Novel Coronavirus FAQ

The University of Western Australia is closely monitoring developments surrounding the novel coronavirus outbreak and its impact on the UWA community.

Updated: 24 Feb 2020 4:35pm

This is a rapidly developing situation and it will continue to be closely monitored by the University. UWA has a response team in place and we are taking active, precautionary measures to increase our response measures as needed.

Our highest priority is the safety of our students and staff and the following is provided by advice from:

The University continues to operate as normal and our academic calendar is unchanged, with Semester 1 commencing on 24 February.

These FAQs will be updated as new information comes to hand and we will support our students and staff, in Australia and overseas as this situation unfolds.

On this page

    Digital learning FAQs

    We have committed to ensuring that any disruption to your education at UWA is minimised, and are implementing UWA EDUFlex, a digitally-supported learning model to enable this.

    Information for students

    Latest updates

    On 19 February Australia's Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly, advised the following:

    • Any students who have travelled to other countries from mainland China to see out the 14-day travel exclusion period, and who have had no recent contact with people with COVID-19 (formerly known as the novel coronavirus infection), will be welcomed to Australia.
    • Students who have spent more than 14 days in another country after leaving mainland China do not require quarantine, as long as they have not had contact with a confirmed case.
    • Universities and students must still be vigilant and cautious to ensure their safety and the safety of all students and staff.
    • Students arriving on campus must report any new or persisting respiratory symptoms as quickly as possible, particularly those students who have recently travelled through Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and Thailand.
    • Any person who does develop COVID-19 will be cared for in an Australian hospital.
    The following arrangements still remain in place
    • Australia will deny entry to anyone who has left or transited through mainland China in the last 14 days, with the exception of Australian citizens, permanent residents, and immediate family members of Australian citizens and permanent residents including spouses, minor-dependants and legal guardians.
    • Australian citizens who have left or transited through mainland China in the last 14 days must isolate themselves for 14 days from the date of leaving mainland China.
    • People who have had close contact with a proven case of novel coronavirus must isolate themselves for 14 days from the date of last contact.

    Travel restrictions for countries (including Australia), may change without notice. The Department of Home Affairs has provided the following fact sheet for further information for students:


    On Thursday 20 February the Federal Government announced a one-week extension of the current travel restrictions. The University remains committed to ensuring any disruption to students' education at UWA is minimised and has designed a number of student-centric solutions.

    This week we contacted affected students to advise them of the following options:

    Flexible study
    Students arriving in Perth by 31 March

    Students can start their studies via a blended learning model on 24 February, with lecture recordings and other remote delivery techniques giving them access to the first four weeks of teaching. When they arrive in Perth, we'll work with them on a study plan to ensure they can progress in time for the start of Semester 2 on 27 July (subject to achieving satisfactory academic standards). We will work with them on a unit-by-unit basis to deal with any assessment issues that might arise from their late arrival.

    Students arriving in Perth for Semester 2 (27 July)

    We will aim to provide students with a study plan that enables them to catch up on course content and still graduate according to their original schedule. This applies to all students, including those on special pathway programs, who are not scheduled to graduate at the end of Semester 1 or Semester 2, 2020. We are still working on solutions for students on a special pathway program who were due to graduate at the end of Semester 1, 2020, and we will contact them separately.

    We are working on the possibility of continuing to deliver units to students via a blended learning model throughout the remainder of Semester 1. If this is not possible we will find other ways for students to catch up on content. In such a situation their individual study plan may include:

    • Completing two units in an intensive flexible learning mode, and then catching up on other units once they arrive in Perth
    • Completing the first four weeks of four units in a flexible learning mode, and finishing these units through face-to-face classes in Perth during non-standard teaching periods
    • Cross-institutional enrolment as appropriate
    • Summer and/or winter catch-up units (this may require them to stay in Perth outside of standard semester dates)
    Flexible enrolment

    We understand the situation is changing rapidly. Affected students will be able to withdraw without academic penalty until the end of semester. Any fees incurred would be credited towards future study at UWA.

    For further information on UWA's response activities please read more below.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. General health advice

    1.1 - What is this virus?

    Coronaviruses are a type of virus that can affect humans and animals. Some coronaviruses cause illnesses similar to the common cold and others cause more serious illnesses, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

    The virus originating in Hubei Province, China, is called ‘novel’ because it is new. It had not been detected before this outbreak. Most people infected live in, or travelled to, Hubei Province, China. There have been cases of COVID-19 reported in other Chinese provinces and other countries.

    1.2 - What are the symptoms?

    The virus can cause a variety of symptoms and it can take up to 14 days for symptoms to show after a person has been infected.

    Symptoms can range from mild illness to pneumonia. Affected people may experience:

    • fever
    • flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and headaches, fatigue
    • difficulty breathing

    Difficulty breathing is a sign of possible pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention. If you have serious symptoms (such as shortness of breath):

    • Call 000 and ask for an ambulance (this will work even if you don’t have phone credit); and
    • Tell the ambulance officers that you may have novel coronavirus infection
    1.3 - Is Australia affected?
    • There are confirmed cases of coronavirus in Australia.
    • The Australian Government Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Brendan Murphy said there was no need for alarm in Australia. He said Australia has well-established procedures to ensure people with illnesses travelling into the country are detected at the border. Additional measures for passengers travelling directly from Wuhan are in place.
    1.4 - What if I have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 in the last 14 days?

    If you have been informed by the Department of Health that you have been or are in close contact with a confirmed case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and have developed symptoms, you are not to attend University. Isolate yourself at your place of residence for 14 days from the time you left and:

    • Remain alert to symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness (including shortness of breath and fever).
    • If you develop symptoms immediately contact a healthcare provider by telephone (not online), and inform them of the travel history and your symptoms.

    Do not attend a medical centre, clinic or surgery in person without an appointment. This is to enable reasonable precautions to be put into place for your visit and reduce risk to other patients.

    1.5 - What if I have developed symptoms within 14 days of being in China or after contact with someone who has COVID-19?

    If you develop symptoms (fever, a cough, sore throat, tiredness or shortness of breath) within 14 days of leaving mainland China, or within 14 days of last contact of a confirmed case, you should arrange to see your usual doctor for urgent assessment. You should:

    • NOT attend a University campus but isolate yourself at your place of residence.
    • Immediately contact a healthcare provider by telephone (not online), and inform them of the travel history and your symptoms.
    • Your doctor will test you for COVID-19 and provide advice on management. You will also be contacted by Public Health officers who will provide you with more information.
    • Please also contact the University and advise us of your circumstances.

    Do not attend a medical centre, clinic or surgery in person without an appointment. This is to enable reasonable precautions to be put into place for your visit and reduce risk to other patients.

    If you have serious symptoms such as shortness of breath:

    • Call 000 and ask for an ambulance (this will work even if you don’t have phone credit); and
    • Tell the ambulance officers that you may have novel coronavirus infection.
    • You are NOT to attend a University Campus until your medical practitioner informs you it is safe for you to do so.

    The Australian Department of Health has also provided information for travellers arriving in Australia from China. This resource includes information about what to do if travellers from China experience symptoms while in Australia.

    If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, you will be treated in an Australian hospital.

    1.6 - I am at UWA. What should I do to protect myself from infection with Coronavirus?

    You should take reasonable precautions in relation to your own health and interaction with others in line with current advice from the Department of Health:

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water before and after eating as well as after attending the toilet.
    • Avoid physical contact with others (including touching, hugging and other intimate contact).
    • Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
    1.7 - What should I do if I have travelled through Hubei Province in the past 14 days?

    From 1 February 2020 all travellers arriving out of mainland China (not just Hubei Province) will be asked to self-isolate for a period of 14 days from the time they leave mainland China.

    1.8 - I have not been in Hubei Province. Do I need to be isolated when I arrive in Australia?

    From 1 February 2020 all travellers arriving out of mainland China (not just Hubei Province) will be asked to self-isolate for a period of 14 days from the time they leave mainland China.

    1.9 - What does self-isolate mean?

    People who must be isolated should not attend public places, in particular work, school, childcare or university. Only people who usually live in the household should be in the home. Do not allow visitors into the home. There is no need to wear masks in the home. Where possible, get others such as friends or family, who are not required to be isolated, to get food or other necessities for you. If you must leave the home, such as to seek medical care, wear a surgical mask if you have one.

    More information is available on the Department of Health website.

    2. Travel advice

    2.1 - What should I do if I have recently travelled to or from the Hubei Province in the past 14 days?

    From 1 February 2020 all travellers arriving out of mainland China (not just Hubei Province) will be asked to self-isolate for a period of 14 days from the time they leave mainland China.

    2.2 - Can I still travel to China on UWA business?

    Presently the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has raised the travel advice to Hubei province to the highest precautionary level, Level four: Do Not Travel.

    Therefore the University has suspended all travel to China for UWA business.

    There is no requirement to travel internationally for University business if you do not wish to.

    We also understand staff may be travelling to and from Australia and transiting through Hong Kong. It is the University's recommendation that you remain within the airport terminal for the duration of your transit.

    Future travel advice for University business will be based on advice from DFAT. See www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/asia/china.

    We ask that you also continue to monitor the situation throughout your journey through Healix and Smartraveller and maintain good hygiene practices by:

    • avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections
    • frequent hand-washing, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment
    • avoiding close contact with live or dead farm or wild animals
    • travellers with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands)
    2.3 - How can I protect myself while travelling internationally?

    The World Health Organization's standard recommendation is to reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses by improved hand and respiratory hygiene, and safe food practices:

    • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
    • When coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue, throw tissues away immediately and wash hands.
    • Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough.
    • If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider.
    • When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals.
    • The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.
    More information
    Healix
    http://www.safety.uwa.edu.au/topics/emergency-medical-and-travel-assistance
    Smartraveller
    https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/asia/china

    Contact UWA Safety Health and Wellbeing directly at safety@uwa.edu.au if you have other travel concerns or queries

    2.4 - What should I do if my travel plans have been impacted by the current travel restrictions across China?

    If your travel plans to return to Australia have been impacted by any of the travel restrictions in place in China, please contact the University at info@uwa.edu.au. We have resources in place to support you if you are not able to make orientation or classes due to the travel restrictions, or if you have other concerns.

    2.5 - How can I protect myself while travelling in China?
    Presently DFAT has raised the travel advice to Hubei province to the highest precautionary level, Level four: Do Not Travel.

    Therefore the University has suspended all travel to China for UWA business.

    The University is requesting those already in China on UWA business to return home as soon as possible.

    Please contact info@uwa.edu.au if you are in China and have concerns in this regard and we will direct your query appropriately.

    If you are currently in China, the World Health Organization's standard recommendation is to reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses by improved hand and respiratory hygiene, and safe food practices:

    • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
    • When coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue, and throw tissues away immediately and wash hands.
    • Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough.
    • If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider.
    • When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals.
    • The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.
    2.6 - How long will the restrictions be in place?

    The Federal Government has announced this measure is temporary and will be reviewed in mid-February. We expect this will be reviewed regularly by both government and health advisers, and UWA will be closely monitoring this situation. More information is available from the Department of Home Affairs.

    3. UWA operational

    3.1 - Is UWA still open?

    Yes – UWA is still operating as normal. We are working with Federal and State agencies for the latest advice to ensure the safety of the UWA community. The Australian Department of Health has published an information sheet for students and staff of universities and vocational education facilities about novel coronavirus.

    3.2 - Can I attend University and participate in campus activities?

    From 1 February 2020 all travellers arriving out of mainland China (not just Hubei Province) will be asked to self-isolate for a period of 14 days from the time they leave mainland China.

    In the following scenarios you can not attend your university, higher education or vocational education facility:

    • If you have travelled from Hubei Province within the past 14 days, you must isolate yourself until 14 days have elapsed after leaving Hubei Province.
    • If you have left, or transited through, mainland China on or after 1 February 2020 you must isolate yourself until 14 days after leaving China.
    • If you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of novel coronavirus, you must isolate yourself for 14 days after last contact with the confirmed case.

    In the following scenarios you can attend your university or vocational education facility:

    • Students who have travelled from other provinces of mainland China (and have not been in Hubei province) who arrived prior to 1 February 2020.
    • Students who have only been to Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

    By way of example:

    • If someone left the city of Wuhan in Hubei Province on 22 January 2020 he/she is required to isolate until 6 February 2020.
    • If someone left Shanghai on 28 January 2020 and comes to Australia via another country on 3 February 2020, he/she would not be required to isolate (as he/she left China before 1 February 2020).
    • If someone left Beijing on 3 February 2020 and arrived in Australia the same day, he/she would be required to isolate for 14 days, until 17 February 2020
    3.3 - I have an event on campus with international attendees. Do they need to self-isolate?

    International attendees only need to self-isolate for 14 days after leaving China if they have travelled through any part of mainland China since February 1 2020.

    4. Future and commencing students

    You are a commencing student if you have accepted an offer to study at UWA in Semester 1, 2020. If you are a commencing higher degree by research (HDR) student, please see category six for information relating to HDR studies.

    4.1 - I’m worried I might not be able to start my studies at UWA as planned. What should I do?

    We understand this may be a difficult time, and we'll work with you to ensure that any impact on your studies is minimised (see information below).

    If this current situation is causing you some anxiety, please reach out to our Counselling and Psychological Service team. They can provide you with free and confidential emotional support, including via phone or videoconferencing.

    4.2 - I have an offer to study at UWA in Semester 1, 2020 but haven't accepted yet. What do I do?

    You can accept your offer to study at UWA with confidence. We know some students may be unable to attend Orientation or start of classes. We’re planning for this and will support all students to make a smooth transition to study at UWA (please see below).

    4.3 - If I enrol, pay fees and cannot commence my studies in Semester 1, 2020, am I eligible for a refund?

    If you were in China on 1 February and coronavirus-related travel restrictions have prevented you from travelling to Australia by 31 March to commence your Semester 1 2020 study then we will give you credit towards a future study period or you can apply for an exceptional circumstances refund with no financial penalty.

    4.4 - I am commencing study but concerned that I’ll miss the start of semester. Can I start late?

    We encourage you to enrol in your units and start planning your studies. We are looking at a variety of options to support you if you are not able to make it to campus for the start of semester. We will provide details for specific courses soon, but in the meantime, here are some general guidelines for classes running in Semester One.

    If you can arrive in Perth by 31 March

    You can start your studies as usual on 24 February, with lecture recordings and other remote delivery techniques giving you access to the first four weeks of teaching. When you arrive in Perth, we’ll work with you on a study plan to ensure you can progress in time for the start of Semester 2 on 27 July (subject to achieving satisfactory academic standards). We will work with you on a unit-by-unit basis to deal with any assessment issues that might arise from your late arrival.

    If you can arrive in Perth for Semester 2 (27 July)

    We aim to provide you with a study plan so you can catch up on course content and still graduate according to your original schedule. This applies to all students who are not scheduled to graduate at the end of Semester 1 or Semester 2 in 2020.

    We are working on the possibility of continuing to deliver to you via a blended learning model throughout the remainder of Semester 1. If this is not possible we will find other ways for you to catch up on content, in such a situation your individual study plan may include:

    • completing two units in an intensive flexible learning mode, and then catching up on other units once you arrive in Perth
    • completing the first four weeks of four units in a flexible learning mode, and finishing these units through face-to-face classes in Perth during non-standard teaching periods
    • cross-institutional enrolment as appropriate
    • summer and/or winter catch-up units (this may require you to stay in Perth outside of standard semester dates)

    If you would like personalised advice, please contact info@uwa.edu.au or call +86 400 120 0259 (toll-free number within China) or +61 1800 518 018 (toll-free number within Australia) 10am and 4pm (AWST).

    If you need help enrolling, please submit a query at AskUWA.

    4.5 - I'm worried about missing Orientation. What should I do?

    We understand travel is uncertain at the moment and not all students are able to join us on campus for the Orientation period. If you can't make it, don't worry; we will work with you to help you transition to study at UWA. We can assure you that the University is undertaking every step to ensure that students who are impacted by the travel restrictions are provided with a comprehensive orientation program. This will be delivered both through online content and also through a special program currently in development.

    We guarantee that all students who arrive after the scheduled orientation period will receive an inclusive orientation program that will contain the same information our students on campus will receive. There will also be a number of activities scheduled to orientate you to WA campus and to Perth. Our teachers understand that some students will be commencing late and will prepare resources and support to help you get on track with your studies. We are committed to assisting you with course advice, enrolment and timetable support to ensure that once you arrive, you feel supported. We can also arrange for you to be linked with a UniMentor from your course who can answer lots of questions and provide insight as a student studying here at UWA.

    We encourage you to log into the Unistart website to ensure that you are accessing all of the steps in preparation for your arrival in Perth. The website provides lots information regarding the support and services for students who are new to the campus. There are a number of activities, for example organising your campus card, that you can start before you arrive. Information regarding our special orientation program for late-arriving students will be available soon and will be communicated to students.

    Once you do know your travel plans, please make sure that you register for the UWA airport pickup service and our service will meet your flight at the airport and transport you to your accommodation.

    4.6 - I want to defer my studies. What can I do?

    You can defer your studies to a future study period in 2020 or 2021 without penalty.

    • If you have not commenced the acceptance process, then the deferral can be lodged at UWA Apply. On the application dashboard, you will be given the option to “Accept, Defer or Decline”. Select “Defer” and follow the prompts.
    • If you have started but not completed the acceptance process, please cancel the acceptance and then select “Defer” on the application dashboard.
    • If you have completed the acceptance process and have paid your fees, please email admissions@uwa.edu.au for assistance.
    4.7 - I can no longer start and want to withdraw, what can I do?

    We hope we can help you make it to UWA. However, if you have decided that withdrawing is the best option, please email admissions@uwa.edu.au for assistance. If you are withdrawing because you were in China on 1 February and coronavirus-related travel restrictions have prevented you from travelling to Australia by 31 March to commence your Semester 1 2020 study, then you can apply for an exceptional circumstances refund with no financial penalty.

    5. Continuing Students

    You are a continuing student if you are continuing studies in your current course of study. You were enrolled in 2019 or had approved leave. If you are a continuing higher degree by research (HDR) student, please see category six for information related to your studies.

    5.1 - I am returning to study but concerned that I’ll miss the start of semester. Can I start late?

    We encourage you to enrol in your units and start planning your studies. We are looking at a variety of options to support you if you are not able to make it to campus for the start of semester. We will provide details for specific courses soon, but in the meantime, here are some general guidelines for classes running in Semester 1.

    If you can arrive in Perth by 31 March

    You can start your studies as usual on 24 February, with lecture recordings and other remote delivery techniques giving you access to the first four weeks of teaching. When you arrive in Perth, we’ll work with you on a study plan to ensure you can progress in time for the start of Semester 2 on 27 July (subject to achieving satisfactory academic standards). We will work with you on a unit-by-unit basis to deal with any assessment issues that might arise from your late arrival.

    If you can arrive in Perth for Semester 2 (27 July)

    We aim to provide you with a study plan so you can catch up on course content and still graduate according to your original schedule. This applies to all students, other than those scheduled to graduate at the end of Semester 1 or Semester 2 in 2020.

    We are working on the possibility of continuing to deliver to you via a blended learning model throughout the remainder of Semester 1. If this is not possible we will find other ways for you to catch up on content, in such a situation your individual study plan may include:

    • completing two units in an intensive flexible learning mode, and then catching up on other units once you arrive in Perth
    • completing the first four weeks of four units in a flexible learning mode, and finishing these units through face-to-face classes in Perth during non-standard teaching periods
    • cross-institutional enrolment as appropriate
    • summer and/or winter catch-up units (this may require you to stay in Perth outside of standard semester dates)

    If you would like personalised advice, please contact info@uwa.edu.au or call +86 400 120 0259 (toll-free number within China) or +61 1800 518 018 (toll-free number within Australia) between 10am and 4pm (AWST).

    If you need help enrolling, please submit a query at AskUWA.

    5.2 - If I enrol, pay fees and cannot commence my studies in Semester 1, 2020 am I eligible for a refund?

    If you were in China on 1 February and coronavirus-related travel restrictions have prevented you from travelling to Australia by 31 March to start your Semester 1 2020 study, then we will give you credit towards a future study period or you can apply for an exceptional circumstances refund with no financial penalty.

    5.3 - I am concerned about my student visa. What happens if I can’t attend classes or need to extend my completion date?

    We will work with you to find the best study plan and provide you with a new electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCOE) to fit revised plans if required.

    The Australian Department of Home Affairs manages visas and is providing information on this, and staff are aware that the travel restrictions are having a broad impact. You can read further information here:

    5.4 - I have an exam and can't return. What do I do?

    We have organised an additional exam period that is scheduled from 21 February 2020. If you are unable to attend your currently scheduled exam because of the novel coronavirus outbreak, then we will work with you to reschedule to this period in the first instance.

    If you have travelled from China in the past 14 days, or been in contact with someone diagnosed with coronavirus, then you should not attend your exams or campus. Instead, you should plan to attend the additional exam period from 21 February.

    The Exams Office has written to all students who have an exam scheduled with information and is requesting information from you regarding your preferred exam period.

    If you have not received this email or have further questions, please contact us at: info@uwa.edu.au.

    5.5 - I’m anxious about my studies at UWA due to the impact of coronavirus. Who can I talk to?

    We understand this may be a difficult time, and will work with you to ensure that any impact on your studies is minimised (see information above).

    If this current situation is causing you some anxiety, please reach out to our Counselling and Psychological Service team. They can provide you with free and confidential emotional support, including via phone or videoconferencing.

    5.6 - Who can I talk to if I’m worried about family or friends in China?

    We understand many of our student community have family and friends in China, and we recognise that you will be worried about them. If you feel anxious. Please reach out to our Counselling and Psychological Service team. They can provide you with free and confidential emotional support, including via phone or videoconferencing.

    6. Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students

    6.1 - My offer is for a Higher Degree by Research but I cannot commence my studies in Semester 1, 2020. Am I eligible for a refund?

    If you were in China on 1 February and coronavirus-related travel restrictions have prevented you from travelling to Australia by 31 March to commence your Semester 1 2020 study then we will give you credit towards a future study period or you can apply for an exceptional circumstances refund with no financial penalty.

    Please contact the Graduate Research School admissions-grs@uwa.edu.au for personalised advice. We can make special arrangements, including deferred commencement, for most HDR students, and most HDR courses have flexible start dates.

    6.2 - I am commencing study but concerned that I’ll miss the start of semester. Can I start late?

    We can make special arrangements, including deferred commencement, for most HDR students. Please contact the Graduate Research School directly via admissions-grs@uwa.edu.au for personalised advice.

    6.3 - I'm worried about missing Orientation. What should I do?

    We provide ongoing orientation opportunities for HDR students throughout the year and would be pleased to welcome you to one of those when you arrive.

    6.4 - I want to defer my studies. What can I do?

    We can make special arrangements, including deferred commencement, for most HDR students. Please contact the Graduate Research School directly for personalised advice: admissions-grs@uwa.edu.au.

    6.5 - I can no longer start and want to withdraw, what can I do?

    Please email admissions-grs@uwa.edu.au for advice.

    6.6 - I am enrolled in a Higher Degree by Research Program and I am in China, not able to return to Australia by the approved date. Whom should I contact?

    We understand travel is uncertain at the moment and not all students are able to join us on campus for the start of semester. If you can't make it, don't worry; we will work with you to help you transition to study at UWA. We are committed to supporting you and your UWA education. This includes extending your leave, if necessary, until we can welcome you back. 

    You should contact your Coordinating Supervisor and the Graduate Research School via pghelp@postgraduate.uwa.edu.au to let us know where you are and how best to contact you. We will remain in touch with you until the situation is resolved.

    7. Current and prospective staff

    7.1 - I am currently in China. What do I do from here?

    Presently DFAT has raised the travel advice to China to the highest precautionary level, Level four: Do Not Travel. The University’s paramount concern is the health and safety of our community. In light of DFAT’s travel advice, the University is currently unable to guarantee that you will have a safe working place in China. As a result, the University cannot authorise any employees to alter their existing working arrangements to work remotely from China.

    If you are in China and would like our assistance to leave, please contact info@uwa.edu.au.

    Alternatively, if you are in China and choose to stay, you will need to utilise one or more of your leave entitlements. To discuss your options please contact info@uwa.edu.au.

    7.2 - What should I do if my work travel plans have been impacted by the current travel restrictions across China?

    Presently DFAT has raised the travel advice to China to the highest precautionary level, Level four: Do Not Travel. Therefore the University has suspended all travel to China for UWA business.

    Please speak to your manager if you have any concerns about travel restrictions impacting upon your work arrangements.

    7.3 - I am an employee and I have recently returned from China. What should I do?

    From 1 February 2020 all travellers arriving out of mainland China (not just Hubei Province) will be asked to self-isolate for a period of 14 days from the time they leave mainland China.

    Affected employees will not be able to attend the workplace during the 14-day isolation period and should contact their Manager immediately to advise them of the situation. To understand what is meant by ‘isolation’, affected employees should refer to the Department of Health home isolation guidelines and seek further advice from their medical practitioner if required.

    Affected employees will be asked to provide reasonable evidence (such as passport stamp, or travel itinerary) of their recent travel and will then be able to access personal leave, short leave, annual leave and / or leave without pay for the 14-day isolation period. Subject to approval by your Manager, you may also be able work remotely from your home.

    7.4 - What if I develop symptoms of the coronavirus?

    If you develop symptoms (fever, a cough, sore throat, tiredness or shortness of breath) within 14 days of leaving mainland China, or within 14 days of last contact with a confirmed case, you should arrange to see a medical practitioner for urgent assessment. You should:

    • NOT attend a University campus
    • isolate yourself at your place of residence
    • immediately contact a healthcare provider by telephone (not online), and inform them of your travel history and your symptoms
    Please also contact your Manager immediately and advise them of your circumstances.

    Affected employees will be asked to provide reasonable evidence (such as a medical certificate) and will then be able to access personal leave, short leave, annual leave and / or leave without pay for the duration of their illness.

    7.5 - I have applied for a job at the University. Will my application be considered?
    The University is still operating as normal.

    However, the University recognises that the coronavirus outbreak and resultant travel restrictions may impact the ability of some job applicants to attend selection activities such as interviews.

    The University regularly uses audiovisual software to facilitate online interviews for job applicants who aren’t based in Perth and this will continue. Should you be invited for an interview, a member of the Talent Acquisition team will be in touch to arrange a convenient time for an online interview.

    7.6 - What happens if I cannot start work on the commencement date outlined in my contract of employment?

    As a result of the travel restrictions in place due to the coronavirus outbreak, we appreciate that your travel plans may have changed, or may need to change in the coming days or weeks. This can be unsettling and the cause of concern. We would like to reassure you the University will work with any affected employees or prospective employees to minimise any impact.

    New employees impacted by the coronavirus and / or travel restrictions should contact their Talent Acquisition Adviser.

    7.7 - Is my work visa application affected?

    There may be consequential processing delays at the Department of Home Affairs to permanent or temporary visa applications lodged by persons who are located in China. Other flow-on effects may be that applicants in the region may have difficulty obtaining police clearances, undertaking English language exams and undertaking health exams as businesses and government departments may limit operations due to the coronavirus outbreak.

    The University acknowledges the challenges that new employees may experience in processing visas from China and will work with managers and new joiners to minimise the impact. Affected new employees should contact info@uwa.edu.au.

    7.8 - I am concerned about coming to work due to coronavirus. What steps can I take?

    Employees who are not affected by coronavirus are required to attend work as normal.

    You should take reasonable precautions in relation your own health and interaction with others in line with current advice from Department of Health:

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water before and after eating as well as after attending the toilet.
    • Avoid physical contact with others (including touching, hugging and other intimate contact).
    • Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
    7.9 - I am feeling anxious and stressed about the situation, what should I do?

    If you are feeling anxious or suffering stress about this situation please take the opportunity to use the University employee assistance program.

    8. Student residences

    8.1 - Will my student residence allow me to arrive?

    Yes. Subject to the arrangements with your college or residence, as well as UWA recommendations and Australian Government travel advice. Please contact your residence for more information.

    9. Media enquiries

    10. Where can I get more information?

    10.1 - External resources
    10.2 - UWA resources

    For other travel concerns or queries contact UWA Safety Health and Wellbeing directly at safety@uwa.edu.au or visit UWA Emergency Medical and Travel Assistance

    For updated security, travel and medical advice related to coronavirus, contact Healix 24/7:

    Phone:
    + 61 731 649 532
    Email:
    uwa@healix.com

    General enquiries number for students and staff

    • Please email us at info@uwa.edu.au.
    • An information line is in place for students located in Australia – call +61 1800 518 018 between 10am and 4pm (AWST time) for assistance.
    • Our number for those calling from China and other international locations is +86 400 120 0259 (when prompted, choose option 2). Call between 10am and 4pm (AWST time) for assistance.

    IT support for students enrolled in digitally-supported units

    • Please contact our IT support team at IT-servicedesk@uwa.edu.au.
    • Students in China and other countries can call +86 400 120 0259 (when prompted, choose option 1). Call between 8am and 5pm (AWST time) for assistance.
    • Students who are required to self-isolate within Australia can call 08 6488 7335. Call between 8am and 5pm (AWST time) for assistance.

    The situation surrounding coronavirus health and travel advice is dynamically changing and the above information may change at short notice.

    View staff and student messages from UWA in response to the coronavirus