can I find information about student finance matters?

Students can find information relating to Fees and Payments on the webpage Fees & Payments - Academic Registry - Trinity College Dublin (tcd.ie) which is naturally split between Applicants/Current students/ Former students.

For Covid related questions, students can visit –“Covid and my fees” at the end of the page While studying at TCD - Academic Registry - Trinity College Dublin.

9. Exams

9.1 Where can I find the latest information about exams for Semester 1?

You can find all information about exams by visiting the Academic Registry webpages which includes a useful FAQs identifying what steps to take if you are impacted by C-19 and everything else relating to the upcoming examination period.

 

Health and Advice

1. General safety

1.1 What health and safety precautions can I expect at Trinity?

Trinity has put a range of measures in place to protect students, staff and visitors during Covid 19. These include:

  • Clear signage at all entrances to buildings and within buildings of the COVID 19 precautions that apply to everyone; hand hygiene, coughing and sneezing etiquette, social distancing and the wearing of face masks in designated areas.
  • A one-way entry and exit route for buildings - where possible
  • The provision of hand sanitisers and dispensers throughout the campus
  • A keep right and keep moving policy on all stairways
  • A one-person policy for all lifts on campus
  • Clearly designated seating that maintains social distancing
  • For teaching and learning purposes, mandatory wearing of cloth face coverings, visors or face shields. For staff, a distance of 2m should be maintained between the staff member and students. Where there is a risk that the 2m distance could be compromised or where teaching activity requires the staff member to be less than 2m from the student, staff should wear a face covering, or other appropriate protection to be provided by the College.
  • Gloves should not be worn unless required and must never be used as a substitute for hand hygiene.
  • After each group leaves a workspace, high-contact surfaces should be cleaned with water and detergent and not with disinfectant.
  • To the greatest extent possible, Trinity will keep records of attendance at all events for 4 weeks in case required for contact tracing purposes.
  • If people spend more than 2 hours or more in a shared space together, they may be regarded as COVID-19 contacts in the event that someone present is subsequently identified as a case.
  • Computer keyboards will need to be covered with waterproof covers to facilitate cleaning after use.

2. Self-Isolation at work

2.1 Why is self-isolation necessary?

If you are at work and have symptoms of coronavirus, even mild symptoms, you have the potential to spread the virus to others. By self-isolation, you limit the number of people you come in contact with and prevent the spread of the virus.

2.2 Steps to take while self-isolating at work

If you think that you have coronavirus symptoms and are well enough to drive your own vehicle home, please return to your home, contact your GP and self-isolate at home.

If you become unwell at work and are not able to drive your own vehicle home, the college has provided designated community isolation rooms throughout the campus, in order for your to self-isolate while you arrange transportation to go home and contact your GP.

Please click here FAQs - Estates & Facilities - Trinity College Dublin (tcd.ie) to see the locations of Trinity’s isolations rooms.

2.3 If you feel unwell with coronavirus symptoms and need to self-isolate at work

1. Inform your Facilitator/Lead Worker Rep. that you have symptoms and need to self-isolate.

2. Ensure that you are wearing a face covering. If you don’t have a face covering, inform the Facilitator/Lead Worker Rep. who will provide you with one.

3. The Facilitator/Lead Worker Rep. will accompany you to the designate isolation room, while staying at least 2m apart.

4. Stay at least 2m (6ft) away from others that you meet while exiting and accessing buildings.

5. Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing using a tissue and dispose of the tissue in the waste bin. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow (not your hand).

6. Telephone your GP to advise them you have symptoms of the virus.

7. If you have your own vehicle and feel well enough to drive, you should go home and self-isolate at home or alternatively arrange for a family member to collect you. If this is not possible, your Line Manager/Supervisor will arrange for a taxi to collect you.

8. Do not use public transport.

Please note: If you don’t share an office space, you can self-isolate in your office and follow the steps above.

Please click here FAQs - Estates & Facilities - Trinity College Dublin (tcd.ie) to see the locations of Trinity’s isolations rooms.

3. Face coverings

3.1 Are face coverings currently mandatory in Trinity?

Observing physical/social distancing, appropriate hand hygiene and cough and sneeze etiquette are the most important measures individuals can take to protect themselves and others from COVID-19. Face coverings should not be used in lieu of following these measures, especially where maintaining physical/social distancing is difficult.

Public Health advice remains that face coverings should be worn in places or situations where it may be difficult to achieve or maintain physical/social distancing. This might include:

  • When entering and exiting buildings. 
  • Public access areas of buildings, including receptions/foyers and public counters. 
  • When moving throughout buildings to toilets, photocopiers, on stairwells etc. 
  • Canteens and kitchen areas (prior to and after eating) or when using facilities

At present the wearing of face coverings is mandatory for all teaching and learning events for all students and staff (unless exempt on medical grounds, see 3.2 below), in all the Libraries, and public areas of the campus such as the Buttery and the Book of Kells.

Face coverings must also be worn in shared office spaces when moving around and for all indoor events.
A face covering is defined as ‘a covering of any type which when worn by a person covers the person’s nose and mouth.

3.2 Will I be allowed to not wear a face covering due to health reasons?

The Implementation Guidelines for Public Health Measures in Higher Education advises that appropriate arrangements are in place whereby staff or students who are vulnerable can declare this and that specific appropriate measures can be put in place.

This includes the reasonable exception to the wearing of a face covering on health grounds.

There are a small number of students and staff who are exempt therefore from wearing a face covering on health grounds. In such cases the Disability Service have issued exemption badges to students and staff who are unable to wear face coverings.

This exemption badge states ‘I am exempt from wearing a face covering’ to verify that they are not wearing a face covering on health grounds. In such cases students and staff must wear visors in place of face coverings. Visors are provided by the Disability Service upon request. 
  
For further details on the exemption process email askds@tcd.ie 

You can also find more information about the process for securing an exemption on health grounds in the Return to Campus Guidelines under the section Lectures, Labs & Tutorials.

3.3 I am teaching someone who is hard of hearing and relies on lip reading to communicate. I am concerned that the combination of social distancing and the wearing of face coverings will make communication extremely difficult when teaching in Trinity. What alternatives are there?

Teaching staff have been asked to wear visors instead of face coverings whenever 2m social distancing is not possible. Visors are available through Schools, departments and units in Trinity. Additional purchases available via preferred suppliers: https://www.tcd.ie/financial-services/procurement/suppliers/index.php This should assist all students in a teaching situation. It should also be noted that Statutory Instrument 296 of 2020 states the following reasonable excuses can apply (to not wearing a face mask):

  1. the person cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering -
    • because of any physical or mental illness, impairment or disability, or
    • without severe distress,
  1. the person needs to communicate with a person who has difficulties communicating (in relation to speech, language or otherwise),
  2. the person removes the face covering to provide emergency assistance or to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person,
  3. the person removes the face covering to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury,
  4. the person removes the face covering in order to, and only for the time required to, take medication,
  5. the person removes the face covering at the request of a responsible person, or of a worker, in order to enable him or her to ascertain the person’s age by reference to photographic identification for the purposes of the sale of goods or services in respect of which there is a minimum age requirement or where the responsible person, or worker, has lawful authority to verify the person’s identity, or
  6. the person removes the face covering at the request of a responsible person, or of a worker, in order to assist the responsible person or worker to provide him or her with healthcare or healthcare advice.

4. Other precautions/testing

4.1 What is the UniCoV project – safeguarding our campuses about?

Students and staff are invited to participate in the UniCoV project which is up and running. This pilot surveillance study is assisting in the detection of increased levels of COVID-19 across higher education institutes with the aim of facilitating the safe and sustainable re-opening of campuses. Please see more information here

4.2 What personal precautions should I be taking?

The best way to protect yourself is to practice social distancing (keep a space of 2 metres (6.5 feet) between you and other people where possible), wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Other sensible measures include turning your head away from people when you sneeze, using a tissue or your sleeve and disposing of tissues quickly. Wearing a mask in public places where social distancing is difficult is also recommended.

We realize that it is highly probable that the virus will spread despite all public health measures, and we will offer as much support as possible to any member of the college community that may contract the virus.

Should you have any particular concerns, please contact the HSE hotline on 1850 241850 for further advice.

4.3 Where can I access more health advice in relation to COVID-19?

Please follow advice published on the HSE website. Call HSE Helpline on 1850241850 in relation to risk of contracting the Coronavirus. Callers should press 1 when they are advised for coronavirus guidance. In the case of medical emergency, call 112 or 999.

4.4 What do I do if I have cold and flu like symptoms?

Stay calm. If you have a temperature take paracetamol. Rest in bed and take plenty of fluids.

Self isolate. Please see Self-Isolation and Self-Quarantine for advice on how to do this.

Ring the college Health Service - Tel 01 896 1556, or your own GP and they will talk to you and assess whether you meet the criteria for a swab test for COVID-19.

4.5 What do I do if I think I have been in contact with COVID-19/Coronavirus?

Self isolate. Please see Self-Isolation and Self-Quarantine for instructions. Ring the College Health Service 01 896 1556 or your own GP. They will organise a test if it seems appropriate. Please reserve 999/112 calls for medical emergencies.

4.6 Can I get tested for COVID-19 on campus?

Yes, the College Health Service, in collaboration with the HSE has set up a Covid 19 Testing Centre at House 51, adjacent to the College Health Service, for those students and staff who have Covid 19 symptoms or who are identified by Public Health as being close contacts of a positive case.

4.7 I have a medical condition and am concerned about attending Trinity, can I request that all of my course content be provided online?

While students are expected to attend their face-to-face teaching and learning activities some students with underlying medical conditions may request more or all of their course content to be provided online. Students in this position should contact their tutor and the Head of their Department or School. Each request will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis by the relevant School.


Public FAQs

1. Can the public access the campus?

On Friday 22nd October, Trinity’s grounds reopened to the public. Members of the public are asked to adhere to the health and safety precautions Trinity has in place at all times.

2. Can the public visit the Book of Kells?

The Book of Kells and Old Library Exhibition reopened to visitors on May 10th.

Additional information can be found here

3. What is Trinity doing to help the fight against COVID-19?

Many staff are involved in research and on the frontlines. See more here: https://www.tcd.ie/research/researchmatters/covid-19.php

Department of Health - Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Here are a few simple steps that can slow the virus down #ItsInOurHands #COVID19 #coronavirus