COVID-19 Update: 22 October 2021

Summary of Roadmap Settings – Greater Melbourne 

Eased public health restrictions came into effect State-wide from 11.59pm, Thursday 21 October. The key items are:

  • the six reasons to leave home and 15km travel limit have dropped 
  • for work – you must work from home. Workers who attend campus must be Authorised Workers only and must comply with the vaccination requirement under the Authorised Worker Scheme or have a valid temporary medical exemption 
  • for higher education – you must learn from home, on-site learning for hands-on, skills-based learning or examination (under the Authorised Worker Scheme)
  • masks must continue to be worn in all indoor and outdoor settings (unless medical exemption applies), including all workplace settings  
  • business functions/events are allowed subject to strict density and patron limits that vary depending on the setting (indoor/outdoor and seated/non-seated) 
  • physical recreation & community sport – fully vaccinated only, must be outdoor with a density quotient of 4 square metre, and capped at 50 
  • community facilities – fully vaccinated only, must be outdoor with a density quotient of 4 square metres, and capped at 50   
  • movement between Greater Melbourne and regional Victoria is restricted to specified purposes (see Authorised Worker list) but travel within the metro Melbourne has no restrictions
  • schools – return to staggered onsite learning for all grades from this Friday 
  • public gatherings are permitted for up to 15 people, including dependents with vaccination being strongly recommended 
  • private gatherings are permitted for up to 10 visitors to the home, including dependents with vaccination being strongly recommended 

Summary of Roadmap Settings – Regional Victoria 

Eased public health restrictions came into effect State-wide from 11.59pm Thursday 21 October. The key items are: 

  • there continues to be no restriction on reasons to leave home and no curfew 
  • for work – Work from home if you can. Otherwise you must comply with the vaccination requirements outlined under the Authorised Worker Scheme. Density quotient of 4 square metre applies with capacity limit of 25 per cent or cap of 10 (whichever is greater for office settings)
  • for higher education – students must learn from home if they can; on-site learning only for hands-on, skills-based learning or examination (under the Authorised Worker Scheme)
  • masks must continue to be worn in all indoor and outdoor settings (unless temporary medical exemption applies), including all workplace settings  
  • business functions/events are allowed but with density and patron limits that vary depending on the setting (indoor/outdoor and seated/non-seated) 
  • physical recreation & community sport – fully vaccinated only, indoors with a density quotient of 2 square metres, and capped at 30, outdoors with a density quotient of 4 square metres, and capped at 100 
  • community facilities – fully vaccinated only, indoors with a density quotient of 4 square metres and capped at 30, outdoor with a density quotient of 4 square metres, and capped at 100
  • movement between Greater Melbourne and regional Victoria is restricted to specified purposes (under the Authorised Worker scheme) but travel within regional Victoria has no restrictions
  • schools – all grades should have resumed full onsite learning by this Friday. 
  • public gatherings are permitted for up to 20 people, including dependents with vaccination being strongly recommended 
  • private gatherings are permitted for up to 10 visitors to the home, including dependents with vaccination being strongly recommended 

Staff and students based at our Sydney Campus should continue to follow New South Wales Government public health directions and updates from the local Sydney team. 

Implications for University activities across all Victorian campuses 

The University continues to work within the parameters of the Public Health directions and to consider and adjust its operational arrangements as these change. While the University is undertaking forward planning in anticipation of further gradual easing of settings, we cannot get ahead of the public health advice. We will continue to provide as much certainty as possible to students and staff. 

Authorised worker process

Permits are no longer required to be carried for individuals based in metropolitan Melbourne and Mildura. However, an Authorised Worker process and its requirements (including vaccination) will still apply. 

  • Staff will still require approval from their line manager to access our campuses or other sites. Evidence of their vaccination status will need to be provided to the University as part of this process (unless this has already been provided as part of the previous round of permits). Staff should speak with their School Manager or Business Unit Manager for details on how to upload their vaccination evidence 
  • A permit is still required for travel between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. 

Teaching and Learning 

  • Continuation of online learning: As previously advised, to provide some certainty for staff and students, all teaching that can be conducted successfully online will continue online until at least the end of Semester 2/Term 5 (21 October).  We continue to monitor the situation and will provide as much certainty about future arrangements as possible 
  • Students will receive information from individual subject coordinators and teachers (with details, Zoom links, etc.). The face-to face teaching that is permitted to continue on campus is very limited.  Students are requested to check their email and LMS for specific advice
  • Limited face to face learning activities and Placements: The Government’s list of learning activitiesthat can continue in face-to-face mode is unchanged. Authorised worker/student scheme remains in place for everyone engaged in those activities but the need to carry a permit has been removed. For students and staff travelling between either metropolitan Melbourne into regional Victoria, a permit will still be required. For more detail see the Permit FAQs. Students needing to travel in metropolitan Melbourne for placement should contact their placement team for further information 
  • On-campus learning and study spaces: for those students who cannot study at home, some on-campus study spaces, including library will be provided.  Additional cleaning of these rooms will be undertaken.  The list of study spaces is available in the FAQs. Students wishing to attend site for this purpose will still need to apply for access under the authorised worker/student scheme; see the Ask La Trobe website for more information 
  • Library services: La Trobe Library buildings remain open with expanded hours during our exam period to staff and students. ‘Click and Send’ services will continue to be available to students and academic staff who are unable to travel and require physical resources. Library supportservices remain available in alternative mode- see the Library Website  for detail of how to access library services  
  • Support services for students: For students who need support at any time, we’re here for you. Get in touch with the University’s Health and Wellbeing services.  All student support services continue to be available remotely, with face-to-face service available at regional campuses, that are not impacted by current restrictions, for selected services.   Face to face services at the Mildura campus will resume as soon as possible. Please check the ASK La Trobe webpage for live updates. 

 Placements 

  • Most placements can recommence, with COVID safe controls.  Students with queries about placements should contact the placement team 

Research activities 

  • The majority of researchers will need to work remotely, except if involved in ‘essential research’. Researchers must continue to access the campus under the Authorised Worker Scheme and must comply with the vaccination requirement under the Scheme or have a temporary medical exemption  
  • Essential research requiring site-specific access for experiments or studies can continue (this applies to staff, graduate researchers, Masters by Research, Masters by Coursework students with research projects and Honours students). Permission for staff, graduate researchers and research students is given by the Dean/Head of School or their delegate. Graduate researchers, Masters by Research, Masters by Coursework and Honours students cannot be compelled to attend campus and should have a discussion with their supervisor 
  • Graduate researchers, Masters by Research, Masters by Coursework students with research projects and Honours students should speak to their supervisor in the first instance before gaining Head of School approval 
  • Field work and work in third-party sites that is essential must meet La Trobe University requirements, the external site’s requirements and the State Government requirements. Individuals undertaking field work or attending third-party sites are required to comply with the relevant State Government Health Directions.. Speak to your line manager in the first instance. Permission can be given by the Dean/Head of School or their delegate. Authorised worker permits are required for travel from metropolitan Melbourne into regional Victoria. 

 Other activities 

  • Sports: On-campus indoor sporting facilities will remain closed, outdoor sporting facilities open to those who are fully vaccinated with density quotient and capacity cap 
  • Events:  As previously advised, Senior Executive Group has determined that all in-person University events are suspended (all campuses) until November.  The State Government has announced today that in-person events can resume in most of regional Victoria (exclude Mildura) provided participant numbers and other COVID safe arrangements are followed.  If you believe there is a regional campus event that has a compelling business reason to occur, please discuss this with your Head of Campus, in the first instance.  For general questions about events, please contact University Events at events@latrobe.edu.au 
  • Children’s Centre: remains open for children who are already attending, in addition: 
  • For metropolitan Melbourne, childcare is also open to children whose parents are fully vaccinated 
  • For regional Victoria, childcare is open to all children  

Keeping Campuses COVID-Safe 

Please follow general COVID safe measures:   

  • monitor COVID exposure sites that are frequently updated and follow the public health directions 
  • wear a face mask in all settings outside your home including all workplace settings, (unless a medical exemption applies).  See the Government rules about masks here  
  • practice good hand hygiene and cough etiquette 
  • maintain appropriate physical distancing  
  • if you feel even slightly unwell with respiratory symptoms, immediately self-isolate and call the Department of Health COVID hotline (1800 675 398) to find out how to get tested; then self-isolate and stay home until you receive the result.  This applies regardless of your vaccination status.  Even if you have been fully vaccinated, there is a risk you can still transmit the virus to other people 
  • if you are attending campus, sign-in to each building as you move around using the QR code system 

Notify the University 

under the workplace directions of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (Vic), staff and students must notify their tertiary education provider if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and may have attended while infectious. If you have been diagnosed or have been informed you are a primary or secondary contact of someone who has, please contact Spomenka Krizmanic the University’s Manager, Health Safety and Environment (0447 323 256).  This will ensure that actions can be appropriately coordinated within the University and with Government health authorities.  

If you become aware of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case amongst students, staff or a campus visitor, or are contacted by placement providers about possible exposures please immediately inform Spomenka Krizmanic 

Support for Students  

For students who need support at any time, we’re here for you. Get in touch with the University’s Health and Wellbeing services. Please check the ASK La Trobe webpage for live updates.