COVID-19 Policy

Last update: 17th May 2021

This Hacklab policy includes the measures we are actively taking to mitigate the spread of coronavirus and the steps you must follow if you wish to use the Hacklab facilities. The policy also details times when the Hacklab may require to close during the pandemic.

You are requested to follow all these rules diligently, to ensure a healthy and safe facility for our community.

This coronavirus (COVID-19) company policy is subject to regular review and changes with the introduction of additional governmental guidelines. If the policy is updated, the directors will update you as soon as possible by email to the members’ mailing list.

This policy is owned by the Edinburgh Hacklab directors with inputs from the reopening group and wider membership. Please email the directors with any questions or comments at


Edinburgh and most of Scotland is in Tier 2 from the 17th May. There is no longer a country-wide travel restriction within Scotland although local restrictions apply to Glasgow and Moray which remain at Tier 3. Due to the restrictions on indoor social distancing in business premises remaining at 2m, there are no changes from Tier 3 rules and the lab remains on a booking only basis. There is no restriction on the type of activity although where work can be carried out at home, it still should be.

We note that in-home restrictions in Tier 2 have been substantially reduced and members wishing to socialise may wish to consider arranging activities in their own homes and gardens.


This policy applies to all Hacklab users including members, guests, visitors and members of the public. It defines who may use the Hacklab premises and the procedures that must be followed before, during and after your visit to ensure the safety of our community.

Please note that we cannot completely eliminate the risk from COVID-19, however, we are doing all that is reasonably practical to reduce the risk.

Symptoms of Coronavirus

NHS Scotland provides a COVID-19 Symptom checker at Use this, or other materials provided by NHS Scotland, to keep up-to-date with the latest understood symptoms of COVID-19.

If you, a member of your household, or a member of your support bubble are experiencing any of the these symptoms then DO NOT VISIT THE HACKLAB and consult the NHS for advice.

The main symptoms to be aware of are:

  • A raised temperature - either you feel hot to touch on your chest or back, or a thermometer reads 37.8C or higher
  • A continuous cough - coughing a lot for an hour, or more than three episodes of coughing in 24 hours
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Core Principles

Our policy is based on the following core principles

  • Keep within the law, including closing when required to do so
  • Follow the latest government guidance that applies to creative spaces, studios and technology companies
  • Communicate and follow any requirements imposed by Summerhall
  • Risk assess activities
  • Advise users to keep their use of premises to essential use where possible and encourage “Hacking at Home”
  • Restrict occupancy through the use of a booking system to ensure 2m social distancing at all times
  • Introduce regular cleaning and ensure users maintain a clean and tidy facility
  • Enforce preventative measures (e.g. hand cleaning, mask use etc)
  • Carry out contact tracing should the need arise

What We Are Doing

The directors are taking a proactive approach to safety including

  • Carrying out and regularly reviewing risk assessments of activities
  • Keeping up to date with guidance
  • Providing hand sanitiser in all rooms and installed hot water to G1 for hand washing
  • Setting up a booking system to ensure a maximum capacity is maintained
  • Agreeing a regular cleaning contract with Daybreak and have supplied cleaning materials for members
  • Defining COVID-19 policy

COVID-19 Procedures

The following procedures apply to all users visiting the Hacklab premises. These rules are mandatory for all users of the space unless specified as optional or advisory in the text.

Who Can Use The Lab?

The rules for using the lab depend on the local tier applied in Edinburgh:

At Tiers 2 and 3:

The Hacklab will open to members and you must not bring visitors to the Hacklab or allow access to the public.

Where you would otherwise be lone working or require assistance with a project for health and safety reasons (e.g. manual handling) you may bring one member of your household (including any bubble) to assist you. You must ensure that the household member has read and agreed to this policy, provides contact details (in the instance that contact tracing is required) and that you book exclusive use of the room you are working.

If a non-member requires access for any other reason, please contact the Hacklab Directors.

Where some areas are in a different Tier to Edinburgh, travel restrictions may apply between regions. Please check current government guidance.

At Tier 1:

The directors will review policy. Significant changes are not expected until the 2m social distancing requirement is reduced/removed.

In the event of returning to Tier 4:

The lab will be closed to members as required by law. Members will be removed from the access control system to enforce this. For information on business restrictions, please see and the guidance for Creative Studios and Makerspaces at

A small number of exceptions apply, although where possible these activities must be carried out from home:

  • Hacklab management activities (e.g. risk assessment, maintenance, preparation for reopening, cleaning)
  • Production/manufacturing activity (e.g. if the use of the Hacklab provides you with an income and the activity cannot be done elsewhere)
  • Essential vehicle maintenance (e.g. bicycle or car repair)
  • Repair of equipment critical to the basic function of your home (e.g. replacing a plug on your microwave)
  • Recovering property from the storeroom
  • Manufacturing where the critical national infrastructure exemption applies (e.g. volunteering to manufacture face shields)

For clarity, any activities relating to leisure, entertainment or education are not allowed.

If an exception applies, please email the directors for access with details of why you need access and what times would be suitable. We will attempt to accommodate reasonable requests and ensure single occupancy of the rooms you need. The general rules on Tier 3 working (e.g. cleaning, ventilation, masks etc apply).

Before Your Visit

Please plan your visit carefully. As a Hacklab user you are responsible for managing your own risks and you may have specific health concerns making you more susceptible to COVID-19. You should consider the risks to yourself and whether your visit is necessary.


  • You must book your use of the lab before entering the premises and abide by room capacity limits
  • Do not attend the Hacklab if you are required to self-isolate or quarantine, or if you believe you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g. if you or a household member contracts Coronavirus, if contacted by Test and Trace or in the case of returning from travel)
  • You must scan the NHS test and trace posters to check in and check out of the Hacklab
  • Do not use the Hacklab for social meetups or entertaining. As an unstaffed venue, this will be reviewed in line with the in-home rules.


  • Consider how you will get to the Hacklab. Walking, cycling or car are lower risk than using public transport
  • Plan your work carefully as you must fully clear and tidy your work area before your booking ends
  • Consider bringing extra clothes as the Hacklab can be cold when windows are open for ventilation
  • Bring your own PPE
  • Consider installing the Protect Scotland app on your phone to provide Bluetooth exposure notifications.

How To Book

In order to safely manage capacity and avoid disappointment when travelling to the lab, a booking system has been implemented.

The booking system is available at and you can login with your normal Hacklab username and password. You can reset this password at

To ensure access to the lab is fairly available to all members, some limits have been set. If you believe you need to exceed these limits, contact the directors who can provide exceptions reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

  • You can only book a slot within the next two weeks
  • You are limited to a maximum of 10 hours of future reservations per week. This ensures fair use by preventing large blocks of bookings. As your bookings pass you can book more future slots, up to the 10 hour maximum.
  • You can only book 50 hours per month in total
  • Bookings have a gap between them to reduce exposure risk

Each room has a maximum safe capacity which must be respected to ensure 2m social distancing:

  • G1 (Main space) - Four people with access maintained for one person to use the kitchen/shop or pickup mail/printing at any time
  • G2 (Laser cutting) - Individual occupancy only (or two people from one household/support bubble)
  • G8 (Workshop) - Two people. Please note in booking if you need any specific machines to help coordinate
  • G11 (Storage, 3D printers and servers) - Individual occupancy only (or two people from one household/support bubble). When 3D printing, please book space in G1 if you need a work space to enable people to access the storage area.
  • G14 (Electronics) - Individual occupancy only (or two people from one household/support bubble)

All spaces must be booked with the exception for necessary/transient access to the kitchen, shop, printing, mail or storage.

For G8 we recognise that members who are at higher risk may require exclusive access to the room. You may book both areas if this is required. If you need an additional quota to do this then please let the directors know.

If you cannot attend you must cancel your booking as soon as possible to let others attend.

During Your Visit

When you arrive, please follow any one way systems or directions given by Summerhall staff. Access may be made through the side gate or by reception.


  • Wear a face covering on the premises at all times, unless you have a medical exemption. This includes within Summerhall corridors and communal areas. The rule applies within the work areas, even with exclusive use, to ensure the safety for the next user.
  • Sanitise or wash your hands on arrival. Hand sanitiser is provided, and soap and hot water are available in the G1 kitchen.
  • Scan the NHS test and trace barcode when you arrive and when you leave for Test and Trace.
  • Use your token on all doors, even if they are on the snib. This further logs your visit for contact tracing purposes.
  • Keep 2m from other users at all times unless they are a member of your household.
  • Open windows and turn on the ventilation fans (available in G1 and G8) to ensure rooms are well ventilated.
  • Please knock and stand back from a door if you need access to another room (e.g. for a tool or accessing storage). Leave enough time for the user to answer and respect room capacity limits.
  • Use single use or personal PPE where possible. Disposable earplugs are provided and all users may take one pair of safety glasses for their personal use (please keep in your storage box). Please contact the directors regarding Welding operations or the Grinding shields for a specific risk assessment and safe cleaning procedure.
  • Do not stay beyond your booking
  • Before leaving, fully tidy your work (take it home or leave it in your storage box) and clean your work area including any tools, equipment and PPE used
  • Close windows and doors at the end of your visit for security


  • Check your work area is clean before working. Cleaning products are provided if you wish to use them before starting work. Please email the directors if the area you have booked is untidy or unclean (with photos if possible). This helps us ensure accountability.
  • If someone without a booking is using the area, please safely ask them to clear up and leave and inform the directors.
  • If you require the toilet, ensure single occupancy and wash hands thoroughly after use
  • Regularly sanitise or wash your hands during the visit
  • Any waste, especially where it may be contaminated with bodily fluids (e.g. tissues, paper towels, bottles and cans) must be placed in the bins. Gloves and a mask should be worn when emptying bins and hands thoroughly cleaned afterwards
  • Avoid touching your face or face mask unnecessarily
  • Doors can be left open to increase ventilation and air the room while tidying
  • Leave plenty of time to clean and tidy your work area
  • Consider installing the Protect Scotland App on your phone.

In An Emergency

  • If you need to give first aid to another user, gloves and a mask must be worn. If possible, you should help the casualty to treat themselves while maintaining a distance. All incidents must be reported immediately to the directors.
  • In the event of a fire, please exit the building promptly by the nearest fire exit. Maintain 2m social distancing at the muster point

Please consider the additional risks of lone working and plan accordingly. We advise ensuring that someone knows when you are using the Hacklab and checking in with them when complete.

What To Do If Challenged

During this period, it’s possible that the Hacklab may be visited by officials to ensure complaince with the law, guidance and policies. These people may include the Police, Council Officers or Summerhall staff.

If you are challenged (and working within this guidance), explain that you are carying out permitted work in accordance with the Edinburgh Hacklab COVID-19 policy and refer any enquiry to the directors, providing the official with the email address. Ensure you ask the official for their name, contact phone number, email address and reason for their visit.

Please contact the directors immediately to note the visit and provide us with any details you can. We will liaise with the official for further guidance.

If you are asked to cease the activity and/or shut the lab then please follow these instructions and contact the directors.

Operating outwith this policy is at your own risk and members will be responsible for their own actions including any fines or penalties imposed (e.g. if found to be using the lab for a social gathering).

After Your Visit

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms in the 10 days following your visit you must email the directors to enable contact tracing to take place: You should also contact the NHS to arrange a test and further contact tracing.


We hope that all members will abide by these rules as they are designed to keep you and other members of the Hacklab community safe. It is forseeable that in some circumstances (perhaps due to carelessness, ignorance of the risks, or other factors), members may sometimes fall short of the expected standards of behaviour and cleanliness required to keep the Hacklab a safe space. We hope minor issues can be dealt with by informal reminders from other members.

In the event of more serious or repeated rule-breaking, the following procedures have been developed. Actions taken under these procedures is to ensure the safety of the Hacklab community and compliance with the law.

Minor Issues

We hope minor issues can be dealt with by way of an informal reminder from other users without any escalation.


  • Neglecting to wear a mask (unless exempt)
  • Entering a room at capacity
  • Hygiene issues
  • Minor social distancing failures (while wearing masks)

What to do:

  • In the first instance, remind other users of the expectations in this policy from a safe distance.
  • Inform the directors of refusal or continued breaches, or if you feel uncomfortable / unsafe.

Moderate Breaches

We operate a three-strikes policy with increasing severity. If you find issues such as housekeeping and tidiness when you arrive at your booking or if someone else is using the space, please email the directors (with photographs if possible).


  • Repeated minor breaches
  • Refusal to use the booking system
  • Next user finds room untidy/unclean
  • Leaving the premises unsecured (e.g. closing windows at end of the booking)

What to do:

  • Inform the directors

What the directors will do:

  • Investigate the situation (e.g. check door logs) and speak to users
  • In the first instance, remind members of the rules and gain agreement that they will comply in future
  • In the second instance, issue a final warning that behaviour must improve and any further incidents within a specified time will result in further action. The time period is at the discretion of the directors
  • A third breach will result in a temporary suspension of membership and removal from the access control and booking systems for a time at the discretion of the directors. Membership payments will not be due for any suspension longer than 1 month
  • On return, conditions may be issued to ensure improved behaviour. Continued non-compliance may result in termination of membership.

Serious Breaches

Any serious issues should be immediately brought to the directors as they may require rapid action. Access may be temporarily suspended pending an investigation


  • Blatant refusal to comply with COVID policies (e.g. large groups using the lab, parties, putting others in immediate harm)
  • Using the lab with COVID symptoms or while you should otherwise be isolating/quarantined
  • Serious breaches of COVID laws
  • Violence, abuse or harassment of other members or Summerhall staff/residents
  • Intentional endangerment of others

What to do:

  • Make yourself safe
  • Inform the directors immediately

What the directors will do:

  • Temporarily suspend access
  • Investigate the situation and interview those concerned
  • Take appropriate action
  • On return, conditions may be issued to ensure improved behaviour.