Illness in a hall of residence

Find out about preventing the spread of contagious illnesses in the halls including information on self-isolation and dining arrangements if you are unwell.

This page was last updated on 20 April 2023.

Keeping you safe

Preventing the spread of infectious diseases is an ongoing focus in our communal living environment. The safety of our hall community is everyone’s responsibility, and we are all doing our part to keep our community safe.


In line with the Government guidance, hall residents and staff are no longer required to be vaccinated for COVID-19, however we still strongly recommend residents are vaccinated against the virus.

As the University continues to monitor the country’s response to COVID-19, we will share important updates with hall residents via email and the hall Facebook page. The University will post any key announcements on the University Facebook page.

Disease prevention

All residents are asked to follow these public health measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases in our halls:

  • Follow government guidance for mask wearing. In halls, mask wearing is a personal choice.
  • We strongly recommend you keep up to date with boosters for COVID-19 and the flu vaccine.
  • Wash your hands and use hand sanitiser frequently.
  • You may wish to use the medical-grade sanitising wipes provided to clean surfaces between uses. You can use these on any surface that is commonly touched, for example in the bathroom or laundry. You can collect more wipes from the hall office.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Stay in your room if you are sick, and let staff know via the duty phone immediately.

We will provide residents with safety equipment as needed, such as masks, sanitiser and wipes, RAT tests and the use of an isolation bathroom.

Self-isolating in a hall of residence

If you test positive for COVID-19 you will be required to self-isolate in your room for 7 days from when your symptoms first appeared.

Breaching isolation requirements puts both staff and other students in the community at significant risk of contracting COVID-19. This is particularly serious for those members of our community who are at higher risk of severe illness.

We offer a range of support to students who need to isolate in our halls.

  • If you get sick you should let hall staff know by calling the duty phone.
  • Hall staff will check on unwell residents regularly and can provide you with a RAT test and help you with any specific needs.
  • Staff will check if you are well enough to self-manage heating your own meals, or if you need help.

If you have to isolate in a hall of residence:

  • You are required to wear a well-fitting N95 or surgical mask when you open your door, and any time you leave the room and move around the hall.
  • You should remain in your room, and only leave for a legitimate reason. This may be to use the isolation bathroom, to attend a medical appointment, or have a short period of fresh air outside.
  • In a catered hall you will be delivered a multi-day breakfast pack, this means you can have breakfast when you wake up—and you won’t be disturbed if you are sleeping.
  • You can order your lunch and dinner on the Time2Eat app. Lunch will be delivered to your room and staff will check how you are getting along. Your meal will be labelled for you in the common room fridge to reheat, or delivered hot if needed.
  • You may also use the laundry at set times. These times will be on your hall Facebook page.
  • You are encouraged to open your window as much as possible.
  • You may socialise with other COVID-19 positive residents in your hall.
  • You must use the isolation bathroom if you have tested positive for COVID-19. These bathrooms are indicated on each floor.

If you want to return home to isolate you can do so, so long as you follow government and Regional Public Health advice regarding travel.

Dining arrangements during an outbreak

If there is an outbreak of an infectious disease in a hall, we will take advice from Regional Public Health and dining arrangements may be shifted to split dining.

Any changes to dining arrangements will be specific to the nature of the infectious disease and Regional Public Heath advice at the time.

For more information read our COVID-19 isolation pack letter (PDF).

Students at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19

If you have any concerns about your safety, please work with your GP or specialist to ensure you understand your level of risk and ask for specific advice about living in a communal environment where we are living with COVID-19.

Students who have told us that they are at higher risk of severe illness have been placed in rooms away from main walkways in order to reduce their exposure to infection from fellow residents.

We recommend that you register with Mauri Ora, our on-campus Student and Health Counselling service, who can support you locally. Our Student Service Coordinators will support you to manage your mental health and well-being as you adjust to University life and living in student accommodation.

Other services that all students can access at University include Te Amuru—Disability Services and Manawa Ora—Student Wellbeing.

You can read the Government’s advice for people at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.