The University is closely monitoring the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus and its impact on students and staff.

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Update: the University's response to COVID-19

A travel ban remains in place in New Zealand for people coming directly from or transiting through China, in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus.

On 28 February the travel ban was extended to foreign nationals coming from Iran.

The exception continues to be New Zealand citizens or permanent residents but they must self-isolate for 14 days on arrival if they have come from China or Iran. They are also asked to register with Healthline within 24 hours of arrival. Call 0800 358 5453 to register.

The travel restrictions will be in place initially under 3 March and will be reviewed every 48 hours.

In addition, people travelling from or via Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Singapore and Thailand who develop symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath are advised to seek medical advice by phoning Healthline on 0800 358 5453 or their GP.

Enrolment for affected students

The University is encouraging all students affected by COVID-19 travel restrictions to continue to enrol and we will be in touch with you about online options to continue your studies. New international students will be contacted directly by the International team with an invitation to enrol online. The University will extend enrolment dates and start dates. If you are a new student and do not receive an invitation to enrol by this Friday 28 February, contact .

No financial penalty

There will be no financial penalty for students affected by the travel restrictions who are unable to pay their fees on time. The University will try to accommodate late enrolments into as many programmes as possible. Any students affected by the virus who need to defer their studies will be fully refunded any tuition or accommodation fees they have already paid.

If you are an international student already in New Zealand and not affected by the travel restrictions, the date for fee payment remains fixed at 28 February 2020.

Visa implications

Immigration New Zealand has provided advice for students affected by the recent travel ban here.

Returning students already on a student visa can contact for questions about renewing their visa.

Students with additional questions are advised to contact Immigration New Zealand directly.

For specific coronavirus-related immigration queries, contact the Immigration Contact Centre on 0508 225 288 (within New Zealand) or +64 9 952 1679 (outside New Zealand).

Domestic and permanent residents affected by the travel restrictions

We know that some domestic students and students who are permanent residents have been affected by the travel restrictions and may be unable to start on time. The University will be as flexible as possible to make sure you are able to continue with your studies.

Student Health has set up a generic email address for any students who have travelled recently and have any health questions – However if you are unwell, please ring Student Health on (04) 463 5308.

There is also a dedicated Ministry of Health 0800 number for coronavirus-related health inquiries – 0800 358 5453 (or + 64 9 358 5453 from overseas). This number is free to call 24 hours a day and interpreters will be on hand to help with translation.

If you have concerns about your studies or issues other than health, please call the University information line on 0800 04 04 04 or email and they will refer your inquiry to the right person.

Health advice

The Ministry has detailed information about self-isolation. The key protective message is good hygiene such as washing your hands and covering your mouth or nose when sneezing or coughing.

It is normal to feel stressed or lonely when self-isolating. For support with anxiety or mental wellbeing, you can call or text 1737 free at any time and talk to a trained counsellor.

If you are a student and are concerned about your health, ring Student Health on (04) 463 5308. Staff with health concerns are advised to phone their GP practice for advice. Inquiries can also be made to the Ministry of Health’s dedicated 0800 number for coronavirus-related health inquiries – 0800 358 5453.

We have rolled out a campaign to emphasise basic hygiene, with digital screens, social media posts and posters in all the bathrooms on campus. Supplies of hand sanitiser and wipes have been distributed across all three campuses. We are putting hand sanitisers outside all lecture theatres in time for the start of Trimester 1, and cleaners will be doing thorough cleans on a higher rotation than is usual.

To protect your health:

  • Stay home if you are unwell and phone Student Health, your GP or Healthline
  • Follow best practices with hand washing and personal hygiene
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • Throw used tissues in a lined bin

To help reduce congestion in student administration areas, the University is encouraging students who want to add or drop a course to do so online rather than in person at their Faculty office. You can find the information here.

Recording lectures

Lectures and seminars are being recorded during Trimester 1 to assist students affected by the travel restrictions. These will include both lecture or seminar content and any class discussion. The recording will be made available on Blackboard to students enrolled in the course.

University procedures

The University has robust and up-to-date procedures in place to manage events of this type, and our response can be scaled up as necessary. We are working with Wellington University International, our Accommodation Service, and other areas of the University to ensure full information and pastoral care is provided to new and returning students as well as staff on how to manage any flu-like illness in our community.


The University is following the guidance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade advice and advising New Zealanders not to travel to China. Any staff planning travel will need permission.

The impact of COVID-19 in different countries is changing rapidly so anyone planning travel should be aware of the latest information.

Useful travel information can be found here.


This is an evolving scenario and updates will be provided on this website and through the University’s social media channels. The Ministry of Health now has a dedicated Facebook page and twitter feed for specific coronavirus alerts.

Useful links

Ministry of Health – updates

Ministry of Health – self-isolation tips

Ministry of Health – Facebook updates

Immigration New Zealand – visa information

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