Students in Halls of Residence

Information about COVID-19 vaccination, masks, self-isolation, dining arrangements during an outbreak in a catered hall, and how we can support you.

This page was last updated on 3 June 2022.

The COVID-19 Protection Framework is in effect – all of Aotearoa New Zealand is currently at orange. Public health measures apply.

If you are unwell: stay at home, study remotely where possible, and contact your faculty office if you are concerned about any impact on your academic programme.

You must wear a mask at all times while indoors on campus, including during teaching and learning activities. Spare masks are available if needed.

Vaccine mandates

The University vaccine mandate is no longer in place, so students, staff, contractors and visitors no longer need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to enter our campuses or take part in face-to-face University activities.

Our halls currently have a separate vaccination mandate in place. Students and staff in our halls will be required to show evidence they have been fully vaccinated before moving in.

Learning more about the University's COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Isolating in a hall of residence

We offer a range of support to students who are currently isolating in our halls.

If you get sick you should let hall staff know by calling the appropriate duty phone number. Hall staff will check on unwell residents regularly, and can help you with specific needs, including with RAT tests.

If you are isolating in a hall of residence:

  • You should remain in your room at all times and only leave to attend a medical appointment, use the bathroom, or have a short period of fresh air outside.
  • You are encouraged to open you window as much as possible.
  • You are required to wear a surgical mask when you open your door to receive a meal or when you leave the room for a legitimate reason.
  • You must use the isolation bathroom if you have tested positive for COVID-19. These bathrooms will be indicated on each floor.
  • You will receive 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.

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

Dining arrangements during an outbreak

If a large number of students are self-isolating due to COVID-19 infection at the same time, the dining arrangements in catered halls will be shifted to split dining. This means:

  • Isolating students will be allocated an earlier dining time. At this time they will be able to serve their own meal from the lunch and dinner buffet in the dining hall and take that meal back to their room to eat.
  • Isolating students will receive a breakfast pack to eat in their room.
  • Meals will be delivered to those who are not well enough to collect their own. Room-delivered meals can be ordered on the Food4Me app.

Students who are self-isolating

If you are isolating due to COVID-19 infection and are feel able to collect your meals, you should:

  • Put on a surgical mask, sanitise your hands, and close your window before you leave your room.
  • Sanitise your hands, scan your QR code on your Food4Me app when you collect your meal, and maintain a 1.5 metre distance from others.
  • Leave the dining hall within 15 minutes having collected your meal.

After isolating residents have collected their meal, the dining hall will be closed for cleaning before continuing with normal dining arrangements for all other residents.

Students who are not self-isolating

If you are not self-isolating—and you're feeling well—you can:

  • Come to the dining hall for breakfast—it will be the normal dine-in service.
  • Eat in the dining hall at lunch and dinner, which will be at a time after that allocated for meal collection by self-isolating students.
  • Remember to socially distance and wear your mask unless you are eating.
  • Don't come to eat while self-isolating students are collecting their meals.

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

These measures have been discussed with, and are supported by, Regional Public Health.

Further information about isolating with COVID-19 in halls

Isolation requirements

At present the Government is trying to limit the spread of COVID-19 by setting out a number of legal requirements in Public Health Orders. Residents who have symptoms as well as those who don’t have symptoms but have been exposed to COVID-19 and test positive are required to remain at their place of self-isolation throughout the 7-day period, except when undertaking essential/permitted activities like getting a COVID-19 test or going for a medical appointment.

The student’s day 0 starts from the day they start showing symptoms, not the day they took a test. If the student does not have symptoms, their day 0 starts the day they took the test.

Residents who test positive are encouraged to make a list of people who may be close contacts, so that the close contacts can self-monitor for symptoms for the next 7 days.

Uploading result to MyCovid record

Residents who test positive for COVID-19 must upload their result online to MyCovid Record as soon as possible, or call 0800 222 478 for assistance. This is an important way through which their health provider is alerted to the fact that the resident is unwell.

You must also upload your test result if its negative.

Please fill out this form for the University if you have received notification of a positive COVID-19 test result or are a household contact.

Forming bubble buddies and getting exercise

As per recent advice from Regional Public Health, COVID-positive residents in a hall can make a bubble with one other COVID-positive resident from their floor. To minimise movement in the corridors, we have recommended that the resident visit their bubble buddy twice a day and follow standard protocol: wear a face mask, use hand sanitiser, and close the window.

As per updated advice from Regional Public Health, residents who are isolating are able to go out of the hall for fresh air and exercise every day. Residents can time this with their bubble buddy so they can go out at the same time for about an hour. Students must sanitise their hands and wear their (hall-provided) N95 mask as they leave and return to the hall. They are also advised to maintain physical distancing of 1 metre from other people and not to use any shared exercise facilities.

Coming out of isolation

All symptomatic residents are required to isolate for 7 days. Residents who are completely symptom-free or have diminishing symptoms at the end of 7 days (and no sooner) can come out of isolation and go back to their usual activities including dining in the dining hall. Residents who have worsening or new symptoms after the 7-day isolation period must remain in isolation, contact Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice and keep the hall staff informed.

Keeping you safe

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

All students are asked to follow these public health measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our halls:

  • Follow government guidance for mask wearing—we strongly recommend residents wear masks when moving through any common area in accommodation buildings, including lifts, common rooms, office, and foyer areas.
  • Wash your hands and use hand sanitiser frequently.
  • Use the medical grade sanitising wipes provided between bathroom uses. You may use these in the laundry or on any commonly touched surface you wish. 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 immediately.

Students who are unwell must make contact with the duty phone as soon as possible. The safety of our hall community is everyone’s responsibility, and we are all doing our part to keep our community safe. 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.

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.

Further information about how we are currently operating