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

International students can also access support via the International team at

Coronavirus update: UC’s Response

Kia ora koutou,

Today the World Health Organisation (WHO) raised coronavirus to a “global public health emergency”, mainly to assist countries that might not be as well prepared for an outbreak. It is important to note there are no reported cases in Aotearoa New Zealand.

UC is closely following Ministry of Health (MoH) recommendations. In Christchurch our District Health Board has plans in place to deal with any cases should they happen.

You may have seen our updates about the coronavirus here on UC’s Insider’s Guide blog, the LEARN platform, the UCGO app, UC’s Facebook and Twitter and the UC website

UC is following our Emergency Management Plan. Some of the measures we have implemented include requesting self-isolation for travellers arriving recently from Wuhan or Hubei, or who have possibly been exposed to the virus. All UC-related travel to China and Hong Kong by staff or students is suspended until further notice.

UC Health Centre Medical Director Dr Allardyce was interviewed by Professor Ekant Veer. She talks about taking sensible precautions and also about using face masks if you have an illness. It is likely that masks will also be used as a preventative measure at UC. So if you see someone wearing a face mask, don’t panic, it doesn’t mean they necessarily have an illness, they could be simply aiming to protect themselves.

A note about face masks – they are not as good at preventing infection as the standard hygiene precautions, explained below. Face masks do play a role in reminding people to practice standard hygiene precautions, and they can also provide comfort for some people.

Standard hygiene precautions:
Everybody should follow the basic principles of hygiene and cough etiquette to reduce the risk of getting a respiratory infection or passing it onto others. This includes:

  • regularly washing hands (for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap and dry thoroughly)
  • covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze
  • staying home if you are sick
  • avoiding close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms
  • if you feel unwell you should avoid public gatherings and events.
  • The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.

Delayed students:
Students who are delayed in arriving in New Zealand due to coronavirus travel restrictions or disruption should email for further advice. 

Students are welcome to enrol in person, however we understand some people may prefer to enrol online. We will be providing more information about how to do so.

We have created the email address for all enquiries related to coronavirus, including about health, travel, academic, enrolments or otherwise. Direct all questions related to coronavirus to this email address.

Let’s make sure we all support each other during this time
The coronavirus, whilst originating in Wuhan China, is a virus that doesn’t discriminate on race or religion. It’s therefore a good time to reinforce our values; the UC community includes students and staff from over 100 different countries and nationalities and we proudly welcome and embrace them in Ōtautahi Christchurch. Together we are a community of people committed to creating a campus culture of belonging, understanding, inclusiveness and caring. 

More information:

We look forward to seeing you on campus soon.

Ngā mihi,
Lynn McClelland

Executive Director Student Services and Communications
Kaihautū Matua, Te Ratonga Ākonga me te Whakapā

Zumba Master Class at the UC RecCentre

Details of Zumba Master Class
Details of Zumba Masterclass Sat 8 Feb 2020

Experience the excitement of a Zumba Master Class with Zumba legends Maria Teresa Stone and Jarrod Tucker! 

Zumba is a party.  It’s exercise in disguise.   Take two ZESs (that’s Zumba speak for master trainers), put them on a stage with lights and let them go! The result is a dance party like no other!

Maria is now based in Christchurch, and Jarrod has flown over from Sydney.  Together, they’ll be delivering 90mins of pure Zumba joy on Saturday 8 February at the UC RecCentre.   Doors open at 6pm, and the class will run from 6.30pm – 8.00pm.

Tickets cost $25, and we’ve got a very special discounted rate for RecCentre Members, just $15.    This event is being hosted by CC Productions, which means tickets aren’t purchased at the RecCentre.  They are pretty easy to get though.  To get yours, email Lis Cribb  and she’ll get you sorted.     You can also check out the Facebook event page.

Where Canterbury students share their experiences.

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