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Coronavirus -- Health and Wellbeing of Unitec staff and students

Update: Monday 10 February 2020

The Ministry of Health has set up a new helpline to provide information about coronavirus.  The new number is 0800 358 5453 (or +649 358 5453 for overseas SIMs).  The number is free to call, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and will be staffed by members of the National Telehealth Services with interpreters on hand to help with translation. 

The Ministry of Health now also has a Facebook page @minhealthnz, and along with its Twitter channel @minhealthnz, will be used to alert people to key updates and messaging specifically about coronavirus.  

We are continuing to communicate directly with our students, staff, agents and partners and are working to assess and monitor the situation and its implications. Our Te Puna Ako team is continuing to work on resources for teaching staff so they can support their learners from a distance.

For International Students with questions about visas, please consult the INZ information sheet around student visa holders.

 

Update: Monday 3 February 2020

The New Zealand Government made the following announcement yesterday in relation to temporary entry restrictions into New Zealand to assist with the containment of the novel coronavirus and to protect New Zealand and the Pacific Islands from the disease:

New Zealand to restrict travel from China to protect against coronavirus

The measures took effect from today and will be in place for up to 14 days. This position will be reviewed every 48 hours.

The key points of the announcement are:

  • Any foreign travellers who leave or transit through mainland China after 2 February 2020 (NZ time) will be refused entry to New Zealand. Any foreign travellers in transit to New Zealand on 2 February 2020 will be subject to enhanced screening on arrival but, pending clearance, will be granted entry to New Zealand.
  • New Zealand citizens and permanent residents returning to New Zealand will still be able to enter, as will their immediate family members, but will be required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival back in the country. 
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has also raised its travel advice to New Zealanders for all of mainland China to “Do not travel”, the highest level.

We are communicating directly with our students, staff, agents and partners and working to assess and monitor the situation and its implications. We are continuing to take a precautionary, preventative approach and are following the advice of the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education around ways to safeguard those who come on to our campuses. We have also issued the guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation on “Protecting yourself and others from getting sick” to our students, staff and visitors.

 

Contact for further information:

Current or enrolling students:    Please call 0800 10 75 10 (from within New Zealand) or email studentsupport@unitec.ac.nz

International students:                Please email: internationalsupport@unitec.ac.nz

 

FAQ


Q:        What is Unitec doing to monitor the coronavirus situation?

A:        We are posting New Zealand Government, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, World Health Organisation and TEC advisories and updates on our staff and student websites, along with contact details for further questions.  We have reminded staff, students and their families to follow the World Health Organisation recommendations to ‘keep well’ and urged anyone who is actively unwell to stay at home, in line with our general practices around health and wellbeing. 

We have activated our dedicated Incident Management Team which is closely monitoring and analysing the situation and recommending actions as needed. 


Q:        What is Unitec doing to safeguard the spread of the virus?

A:        We have suspended all staff travel to China, and advised staff to contact their managers for advice on other overseas travel.

We are following the advice of the New Zealand Government, effective 3 February 2020, around temporary entry restrictions into New Zealand.  These restrictions include:

  • Any foreign travellers who leave or transit through mainland China after 2 February 2020 (NZ time) will be refused entry to New Zealand.
  • Any foreign travellers in transit to New Zealand on 2 February 2020 will be subject to enhanced screening on arrival but, pending clearance, will be granted entry to New Zealand.
  • New Zealand citizens and permanent residents returning to New Zealand will still be able to enter, as will their immediate family members, but will be required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival back in the country.

Last week we mandated that staff and students arriving or returning from China delay their start at Unitec for 14 days from the date of arrival into NZ, even if they’re feeling well.  This mandate remains in place.

Our International Student Advisory Team is contacting all students impacted by these travel and entry restrictions and we’re investigating opportunities for learners to start later, use online content or be deferred as appropriate. 

We are creating general signage and implementing other precautionary measures for large gatherings at both our Unitec campuses.  These include encouraging any staff, students and visitors who are generally unwell to stay at home, in line with our general practices around health and wellbeing.  We would also advise seeking medical advice through GP channels if anyone has concerns about pre-existing health conditions or general concerns.  


Q:        What about students currently in Wuhan who are enrolled at Unitec?

A:        All residents and visitors in Wuhan are currently under quarantine, so they won’t be able to travel to New Zealand until the ban is lifted.  Our International Student Advisory Team has contacted the students concerned and we are liaising directly with them.  The TEC has activated its Incident Management Team around coronavirus and will issue further guidance for students who have been delayed in China.

We are in regular communication with all our students, including our International students from China. We have informed them of the recent travel restrictions imposed by the New Zealand Government, and are advising them to closely monitor the developing situation via our website and others. A group WeChat account has been set up for them to help facilitate the flow of information.


Q:        What advice can we give our homestay and other accommodation providers?

A:         The International Student Advisory Team is liaising directly with homestay and other accommodation providers. For those International students who have already arrived in Auckland from China, we are assisting them with accommodation during their 14-day quarantine period, if required.


Q:        Have any other countries issued restrictions?

A:         The Government of Samoa has also issued travel advisory and restrictions around travel to and from Samoa. Please familiarise yourself with the restrictions on the Ministry of Health Samoa website.