Updated 13 February
What is the current situation?
The Australian government announced people who have visited or transited through mainland China will be banned from entering Australia from 1 February.
Australian citizens, permanent residents and members of their immediate families will be exempt from the ban but will continue to be asked to self‐isolate for 14 days from their date of departure from China.
The Government has also imposed a ban on all travel to mainland China.
The situation will be reviewed on 22 February, but we have to be prepared for the possibility that the ban may extend well beyond that date.
What study arrangements are in place for La Trobe students still in China?
This state of affairs is potentially very disruptive for our many new and returning students from China. We are working to put in place every possible measure to minimise disruption to their study.
Following the announcement of the travel ban, we have started to examine the potential to deliver online study options to all affected students for as long as they are unable to travel to Australia.
We shall deliver a personalised study plan to each affected student as soon as possible, outlining the best way each of them can resume or commence their studies.
We will also offer orientation activities online; and we will ensure all affected students receive intensive face-to-face support once they are able to enter Australia. You will appreciate that none of us yet know when this will be.
These unique circumstances will require the University to be flexible and creative in order to be able to support commencing and continuing students from China.
How does the COVID-19 (coronavirus) impact students not directly affected?
For students not directly affected, semester one will commence as planned on 2 March, with orientation prior.
While cases have been identified in Australia, current advice from health authorities is that the risk of contracting the virus is low. Australia is well-prepared to respond to these situations.
Your health and safety, and that of our student community, remains our number one priority.
The University is continuing to closely monitor the situation around the continued spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and we are taking advice from the relevant authorities, including the Australian Government’s Department of Health, DFAT Smart Traveller and the World Health Organisation.
We are temporarily suspending all travel to China and all staff and students returning from China must remain at home or isolate yourself in your residence for 14 days and follow the health advice of the Department of Health.
If you have been in contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19 (coronavirus), you must isolate yourself at home or in your residence for 14 days and follow the health advice of the Department of Health, closely monitoring your health for any symptoms. If you develop symptoms, please call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398.
If you have concerns about the impact on your studies please contact:
For advice on travelling to other countries, please monitor the DFAT ratings advice on their Smart Traveller site.
If you suspect you may have COVID-19 (coronavirus), please call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398. Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.
We advise all students to make themselves aware of the information and updates available from the Department of Health about COVID-19 (coronavirus) on the Department of Health website.
We also want to make students who may be planning to travel to China aware of the travel advice from Smart Traveller from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
What is this virus?
Coronaviruses can make humans and animals sick. Some coronaviruses can cause illness similar to the common cold and others can cause more serious diseases, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
The virus seen in Wuhan, China is called ‘novel’ because it is new. It has not been detected before this outbreak. Most people infected live in, or travelled to, Wuhan, China. There have been cases of 2019-nCoV reported in other Chinese provinces and other countries. It is likely that the virus originally came from an animal, and there is now evidence that it can spread from person-to-person.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms can include fever and cough, sore throat, or shortness of breath.
If you suspect you may have COVID 19 (coronavirus), please call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398. Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.
How do I protect myself from viral infections?
It is also a timely reminder of the importance of following hygiene principles to prevent the spread of any communicable illnesses.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Alternatively, sneeze or cough into your inner elbow.
- Dispose of used tissues into a plastic-lined rubbish bin immediately after use.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth as infections spread that way.
- Not share eating utensils, food or drinks.
- Clean surfaces regularly, such as bathroom sinks and taps, kitchen sinks and counters.
- Don’t go to work if you are unwell and don’t send your children to school or childcare if they are unwell. Seek medical attention.
The University will continue to monitor any advice issued from the relevant Government authorities.