Coronavirus: travel ban update 3 February 2020

The health and wellbeing of our students, staff, and the wider community is our top priority as we continue to respond to the global outbreak of coronavirus. We are contacting new and returning students in China to provide support and advice following the Government ban on foreign nationals travelling from or via mainland China.

We also reassure all students that UC is open and for most students the start of year and O-Day will proceed as normal.

Travel update for students who have recently been in China

 The New Zealand Ministry of Health (MoH) yesterday announced travel restrictions on people travelling from, or through China, to Aotearoa New Zealand. So if you are not a resident of Aotearoa New Zealand, you won’t be able to enter the country, at least for the next 14 days. This restriction will be reviewed every 48 hours.

This is challenging for our students impacted and UC is working hard to support them.  We will be providing online enrolment for those who can’t enrol in person and looking at extending arrival dates on campus. We acknowledge that the Government and relevant ministries are actively reviewing the situation, so whilst we provide the below as guidance it could be subject to change.

What about students who are impacted by travel restrictions on their arrival at UC?

We have sent direct emails to impacted students.  The completed forms are helping us prepare options, and we thank you for completing those forms promptly.  We continue to work with Immigration NZ and industry bodies, and hope to provide more information to you tomorrow about clearer timing.

This is a very difficult time for students impacted and we are doing everything we can to work through possible ways to accommodate study options at UC in 2020. For those who are delayed, provision will be made for lecture capture and online study options, altered assessments and additional tutorials will also be put in place to ensure you are not disadvantaged.

What about students who have already arrived here from China?

Existing travellers already in New Zealand who arrived or transited from mainland China after 19 January should refer to previous advice. Self-isolation for people who arrived before 2 February only applies if they have been in Wuhan City or Hubei Province.

This is a difficult time for our overseas students and staff who have already recently arrived from China, and whom have voluntarily isolated themselves for 14 days. We extend our support and care to them during this period with understanding and compassion. Homestay and private students are in self-isolation with support and advice from UC. Students in UC accommodation are also being supported self-isolating.

 Will Orientation Day go ahead?

Orientation Day on 14 February is going ahead as planned. The start of semester 1 and academic year is going ahead as planned.  Additional management plans are in place to encourage good hygiene practices, including the provision of hand sanitiser.

 What happens next?

UC’s strategic response group and operations group are meeting daily to plan and implement appropriate action and advice for our staff, students and stakeholders.  Thank you for your patience as we negotiate this challenging situation.

Creating an inclusive, safe and welcoming community is our priority right now. We welcome your thoughts on how we can continue to do so.

Please refer your any questions related to coronavirus to UCprotect@canterbury.ac.nz.

International students can also access support via the International team at iro@canterbury.ac.nz.

Have a voice! Tell us what you're thinking...