Guidelines for Access to Research Facilities & Buildings

General Guidelines

Updating Covid-19 Response Plans

Updating Covid-19 Response Plan for UCC Research Facilities

Covid-19 Response Plan: Guidance on Content - Coversheet/Introduction

See the Template Covid-19 Response Plan-Access to Research Facilities, available at Templates and Resources for Research Continuity.

  • Include the name/location of your research facility
  • The revision number of the Covid-19 Response Plan (ie Revision 1/2/3 etc.)
  • The author/s of the Covid-19 Response Plan 
  • Details of Covid-19 Response Team and Persons of Responsibility
  • Details of Lead Worker Representatives
  • The name, authorised - Head of School/RICU, or where delegated the Head of Department/equivalent, 
  • Contents (list contents of the Covid-19 Response Plan, and associated documentation).
  • Resumption of Activities Checklist
  • A Signed Statement of Assurance from the Head of Unit
  • A Policy Statement (see, National/Institutional Policies & Guidance).

COVID-19 Risk Assessment - should be updated and included as part of your Covid-19 Response Plan documentation. 

Covid-19 Response Plan: Guidance on Content - Main Body

See the Template Covid-19 Response Plan-Access to Research Facilities, available at Templates and Resources for Research Continuity.

The main body of the Covid-19 Response Plan should include the following details, which should be updated to reflect changes in institutional/national policy, see  and institutional guidance, see Latest Updates for Research Continuity and Emergency Management Team-Teaching Delivery, Research, and On-Campus Activity

  • Covid-19 Infection Control Measures
    • Infection Control Measures, including provision of PPE, hand sanitisation and hand washing facilities, cleaning materials.
    • Cleaning: Both professional and regular/daily sufficient sanitisation by research personnel of touch points, shared facilities, bench/desk areas.
    • Regular cleaning is the responsibility of all researchers/personnel to clean commonly used surfaces (touch points) and shared equipment.
    • Research facilities should be cleaned by professional cleaners on a daily basis.
    • Commonly used surfaces, shared equipment are to be visibly clean and cleaned regularly with products containing 70% ethanol, except in areas in and around Bunsen Burners.
    • Virkon should not be used as it is an irritant.
    • Shared equipment should be cleaned with 70% ethanol before and after each use.
  • Social distancing requirements
  • Face mask requirements
    • Strongly recommended to continue to wear facemasks, see Latest Updates for Research Continuity.
    • See HSE Guidelines on Face Masks
    • Face Visors are not acceptable substitutes for Face Masks, but some research protocols may require the use of face visors in addition to masks.
    • Researchers must wear face masks in communal areas and where circulating the building.
  • Preparing for and dealing with a suspected case of Covid 19
    • Detail accordingly, including managing and supporting individuals to exit the building, or if the person cannot leave the building straight away, detaile the measures in place to escort the person to/from the isolation room.
    • Location of isolation room/s, access/egress routes (building/isolation room).
    • Reporting procedures.
  • Breaks and Eating
  • Managing congregational areas
    • Congregating in eating areas and commonly use areas such as foyers, corridors etc. must be avoided. 
    • Management of commonly used areas and facilities: toilets, corridors foyers, photocopiers, locker area, eating facilities etc. must be outlined.
  •   see details below on this page.
  • Meetings
  • Recording Daily Access to Facilities *no longer required
  • Additional health & safety arrangements – waste management, managing dangerous occurrences onsite.
  • Car Park Arrangements *no longer required


Desk-based research, write-up areas, office spaces

Covid-19 Response Plans should include a section relating to desk-based research/office work, as necessary.

Face masks and desk-based research:

See Latest Updates for Research Continuity for guidance on facemasks and physical distancing.

In detailing this section, include the following considerations (applying as necessary):

  • Capacity & Ventilation
  • Clearly outline the cross-infection protocols in place for desk-based research activities.

Visiting Researchers

Management of visiting researchers (and protocols) should outline the following, as necessary: 

  • Visiting researchers include:
    • Research Students from other HEIs
    • Visiting Researchers form other institutions/organisations/industry
    • Visiting Researchers from abroad
  • These protocols should detail who is the UCC personnel responsible for ensuring that visitors are made aware of and adhere to Covid-19 protocols and measures in place.
  • Visiting Researchers, should be appropriately insured. Note, it is no longer a requirement for visitors to undertake Induction Training and complete a Return to Work Form.
  • International Visitors:


Research and Innovation

Taighde agus Nuálaíocht

Office of Vice President for Research & Innovation 4th Floor Block E, Food Science Building UCC