Coronavirus advice and information

Advice on site working during the COVID-19 pandemic (updated July 2021)

CIfA's advice is to follow the government advice in whatever region you are working in and for members and Registered Organisation to continue to include the risks to staff and the public from coronavirus as part of their risk assessments. CIfA continues to endorse Prospect's guidelines (updated 19 July 2021) for safe working on archaeology sites in the UK - read the latest guidance here. We also encourage archaeologists to use The Social Distancing for Archaeology (SoDA) Toolkit created by L - P : Archaeology with funding from Historic England. This contains a number of resources such as videos, signs and stickers, tool box talks and risk assessment workflow for archaeologists to use to get back to work and COVID-19 safe.

For the latest UK Governments' guidance please see:

See the links below for our full advice.

Standards and guidance advice

We have been contacted by members about the effects that the coronavirus pandemic is having, or has the potential to have, on working practices across the historic environment sector. As a result, we are sharing the following advice related to the potential impacts on working practices and concerns related to adherence to the CIfA Standards and guidance.

Impacts on archaeology in the UK planning systems

ALGAO UK and CIfA have published a statement on adapting to challenges to archaeology in the planning system. The statement notes that contractors and clients may need to adjust expectations as to whether work is possible at the current time. However, archaeology remains a necessary part of planning and pre-application evaluation requirements and on-site mitigation works necessary for the fulfilment of planning conditions are still expected to be completed as they would with any other planning requirements. Where works cannot be undertaken safely, in accordance with professional standards, and to the level necessary to satisfy planning rules these works may need to be delayed. 

We encourage members to closely consult with your local authority archaeologist and to consider what alternative options could be appropriate, for example delaying the work or changing methodology/approach for the best project outcome. 

Ongoing actions to support members and Registered Organisations during the COVID-19 pandemic

We know that this is an incredibly stressful and uncertain time for our industry and want to offer our support where we can. Please download the document from the link below to read the immediate actions CIfA has taken so far. The include changes to applications for concessionary subscription rates and accredited application fees

CIfA events and meetings

CIfAs current programme of events, including our annual conference for 2021, are being held online. Whether you are working from home or self-isolating at the moment its important to keep up to date with the latest developments and continue to develop and expand your knowledge of archaeology and the heritage sector. If you are in a position to add to your CPD during this time we have some suggestions that might be useful

Guidance for employers and businesses

We would encourage employers, as some Registered Organisations have already done, to inform staff of any contingency plans you have in place and to make them aware of your policies in relation to self-isolation and the payment of sick pay/salaries. We understand that any requirements for self-isolation/sick leave could place a significant financial burden on individuals and businesses, but we hope that employers will continue to pay staff during this time.

CIfA is welcoming feedback from members on the support measures and other challenges facing businesses due to Coronavirus. Please click here to get in touch with us.

Self-employed individuals

Other resources

The Heritage Alliance have created a live hub of links for advice and support from a wide range of sources.

The CBA have created a Coronavirus archaeology resource hub with varying resources which offer support and guidance.

Built Environment Forum Scotland has collected a list of resources from organisations in Scotland.

Soldieron is offering free support to help archaeologists facing redundancy

Latest coronavirus information

Health services have further information on the symptoms of coronavirus and on how to reduce the spread of infection 

Governments are releasing daily information about the spread of coronavirus