This page provides advice and information about support available to UQ staff and students. We would encourage you to check this frequently as it will be updated daily, or more regularly if required.

Update from the Australian government on the travel restrictions that have been implemented. Read the details.

For Chinese translation of student information, click here.

Updated 15 February 2020 at 7pm (AEST)

Key advice from the Australian Government

  • From 1 February 2020, Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family (dependents, legal guardians and spouses) returning from mainland China, or transiting through mainland China, will be allowed to enter Australia but must isolate for 14 days
  • All other travellers from mainland China, or transiting through mainland China, on or after 1 February 2020, will not be permitted entry to Australia until 14 days after they have left, or transited through, mainland China.
  • Australians are advised not to travel to mainland China.

The isolation requirements for universities are:

  • If you have travelled from the Hubei province in the past 14 days you must isolate for 14 days from the day you left the province
  • If you are already in Australia but have travelled recently from mainland China or transited through mainland China prior to Saturday 1 February you do not need to self-isolate
  • Travellers from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, unless they have been in the Hubei province in the past 14 days or in any part of mainland China on or after 1 February, do not need to self-isolate
  • You must isolate for 14 days if you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 (coronavirus) from the last date of contact.

We have suspended all university travel to mainland China until further notice.

Information for our community

We understand that this is a worrying time for many in our community. We want to assure our staff and students that there are many teams across UQ working as quickly as possible to respond to the changes, and plan for other possibilities.

Our incident management group, led by Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Peter Høj, is monitoring developments closely and is meeting daily to consider any developments and potential impacts on our community and operations. We will continue to update staff and students as new information becomes available.

We ask that everyone observes the advice from government to prevent the virus from spreading.

This video from UQ Professor David Paterson provides some more information. David is one of Australia’s most respected and highly cited infectious diseases physicians.

What is COVID-19 (coronavirus)?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses similar to the common cold and more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The strain of coronavirus from Wuhan is new and has not been previously identified in humans. It has been named COVID-19.

Most people infected live in, or travelled to, Hubei province, China recently. There have been cases of coronavirus reported in other Chinese provinces and other countries.

This coronavirus is also being referred to by various sources as ‘novel coronavirus’ and ‘2019-nCov'. 

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of COVID-19 include (but are not limited to) fever, cough, sore throat, headache, fatigue, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

How is COVID-19 (coronavirus) spread?

It is likely that the virus originally came from an animal, and there is evidence that it can spread from person-to-person.

Who is at risk?

Those at highest risk of being infected are people who have travelled from Wuhan (or the Hubei province) in the last 14 days or have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Preliminary information suggests that people with underlying medical conditions such as heart or lung disease and the elderly would be at risk of more severe disease if infected.

At this stage it is believed that symptoms occur within approximately 2 weeks of exposure.

How can I help protect myself?

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses include:

  • Frequently cleaning hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or a tissue – throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough
  • If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider.

Please observe and comply with health-related signage around the University.

Do face masks protect against the virus? Which face masks?

There is no indication or evidence that masks are needed in day-to-day activities around UQ or while using public transport.

Queensland Health advises that based on current advice, only people who have returned from mainland China and are unwell and have access to a face mask should use it.  For anyone else who does not have symptoms, a face mask is not necessary.

Within a health care setting, P2 masks are likely to provide some protection against the virus for those who are in close contact such as treating or testing a person with symptoms.

We keep being told that washing our hands is good practice. What is the most effective way?

Frequently washing your hands, especially before eating, is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of illness or contamination from things that you may have touched.

Basic soap and water is as good at cleaning your hands as any hand disinfectant or sanitiser. The sad reality is, about 25% of people don't wash their hands at all, and of those who do, they don't wash them frequently or adequately. In fact those who do wash their hands on average do so for only around 10 seconds which at best will remove about 90% of germs.

It should take about 30 seconds to wash your hands adequately (steps 1-9 in link below). Otherwise, the remaining bacteria will grow and can double in number in less than 20 minutes! It doesn't matter what you use to wash your hands, if your technique is poor then your hands will not be clean.

The 10 steps of Good hand-washing:

  1. Thoroughly wet hands
  2. Apply soap or cleanser
  3. Rub your hands palm to palm
  4. Rub your palms over back of each hand, interlacing your fingers
  5. Rub palm to palm with interlaced fingers
  6. circle tips of fingers into the opposite palm
  7. clean your thumbs
  8. clean your wrists
  9. rinse thoroughly
  10. pat dry, preferably with disposable paper towels.

Make sure you clean under rings too, that’s where many germs hide.

Practice other good health habits as well:

  • Always wash your hands before you eat or prepare food
  • Sneeze or cough into sleeve/elbow, or cover your nose and mouth with a tissue. Throw the tissue in the bin
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water especially after you cough or sneeze, and after using the toilet
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth to help prevent the spread of germs
  • Always clean your hands after using public touchscreen technology, surfaces in public spaces, and especially before eating

What is the appropriate cough and sneeze etiquette?

We are about to move into the usual Australian flu season and the presence of colds and flu will become more common. We can all help to prevent the spread of viruses and other infections. It is important to know the best way to manage your coughs and sneezes as the advice may have changed since you were taught these manners by your parents as a child!

  1. Always carry tissues.
  2. When coughing or sneezing, use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth.
  3. Germs can live for several hours on tissues - dispose of your tissue straight away.
  4. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow - NOT your hand.
  5. After coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose, wash your hands with soap and water (it should take about 30 seconds).

If you are a student impacted by the restrictions, please complete our registration form. If you previously completed the form – or your circumstances have changed – we ask that you update your information. This will help us to understand how we can best support your studies.

Read previous COVID-19 student communication here.

Study

What is UQ doing to support students unable to travel to Australia due to the restrictions?

We have extended the date you need to be on campus to 23 March 2020 for most courses. A small number of courses will still require you to be on campus ready to commence classes on 9 March 2020.

A ‘course checker’ will be available early next week via my.UQ so you can confirm when you need to be on campus for the courses you have enrolled in. Our Student Services (+61 7 3365 1704 or email student.services@uq.edu.au) will support you to find an alternative course if you are unable to meet the timeline.

We will provide you with online support during the first four weeks of Semester (24 February – 20 March 2020) to help you keep up with your studies.

I need to change one or more of my courses. What can I do?

Our ‘course checker’ available through my.UQ, will show you the current courses you have enrolled in and the latest date you will need to be on campus to continue your Semester 1 studies. Once you have logged in select “Travel Affected Students” from the options list.

Depending upon your expected arrival date, you may need to consider enrolling in alternative courses. A full list of courses with their on campus commencement date has been provided with the course checker.

If you need further assistance please contact our Student Services team to discuss your options (+61 7 3365 1704 or student.services@uq.edu.au).

What special considerations are available for impacted students?

  • We have extended the due date for university tuition fees until Tuesday 31 March 2020.
  • If after Weeks 1-4, you are still impacted by restrictions, you will be able to withdraw from your course without financial penalty up until 31 March 2020.
  • You may request to withdraw without academic penalty up until the last day of classes in Semester 1, 2020.

There will be extra support for you when you arrive on campus as well as a range of social activities and events. You can read about this on UQLIFE.

How will I access my course remotely for the first four weeks?

Content will be made available online in an easy-to-access format (click here to see an example). This will typically include:

  • opportunities to consult and collaborate with teachers and fellow students
  • access to lecture notes and readings supplemented by lecture recordings
  • access to learning support resources and staff
  • opportunities to complete quizzes and receive feedback.

This is an interim solution to give you the best chance of graduating on time while meeting the academic requirements of your program.

What if your courses are not available remotely for Weeks 1-4?

If some or all of your courses are not available remotely for Weeks 1-4, please contact Student Services +61 7 3365 1704 or email student.services@uq.edu.au so we can provide you with the best advice for your particular situation, including alternative courses.

Should I still enrol in my courses despite the travel restrictions?

Yes! This information will help us consider options to enable you to continue with your studies until you are able to travel to Brisbane or join  us on campus – which we know is your preference.

Will study/key dates change?

Semester 1 timetables have not changed. Please refer to the academic calendar for key dates.

Should I tell my course coordinator or faculty if I'm not arriving?

Please register online and our Students Services team will notify the necessary parts of The University. They will also be in contact with you to look at alternative options to support your studies.

I have an exam or an assessment deadline – what do I do?

If you are unable to sit your exam due to travel restrictions, get to your exam or submit your assessment please email student.services@uq.edu.au

I’m a new student and have decided I want to defer. What do I do?

If you have decided to defer your studies, please email your request to iascompliance@uq.edu.au.

I’m a new student and have decided I want to withdraw. What do I do?

If you have a confirmation of enrolment (CoE), you can apply to withdraw by submitting the Student Withdrawal or Interruption of Studies form on my.UQ.  Please log in and access the form under the 'My Requests' section.


If you do not have a CoE, please email your request to iascompliance@uq.edu.au.

I have decided not to resume my UQ study in Semester 1. What if the last course I need is not offered in Semester 2?

Please contact the Student Services team (+61 7 3365 1704 or email student.services@uq.edu.au) who will be able to provide you with advice or assistance with identifying alternative courses.

My course has a practical component such as laboratory work. How will it be affected if I am studying remotely?

Our Student Services team (+61 7 3365 1704 or email student.services@uq.edu.au) will be able to provide your with specific advice on the practical components of your course.

What should I do about student placements?

The following advice applies to UQ students who have commenced, or are about to commence their placement.

If you have been in Hubei Province, China within the last 14 days, you must:

  • cease, or do not commence your placement
  • inform your placement supervisor
  • you will not be able to attend campus and must follow self-isolation protocols.

Students on placements in clinical settings or where there are high risk groups who have visited or transited through mainland China (including Hong Kong,) but have not been in the Hubei Province within the last 14 days must:

  • cease, or do not commence your placement
  • inform your placement supervisor, and
  • continue to attend campus.

Students in the second group (above) are only required to self-isolate for the first 14 days after they arrive in Australia.  They are able to continue with academic studies in settings that are not high risk.

We have advised our placement partners of these arrangements.

What should I do if I am showing symptoms of the coronavirus or been in close contact with a confirmed case of the coronavirus?

Any members of the UQ community who are in Australia and showing symptoms should contact their General Practitioner (doctor) or a health professional, so that any appropriate precautionary measures can be taken regarding treatment. We suggest you phone ahead, explaining your symptoms and travel history, rather than attending in person.

UQ Health Care can be contacted for appointments. Their team of GPs, nurses, allied health professionals and specialists provide care across our five medical clinics in Ipswich, Annerley, Meadowbrook, St Lucia and Gatton.

Out of hours care can be obtained at your local Emergency Department (call ‘000’).

To keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should practice good hygiene by covering your coughs and sneezes and washing your hands thoroughly, for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. You should also clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

It looks like I don’t need to change my course but there could be some issue with a placement.

Please contact the Student Services team (+61 7 3365 1704 or email student.services@uq.edu.au) who will be able to provide specific advice on placements.

Travel

When will I know if I can come to Australia?

The travel restrictions are being reviewed constantly. Please continue to check the Department of Home Affairs.

How do I check the implications for my visa?

The University is unable to provide advice on visas. We recommend you contact the Department of Home Affairs.

I am travelling back from overseas via China? Do I change my plans?

From 1 February 2020, only Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family (dependents, legal guardians and spouses) will be able to enter Australia within 14 days of visiting or transiting through mainland China.

All other travellers from mainland China, or transiting through mainland China, on or after 1 February 2020, will not be permitted entry to Australia until 14 days after they have left, or transited through, mainland China.

Read the latest government advice on travel here. For non-UQ travel advice contact your travel agent or airline.

For the latest advice on UQ approved travel click here.

I am in China or due to go to China on exchange/study abroad. What should I do?

Please contact UQ’s Global Experiences team by email and they will assist you with any questions you have.

You can read the latest government advice on travel here. For the latest advice on UQ approved travel click here.

I have booked airport pickup, but I can no longer travel to Australia - do I need to cancel my service?

Yes, please log on to the booking and cancel the service. You can then re-book when your travel is rearranged.

I have accrued extra costs in my travel to come to Australia, what can I do?

This should be followed up in the first instance with your insurance company. If you are experiencing financial hardship, please contact our student advisers to explore financial assistance.

Health

Should I wear a face mask?

There is no indication or evidence that masks are needed in day-to-day activities around UQ or while using public transport.

Queensland Health advises that only people who have returned from mainland China, are unwell and have access to a face mask should use one. A face mask is not necessary for anyone who does not have symptoms.

Within a health care setting, P2 masks are likely to provide some protection against the virus for anyone in close contact with a person with symptoms.

What should I do if I am showing symptoms of the coronavirus or been in close contact with a confirmed case of the coronavirus?

Any members of the UQ community who are in Australia and showing symptoms should contact their General Practitioner (doctor) or a health professional, so that any appropriate precautionary measures can be taken regarding treatment. We suggest you phone ahead, explaining your symptoms and travel history, rather than attending in person.

UQ Health Care can be contacted for appointments. Their team of GPs, nurses, allied health professionals and specialists provide care across our five medical clinics in Ipswich, Annerley, Meadowbrook, St Lucia and Gatton.

  • St Lucia: (07) 3365 6210
  • Gatton: (07) 5460 1396
  • Annerley / PACE: (07) 3346 1122
  • Ipswich: (07) 3381 1800
  • Meadowbrook: (07) 3489 9400

Out of hours care can be obtained at your local Emergency Department (call ‘000’).

To keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should practice good hygiene by covering your coughs and sneezes and washing your hands thoroughly, for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. You should also clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Support

I am worried about my family and friends in China. Who can I talk to?

Students who are concerned for themselves or their family can access more information on my.UQ

Students can also access support through Student Advisers or Counselling, either in person or via Skype. You can make an appointment online.

What support will the university provide while I am in isolation?

Our Student Services team can be contacted 24/7 if you require support and advice while you are in isolation. Click here to contact our team.

Who can I contact at UQ if I have questions?

Students can contact Student Services if they have questions or concerns about starting at or returning to UQ in February. The Student Services team will continue to monitor the situation and give further advice to students who may be concerned.

Special considerations available for impacted students with a UQ Package Offer

I am currently unable to travel to Australia for my studies. What should I do?

If you are directly impacted by the Australian Government’s travel advice, you may be able to choose one of the following study options to ensure you can commence your studies as soon as possible.

Once you have read the study options, please complete the online registration form so we can understand your current situation and notify the necessary departments within the University.

Study options:

Bridging English (BE) Advantage

I am enrolled in BE 15 Advantage, starting on 17 February 2020. What are my study options?

  • You can start BE 15 Advantage by 2 March 2020 (up to two weeks after the scheduled start date). If you meet the UQ entry requirements, you can start at UQ in Semester 2, 2020 as planned.
  • If you cannot start by 2 March 2020, you can transfer to BE 15 Standard, commencing on 23 March 2020. If you meet the UQ entry requirements, you can start at UQ in Semester 2, 2020 as planned.
  • If you cannot start BE 15 Standard by 6 April 2020, you can transfer to an EAP package offer up until 8 June 2020. The English component of your package offer will be a shorter than your original package offer due to the limited time available before the start of Semester 2.
    • Please note: EAP assessment will not give you direct entry to UQ. You will be required to sit an academic IELTS test or other recognised test, and if you meet the UQ entry requirements, you can start at UQ in Semester 2, 2020 as planned.

I am enrolled in BE 10 Advantage, starting on 23 March 2020. What are my study options?

  • You can start BE 10 Advantage by 6 April 2020 (up to two weeks after the scheduled start date). If you meet the UQ entry requirements, you can start at UQ in Semester 2, 2020 as planned.
  • If you cannot start by 6 April 2020, you can transfer to BE 10 Standard, commencing on 27 April 2020. If you meet the UQ entry requirements, you can start at UQ in Semester 2, 2020 as planned.
  • If you cannot start BE 10 Standard by 11 May 2020, you can transfer to an EAP package offer up until 8 June 2020. The English component of your package offer will be a shorter than your original package offer due to the limited time available before the start of Semester 2.
    • Please note: EAP assessment will not give you direct entry to UQ. You will be required to sit an academic IELTS test or other recognised test, and if you meet the UQ entry requirements, you can start at UQ in Semester 2, 2020 as planned.

Bridging English (BE) Standard

I am enrolled in BE 20 Standard, starting on 17 February. What are my study options?

  • You can start BE 20 Standard by 2 March 2020 (up to two weeks after the scheduled start date). If you meet the UQ entry requirements, you can start at UQ in Semester 2, 2020 as planned.
  • If you cannot start BE 20 Standard by 2 March 2020, you can transfer to an EAP package offer up until 8 June 2020. The English component of your package offer will be a shorter than your original package offer due to the limited time available before the start of Semester 2.
    • Please note: EAP assessment will not give you direct entry to UQ. You will be required to sit an academic IELTS test or other recognised test, and if you meet the UQ entry requirements, you can start at UQ in Semester 2, 2020 as planned.

I am enrolled in BE 15 Standard, starting on 23 March 2020. What are my study options?

  • You can start BE 15 Standard by 6 April 2020 (up to two weeks after the scheduled start date). If you meet the UQ entry requirements, you can start at UQ in Semester 2, 2020 as planned.
  • If you cannot start BE 15 Standard by 6 April 2020, you can transfer to an EAP package offer up until 8 June 2020. The English component of your package offer will be a shorter than your original package offer due to the limited time available before the start of Semester 2.
    • Please note: EAP assessment will not give you direct entry to UQ. You will be required to sit an academic IELTS test or other recognised test, and if you meet the UQ entry requirements, you can start at UQ in Semester 2, 2020 as planned.

I am enrolled in BE 10 Standard, starting on 27 April 2020. What are my study options?

  • You can start BE 10 Standard by 11 May 2020 (up to two weeks after the scheduled start date). If you meet the UQ entry requirements, you can start at UQ in Semester 2, 2020 as planned.
  • If you cannot start BE 10 Standard by 11 May 2020, you can transfer to an EAP package offer up until 8 June 2020. The English component of your package offer will be a shorter than your original package offer due to the limited time available before the start of Semester 2.
    • Please note: EAP assessment will not give you direct entry to UQ. You will be required to sit an academic IELTS test or other recognised test, and if you meet the UQ entry requirements, you can start at UQ in Semester 2, 2020 as planned.

Can I enrol in a Bridging English course with a higher entrance score?
You will need to take an English test (e.g. IELTS, TOEFL, PTE-A) and achieve the entrance score for the course. You will need to contact the UQ International Admissions team at iascompliance@uq.edu.au

General English (GE) or English for Academic Purposes (EAP)

I am enrolled in GE or EAP. What are my study options?

  • If you cannot start on your scheduled start date, you can defer your start date to the next session (up to 8 June 2020). You will be required to sit the academic IELTS test or other recognised test, and if you meet the entry requirements, you will be able to progress onto your UQ program in Semester 2, 2020 as planned.

Next steps

Once you have read the study options above, please complete the online registration form so we can understand your current situation and notify the necessary departments within the University.

I need to change my UQ package offer. What can I do?
Depending upon your expected arrival date, you may need to enrol in an alternative English language course at ICTE. If you need further assistance, please contact the UQ International Admissions team at iascompliance@uq.edu.au

I have decided I want to defer my UQ package offer. What can I do?
If you have decided to defer your studies, please email your request to iascompliance@uq.edu.au

When will I know if I can come to Australia?

The travel restrictions are being reviewed constantly. Please continue to check the Department of Home Affairs.

How do I check the implications for my visa?
The University is unable to provide advice on visas. We recommend you contact the Department of Home Affairs.

Will study/key dates change?

ICTE courses and sessions have not changed. Please refer to our website for key dates.

If I arrive late for my course, how can I access the materials that I have missed?
Once the travel ban is lifted and you have confirmed your arrival date, we can provide you with the best advice for your particular situation, including alternative courses or additional tuition, and online support.

Can you provide me with some online support before I arrive?
We can provide you with access to ICTE online learning support including Macmillan English Campus and IELTSx. These have a range of study materials and resources to support your language learning, and prepare you for the Academic IELTS test. Once you have completed the online registration form, we can provide you with information on how to access this platform.

If I arrive late for my course, will I have to pay for the full course?
Yes. There is no impact on your tuition fees and no penalties will be applied.

Who can I contact at ICTE if I have further questions?
Students can contact ICTE Admissions if they have questions or concerns about starting at UQ in February, March or April 2020. ICTE will continue to monitor the situation and give further advice to students who may be concerned.

If you are a UQ staff member and are impacted by any of the restrictions please advise your supervisor, who will in turn will work with you to provide the necessary support.

We have suspended all university travel to mainland China until further notice. Read information for UQ travellers.

This video from UQ Professor David Paterson provides some more information. David is one of Australia’s most respected and highly cited infectious diseases physicians.

I have been impacted by travel restrictions or self-isolation. What should I do?

If you are a UQ staff member and are impacted by any of the restrictions please advise your supervisor, who will in turn will work with you to provide the necessary support.

Due to travel restrictions, I’m not sure if I can return to Brisbane to teach classes on 24 February. What can I do?

If you are a UQ staff member and are impacted by any of the restrictions please advise your supervisor, who will in turn will work with you to provide the necessary support.

Will study/key dates change?

Semester 1 timetables have not changed. Please refer to the academic calendar for key dates.

I am travelling back from overseas via China? Do I change my plans?

From 1 February 2020, only Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family (dependents, legal guardians and spouses) will be able to enter Australia within 14 days of visiting or transiting through mainland China.

All other travellers from mainland China, or transiting through mainland China, on or after 1 February 2020, will not be permitted entry to Australia until 14 days after they have left, or transited through, mainland China.

Read the latest government advice on travel here. For non-UQ travel advice contact your travel agent or airline.

For the latest advice on UQ approved travel click here.

Can I travel to China?

We have suspended all university travel to mainland China until further notice. Read information for UQ travellers.

What should I do if I am showing symptoms of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) or been in close contact with a confirmed case?

Any members of the UQ community who are in Australia and showing symptoms should contact their General Practitioner (doctor) or a health professional, so that any appropriate precautionary measures can be taken regarding treatment. We suggest you phone ahead, explaining your symptoms and travel history, rather than attending in person.

UQ Health Care can be contacted for appointments. Their team of GPs, nurses, allied health professionals and specialists provide care across our five medical clinics in Ipswich, Annerley, Meadowbrook, St Lucia and Gatton.

  • St Lucia: (07) 3365 6210
  • Gatton: (07) 5460 1396
  • Annerley / PACE: (07) 3346 1122
  • Ipswich: (07) 3381 1800
  • Meadowbrook: (07) 3489 9400

Out of hours care can be obtained at your local Emergency Department (call ‘000’).

To keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should practice good hygiene by covering your coughs and sneezes and washing your hands thoroughly, for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. You should also clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

I am worried about my family and friends in China. Who can I talk to?

If you are a staff member who requires support, UQ offers a free, confidential counselling service through Benestar, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Do face masks protect against the virus?

There is no indication or evidence that masks are needed in day-to-day activities around UQ or while using public transport.

Queensland Health advises that based on current advice, only people who have returned from mainland China and are unwell and have access to a face mask should use it.  For anyone else who does not have symptoms, a face mask is not necessary.

Within a health care setting, P2 masks are likely to provide some protection against the virus for those who are in close contact such as treating or testing a person with symptoms.

Who can I contact at UQ if I have questions?

If you are a UQ Staff member and are impacted by any of the restrictions you should advise your supervisor, who will in turn notify HR. For general question, you can contact the Health, Safety and Wellness Division at hsw@uq.edu.au.

I have students going on placements. What should I do?

The following advice applies to UQ students who have commenced, or are about to commence their placement.

If you have been in Hubei Province, China within the last 14 days, you must:

  • cease, or do not commence your placement
  • inform your placement supervisor
  • you will not be able to attend campus and must follow self-isolation protocols.

Students on placements in clinical settings or where there are high risk groups who have visited or transited through mainland China (including Hong Kong,) but have not been in the Hubei Province within the last 14 days must:

  • cease, or do not commence your placement
  • inform your placement supervisor, and
  • continue to attend campus.

Students in the second group (above) are only required to self-isolate for the first 14 days after they arrive in Australia. They are able to continue with academic studies in settings that are not high risk.

We have advised our placement partners of these arrangements.

What if a student or colleague has cold or flu symptoms?

Be mindful that various conditions can produce cold or flu-like symptoms. People can have normal cold and flu viruses at any time, and we are moving closer to the Australian flu season. 

Staff might reasonably check on the welfare of a student or colleague and ensure that they are aware of the latest health advice.

Importantly, if you feel unwell and have the onset of any cold or flu-like symptoms, it is important for both you and your colleagues to stay at home to recover, using UQ’s sick leave provisions.

I'm immunocompromised or pregnant - should I be worried about COVID-19?

The risk of acquiring COVID-19 is negligible in Australia. All current cases in Australia are understood to have been acquired overseas.

If you are immunocompromised or pregnant, normal workplace procedures should apply. These procedures include a risk assessment considering advice from your medical practitioner with respect to your specific condition and role, taking precautions regarding healthy hygiene practices, not sharing items such as keyboards, pens, staplers, mouse etc., and ensuring that if you feel unwell you should stay at home to recover.  No additional precautions are required. 

I am travelling internationally (but not to China) for work. What do I need to consider in order to protect my health?

Seek advice from the UQ Travel web site, and particularly, UQ Travel’s COVID-19 (coronavirus) update page

All UQ travellers must register their travel with International SOS and provide their correct contact details while travelling (email and mobile phone contact).  Due to the spread of COVID-19, all international travellers should review the Australian Government’s Smart Traveller website for country specific information prior to travel and comply with any additional entry requirements. Travellers should also allow for travel disruptions/delays at airports due to additional screening measures.

The ISOS coronavirus web site has specific information for travellers including recommended hygiene measures, including advice on wearing face masks.

Does the annual flu vaccine protect you against COVID-19 (coronavirus)?

No. Vaccines for the flu do not provide protection against the new coronavirus. The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Researchers are currently working to develop a vaccine against COVID-19.

Although the annual flu vaccine is not effective against COVID-19, participation in the annual vaccination program is highly recommended to protect your health and staff are encouraged to take advantage of the free flu vaccination available at UQ this year.

Can I visit a UQ site or campus?

UQ  welcomes visitors to our campuses, but at the moment we request that you observe current isolation requirements for universities:

  • If you have travelled from the Hubei province in the past 14 days you must isolate for 14 days from the day you left the province
  • If you are already in Australia but have travelled recently from mainland China or transited through mainland China prior to Saturday 1 February you do not need to self-isolate
  • Travellers from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, unless they have been in the Hubei province in the past 14 days or in any part of mainland China on or after 1 February, do not need to self-isolate
  • You must isolate for 14 days if you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus from the last date of contact.

How can I help protect myself?

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses include:

  • Frequently cleaning hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or a tissue – throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough
  • If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider.

Please observe and comply with health-related signage around the University.

Should I wear a face mask?

There is no indication or evidence that masks are needed in day-to-day activities around UQ or while using public transport.

Queensland Health advises that only people who have returned from mainland China, are unwell and have access to a face mask should use one. A face mask is not necessary for anyone who does not have symptoms.

Within a health care setting, P2 masks are likely to provide some protection against the virus for anyone in close contact with a person with symptoms.

What is the situation with planned travel to China?

From 1 February 2020, only Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family (dependents, legal guardians and spouses) will be able to enter Australia within 14 days of visiting or transiting through mainland China.

All other travellers from mainland China, or transiting through mainland China, on or after 1 February 2020, will not be permitted entry to Australia until 14 days after they have left, or transited through, mainland China.

Read the latest government advice on travel here. For non-UQ travel advice contact your travel agent or airline.

For the latest advice on UQ approved travel click here.

I’m an accommodation provider or Homestay Host – what do I need to do if a student is sick within 14 days of being in mainland China?

If a student develops mild symptoms, they should:

  • isolate themselves in a single room away from others and seek an urgent medical review;
  • when possible, isolate themselves at home while waiting for results of the assessment;
  • call a doctor or hospital ahead of time and tell them they may have a coronavirus infection; and
  • tell the doctor’s clinic or hospital again when they arrive that they may have COVID-19.

If the student has severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath:

  • call ‘000’ and request an ambulance; and
  • inform the paramedics that the student/staff may have COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Should I wear a face mask?

There is no indication or evidence that masks are needed in day-to-day activities around UQ or while using public transport.

Queensland Health advises that only people who have returned from mainland China, are unwell and have access to a face mask should use one. A face mask is not necessary for anyone who does not have symptoms.

Within a health care setting, P2 masks are likely to provide some protection against the virus for anyone in close contact with a person with symptoms.

I live in student accommodation. How do I know if the accommodation is safe?

UQ has been in contact with approved providers of student accommodation (on and off campus) to ensure that they have suitable precautions and protocols in place should there be any concern about the health of a resident.

If you have any questions or concerns about your approved provider please contact Student Services on +61 (07) 3365 1704 or email student.services@uq.edu.au.

I have booked accommodation and I cannot get there.

This is an agreement between you and the provider of accommodation but if you have booked through a provider listed on our website, they understand the restrictions and will work with you to identify options for you. Student Services can assist you with this (t: + 61 (07) 3365 1704 / e: student.services@uq.edu.au).

I have signed a lease but due to the travel restrictions I need to break or change my lease. What can I do?

UQ advises you to get in touch with your Landlord or Property Manager to discuss your situation with them and try to arrange a mutually convenient outcome.

I have contacted my Landlord / Property Manager but they are not willing to negotiate a break or change to the lease. What can I do?

According to the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) website, Landlords / Property Managers are allowed to seek reasonable compensation costs from you if you break the agreement early.

If the Landlord / Property Manager is not willing to negotiate after you have made contact, you can seek further support from the Student Services Accommodation Team. Contact the team by emailing accommodation@uq.edu.au

I don’t feel confident directly contacting the Landlord / Property Manager to cancel or change my lease.

If making direct contact with your Landlord or Property Manager is too difficult, UQ may be able to contact them on your behalf. Please contact a member of our accommodation team to request support by emailing accommodation@uq.edu.au

What compensation might I be asked to pay if I break or change my lease?

If you break the agreement early Landlords / Property Managers can request you pay costs to cover the loss of rent until the property is re-let; or until the end of the tenancy agreement; or to cover re-letting advertising costs.

UQ recommends that compensation is discussed between yourself and the Landlord / Property Manager. More information can be found from the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) website.

My lease states there are penalty fees if the agreement is breached.

It is important your agreement does not include conditions that require you to pay a penalty fee (or fine) if you breach the agreement. Any terms in an agreement about penalty fees are void.

For more information, you can go to the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) website or The Queensland State-wide Tenant Advice and Referral Service (Qstars).

I want my bond back. What can I do?

As you have a lease agreement, you have probably paid a bond. When you pay a bond, the person you pay this money to must lodge your bond with the RTA (Residential Tenancies Authority). The RTA will send you an official receipt when they receive your bond money. If you don’t receive a receipt, call the RTA to see if your bond has been lodged.

The RTA advises the quickest and easiest way to get a bond refund is for the tenant and the property manager / owner to reach agreement about how the bond is to be paid out.

If you don’t follow the terms and conditions of your tenancy agreement the Landlord or Property Manager can claim money from your bond at the end of the tenancy. If no agreement can be made and there is a dispute over the bond, either party, tenant or Landlord / Property Manager can claim the bond by lodging a FORM 4 with the RTA with only their signature on it. This is a disputed bond claim.

I am a returning student and all of my belongings are in the property.

If you have personal possessions in rental accommodation, speak with the Landlord or Property Manager and ask if they can arrange to have your belongings put into storage (there will be a cost you need to pay associated with this).

If I cancel my accommodation, will there be somewhere for me to stay when I can come to Australia?

The Accommodation team at UQ can support you with short term, last minute accommodation if you need support.

Get in touch by emailing: accommodation@uq.edu.au.

I’m really not sure what to do about my accommodation. Who can help?

The accommodation team at UQ are here to support you with your questions and provide advice. Please get in touch by emailing accommodation@uq.edu.au. Tenancy advice can also be found by visiting https://my.uq.edu.au/information-and-services/student-support/accommodation/about-accommodation/tenancy-advice.

We also suggest seeking advice from the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) via their website, https://www.rta.qld.gov.au who can provide tenancy information and support. Additional contact details for the RTA can be found on their website.

The Queensland State-wide Tenant Advice and Referral Service (Qstars) is a free, independent advice and referral service for all Queensland renters. Their website contains information and advice for tenants along with other channels for making contact https://qstars.org.au/.

More Information

If you need urgent medical advice call 000.