Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) update

The University of Melbourne continues to monitor the evolving novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) situation and is providing ongoing advice and support to students and staff.

Importantly, the University continues to follow the expert advice of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), which is consistent with the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer and Department of Health advice, and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) in relation to the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The University also receives advice from its own expert advisory panel.

According to the latest DFAT travel advice, based on updated advice from the Commonwealth’s Chief Medical Officer and the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC):

  • Foreign nationals (excluding permanent residents) who are in mainland China from 1 February, will not be allowed to enter Australia for 14 days from the time they have left or transited through mainland China.
  • Australian citizens and permanent residents will still be able to enter, as will their immediate family members (spouses, legal guardians or dependents only).
  • Australian citizens, permanent residents and their families who do enter Australia and who have been in mainland China will be required to self-isolate for 14 days from the time they left mainland China.

The Australian Government Department of Health has advised that individuals experiencing symptoms and/or have been in contact with a confirmed case of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) should arrange to visit their usual doctor for urgent assessment. They should telephone the health clinic or hospital ahead of arrival. Symptoms include (but are not limited to) fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath.

Acting Vice-Chancellor Mark Considine said: “The University is working closely with Australian and Victorian authorities on this matter and will continue to act on the advice from these authorities to maintain a safe and healthy environment for our staff, students and visitors to our campuses.

“The University is working with the Australian network of laboratories and public health networks and all appropriate authorities, including deploying our expertise and resources and the Peter Doherty Institute, to assist on this important health issue. We understand this is a difficult and stressful period for impacted students and staff and we are working hard to minimise disruption.”

The University continues to reach out to students impacted by this evolving situation noting the complexity of individual circumstances and situations. Summer examinations are proceeding as scheduled from 17 February, orientation activities will commence on 24 February and semester one will commence on 2 March as planned. The University will consider special arrangements for students impacted by this outbreak and should contact Stop 1 for further help.

The University will update its website as further information becomes available.