University operations under alert level 2

From Thursday 14 May, New Zealand is in alert level 2, bringing significant changes to university operations.

The page was last updated on 4 June 2020.

The University campuses are open.

Students in both non-catered and catered halls of residence are now able to return.

Guidelines on how COVID-19 alert level 2 will be operationalised at the University are available below.

Students returning to campus

Teaching will remain online for Trimester 1 2020. However, the University is encouraging students to return to campus to study and participate in safe on-campus activities. These include additional special interest lectures, seminars to enhance academic skills, tutorials and other learning activities for some courses, face-to-face office hours, and controlled social activities.

The University is following a specific set of public health control guidelines, which include contact tracing processes and physical distancing measures. We will be managing the capacity of all spaces, including lecture theatres, to ensure there is enough room for students and staff to maintain appropriate physical distancing of 1m inside where practical. Course coordinators will work with students to ensure they know what opportunities are available on campus for them.

All courses will continue to be delivered online in Trimester 1, and any student who is vulnerable, for example, has health issues, or cares for a vulnerable person, should continue to study from home. The wellbeing of all students, is of the utmost important to the University.

You can find out more about accessing your Faculty on the Faculty office opening hours page.

Stay away if unwell

Students must stay away from campus if unwell, have any COVID-19 symptoms, are in isolation, or are awaiting COVID-19 test results.

Anyone that becomes ill should remain at home and must seek medical advice through Healthline—0800 611 116—or Student Health / their GP.

If you are required to self-isolate and be tested for COVID-19

Any student who is required to self-isolate and undergo COVID-19 testing after receiving medical advice should let Mauri Ora (Student Health and Counselling) know. We need this information as part of our contact tracing protocols—to ensure we can capture information about where the person has been, what activities they have engaged in, and who they have met with during their time on campus.

If a COVID-19 test is positive, the area the student has been in will need to be thoroughly cleaned before people can return.

Getting to and from campus

Many students rely on public transport to travel to and from the University. Although normal bus and train timetables have resumed in the Wellington region, a range of physical distancing and safety measures are in place to protect bus drivers and passengers. You can keep up to date with news on Wellington public transport on Metlink's website.

This may well mean your journeys to and from the University are slower than anticipated, and accommodations will be made for any students using public transport arriving to class on campus late.

Returning to halls of residence

Students in our non-catered halls of residence will be able to start returning from this Thursday 14 May, and those in our catered halls of residence can return from Monday 18 May.

Our accommodation is professionally managed, and we are confident it provides a safe, secure, and hygienic environment. We have implemented a range of COVID-19 related assurance procedures including working with student health to manage unwell students, isolation, physical distancing, and upgraded cleaning and hygiene.

Safety measures include restricting social events with external visitors and restricting the size of in-hall social events. This will be managed and contact tracing guidelines will be implemented.

Students need to maintain physical distancing of one metre, and there will be staggered meal-times, with students spaced appropriately.

Being on campus

All campus areas are available to students and staff, but there are two general rules which need to be followed at all times:

  1. Contact tracing—the Ministry of Health requires the University to keep detailed records of every individual who attends or visits its premises under COVID-19 alert level 2. We will provide you with more information on Thursday.
  2. Physical distancing—you will need to stay 1 metre apart (minimum) from others as much as possible in buildings, and 2 metres outdoors.

Security and Campus Care may indicate that you are not maintaining appropriate physical distances. Recognise that they have your safety in mind, and that you will need to remedy this immediately. Security and Campus Care will also ensure that no more than 100 people are in common spaces at any time. Use your good sense—if the space looks full, move to different shared space.

Contact tracing

The Ministry of Health requires the University to keep detailed records of every individual who attends or visits its premises under COVID-19 alert level 2. This is crucial, and there will be protocols for students to follow. Find full information on the contact tracing page.

Accessing Te Aro campus

We have put in place measures to ensure everyone’s safety at each campus across the University. Sometimes this means we are required to shut down rooms within campuses. Here are the details for Te Aro campus:

  • All studios will be open except 1st year WG101. Can first year students please use the atrium and student common room. Some computer labs too compact for use will be closed. Many studio computers will also be disabled for COVID-19 physical distancing purposes.
  • Shared spaces including high touch areas, and technology and workshop shared equipment will be cleaned frequently.
  • The Te Aro campus and library opening hours are 8 am–5 pm Monday to Friday, and 10 am–5 pm on Saturday for all students with 'student hours' cards. (Staff and thesis students with 24/7 access will retain 24/7 access).
  • The Technical Resource Centre Shop (VS004) and the Faculty IT office (VS224) will be open 10 am–3 pm weekdays

Only currently enrolled WFADI students are allowed on Te Aro campus— no visitors, no other students, and no friends. This is for everyone’s protection.

Looking after yourself and others

Our cleaners will maintain additional cleaning processes on campus, but students must maintain their own personal hygeine to a high standard.

We ask that students follow these rules:

  1. Follow the physical distancing guidelines.
  2. Stay at home if you are unwell.
  3. Regularly clean your hands—either with sanitiser and allow to air dry, or with soap and water, taking care to dry your hands thoroughly.
  4. Disinfect and clean any workspace/s you might be using, such as a shared keyboard, desk, and any other equipment you regularly use.
  5. Complete what is required for contact tracing while you are on campus.


Additional cleaning of high-contact surfaces—like door handles, handrails, push plates, taps and tables—will continue, and there will be additional bathroom cleaning. All buildings that are currently unoccupied will receive a deep clean and full sanitation before they re-open. ‘Fogging’, a procedure to sanitise areas to hospital grade, will be carried out in unoccupied areas or after hours, in line with cleaning procedures.

Fixed hand sanitiser dispensers will be provided in common areas and we will refill these as required.


As well as continued access to online services, at alert level 2 the Library is open for students. On the Kelburn campus, the library is open Monday to Friday between 8.30 am and 8 pm.

Libraries on the Pipitea and Te Aro campuses are open 8.30 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday.

All campus libraries are open 10am to 5 pm on Saturday, and are closed on Sunday.

The click and collect/courier service will continue, and inter-library loans will resume between New Zealand and Australia initially.

There will be subject librarian support available during the week at each campus.

Full details, including how to access click and collect and click and post will be available on the Library website.

Student services

Student services are planning for how they will operate during alert level two and what services will be available on campus. We will be sharing updates on the student services page.


Campuses and other research spaces will re-open, and there will be a phasing back to face-to-face operations over time, with a heightened level of safety.

Further information for research students will be available on the postgraduate research student web page.

Shops on campus

Retailers manage their own space and will ensure there are no more than 100 guests in their shop at one time. There is no counter service at cafés, so things will operate a little differently when you go and get your morning coffee. There will be marked out spaces where there are likely to be queues.

The retailers open include: VicBooks in Kelburn and Rutherford House, Wishbone, The Lab, Milk & Honey, Louis, Freeman’s Lotto, University Pharmacy.

Faculty offices

Contact your Faculty office with questions about your degree courses and help with other academic matters. Your Faculty office is the first place you should contact to discuss all queries or concerns related to your study. You can find out more about accessing each Faculty on the Faculty opening hours page.

Further information

This page will continue to be updated, and the COVID-19 pages for students in New Zealand, those based overseas, and for postgraduate students have been updated. If you have queries about specific classes, please contact the course coordinator or Faculty office.

Download the full guidelines: