Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updated 26 August 2020

COVID-19 Update for NSW Staff and Students

COVID-19 Update for NSW staff and students

The University is monitoring the COVID-19 situation as health authorities are made aware of more hotspots in NSW and our neighbours in Victoria work to manage a second wave of infections. We need to remind ourselves and each other of what we should be doing to protect ourselves, colleagues and family, so please keep checking public health orders for the state as they are updated regularly. Our students and staff in Victoria will be provided ongoing guidance by the School of Medicine, Sydney.

If you are based in NSW, we want to remind you that it remains important to be tested if you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or loss of taste and smell. For more information about when to be tested, view our factsheet.  Other helpful information is available at If you have any symptoms of the virus, even mild ones, you must not come to campus – you should get tested and self-isolate while you await your results. Please remember to let your Dean or Manager know if you have been tested and are awaiting results, especially if you have been in a hotspot area recently or in close contact with a person who is positive for COVID-19. To find out where the current hotspots are in NSW, visit

When you receive your test results, please inform your Dean or Manager whether you are positive or negative for COVID-19.

Medical clearance and returning to campus after illness or testing

  • If you have symptoms you should stay away from campus and be tested for COVID-19 (following instructions above)
  • If/when you receive a negative test result and are symptom-free, you can return to campus
  • If you have had symptoms and have not been tested, then medical clearance from a GP is required before you can return to campus
  • If you have tested positive you should follow public health and medical advice.  You will require medical clearance to return to campus

Signing in on campus

Students and staff on the Sydney campuses will be asked to use the new QR code system (or sign in sheets provided) to sign in when entering university buildings. This will assist with contact tracing in the unlikely event of a positive case on campus. We ask that you please remember to scan the code with your smartphone camera upon entering the building – then it’s just a matter of entering your student or staff ID. If you can’t use the QR code, use the link - this will also take you to a page for check-in. All information will be kept on a secure database for 28 days and then deleted.

We are committed to delivering high-priority on-campus teaching activities throughout the pandemic but ask that you please only come to campus for your timetabled classes or to use library facilities. While you are on campus, please follow the sign-in procedure, as well as hand sanitising and social distancing requirements.

While you are on campus, please:

  • practice social distancing
  • avoid congregating in groups, shaking hands, hugging and kissing
  • practice good hand hygiene (use sanitiser provided), as well as cough and sneeze etiquette throughout the day

Any staff or student group meetings or social events need prior approval from the Head of Campus.

How to make and wear a mask properly

Currently in NSW, if you are well, a mask is not mandatory where there is low community transmission of COVID-19. However, if you are in a situation where physical distancing is difficult, such as on public transport or in shopping centres, you may choose to wear a mask.

Click the how to wear a mask poster? flyer for information about how to wear a mask effectively. More information is available at

If you’d like to make your own cloth mask, follow these instructions.

Travelling from Victoria

If you have been to Victoria in the last 14 days, you are required to self-isolate for 2 weeks upon entry to NSW and get tested if you begin presenting symptoms. For more public health advice for those who have travelled from Victoria, visit

Public Transport advice for NSW

Transport NSW is currently running full services to ensure physical distancing is possible on buses, trains and trams. The COVIDSafe Transport Plan is continuing, with increased cleaning, green physical distancing dots, additional staff and extra services in place across the public transport network.
Transport NSW has asked people who are unwell not to travel on public transport. They also encourage customers to practice good personal hygiene and to wear a face mask where physical distancing is not possible.
If a train, bus, ferry or tram is too busy, it’s recommended that you wait for the next service. You can check the Opal app to see which services have space available in real time.
More information is available at

For further information and advice, please email

The University of Notre Dame Australia is committed to supporting our students and staff throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to follow public health advice to ensure the wellbeing of our community. You can find up to date information at the following links:

Department of Health NSW Health WA Health VIC Health Smartraveller Transport NSW Transperth

General enquiries, notifications and advice related to the COVID-19 may be directed to

Your enquiries will be referred appropriately and answered as promptly as possible.

  • Latest news

    26 August 2020

    A Broadway Sydney customer has tested positive for COVID-19. NSW Health and Broadway Sydney Shopping Centre have confirmed a customer who visited The Apple Store and Kmart at Broadway Sydney on Saturday 22nd August between 3.30pm-5pm tested positive for the virus. Any customer who visited these stores during this time should monitor their health and, if they develop any COVID-19 symptoms, get tested immediately and self-isolate. The centre has been cleaned and remains open. Read the full announcement here.

    To check other hotspots in NSW, click here.

    3 August 2020

    The NSW Government is now strongly encouraging the use of face masks in indoor settings where physical distancing is hard to maintain, for example on public transport and in supermarkets. Read the full update here.

    24 July 2020

    Based on the latest health advice, Phase 5 of the WA COVID-19 roadmap, due to be implemented on Saturday, 1 August, has been delayed.

    The new tentative date will now be Saturday, 15 August.

    A final decision on whether Phase 5 can proceed on this date will be decided in about 2 weeks’ time.

    19 June 2020

    • As COVID-19 restrictions continue to be lifted, an increasing number of people will be travelling to and from university and work on public transport. For more information about keeping safe on public transport, visit:
    • The NSW Government recently announced changes to the number of people allowed on public transport from July 1. For more details and guidelines, click here.

    11 May 2020

    • The Federal Government has announced a 3-step plan towards easing restrictions: Roadmap to a COVIDSafe Australia. For a more detailed look at the stages, click here.
    • States and Territories will ease restrictions at different times based on local conditions.
    • From today, students in NSW will be returning to school at least one day a week. To read about the other restrictions that have been eased in NSW, click here.
    • From May 18th, WA will also be easing a number of restrictions. To read about what restrictions have been eased in WA, click here.
    • Some local and regional travel is now permitted.

    Full news archive

  • COVID-19 Student Hardship Assistance Fund

    This COVID-19 Student Hardship Assistance Fund has been set up in direct response to the challenges many of our students are currently facing due to the global COVID-19 health crisis. The purpose of the Fund is to offer support to those who need urgent assistance while continuing their studies at The University of Notre Dame Australia.

    To find out if you’re eligible and apply for financial assistance, click here.

  • Working and studying online

    For information about learning online and off-campus, visit learning online.
    For information about teaching or working online and off-campus, visit working online.

  • Mental health and wellbeing

    If you are feeling anxious or distressed about the evolving COVID-19 crisis, there are professional counselling services available to Notre Dame staff and students:

    • Students can visit our Counselling page for information about how to get in touch with a counsellor.
    • Staff can access counselling support here.

    Please remember you should not attend an in-person counselling appointment if you are experiencing flu, viral or respiratory symptoms.

    For more tips about how to look after your mental health during this challenging time, visit Beyond Blue.

    You can also access general mental health support through the following national services:

Preventing respiratory illness

To reduce the general risk of acute respiratory infections, please wash your hands frequently (including before and after eating) using soap and water, practice cough etiquette - if you need to cough or sneeze cover your mouth and nose with a flexed elbow and dispose of tissues immediately - and avoid contact with people suffering from an acute respiratory infection.

You can also call the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 or call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84).


  • What is COVID-19?

    Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory infections. These can range from the common cold to more serious diseases. COVID-19 is a disease caused by a new form of coronavirus. Other coronaviruses include Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

    COVID-19 is characterised by mild symptoms including runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fever. Severe cases can lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties. Older people and those with medical conditions (such as asthma, lung disease, diabetes or heart disease) may be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill.

    Diagnosis of COVID-19 is currently made by nasopharyngeal swab. A key concern in all countries impacted is the increasing and potential overwhelming burden on healthcare facilities and healthcare workforce who are at an elevated risk of exposure.
    At this time, there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19 and no medications approved to treat it, symptomatic relief is the only available management. The most effective management at this stage are public health interventions and actions that people and communities can take to help slow the spread. Personal health measures, restrictions of international travel, appropriate home isolation, social distancing including avoiding non-essential exposure to crowded events, can all play a role.
  • What can I do to prevent Coronavirus?

    To protect yourself and others from infection, practice good hand and respiratory hygiene including:

    • cleaning hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rubs
    • covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or flexed elbow when coughing or sneezing
    • avoiding contact with anyone who has symptoms of respiratory illness such as a cough, fatigue, sore throat or headache
    • staying home if you are unwell

    Click here for more information about how to protect yourself and others.

  • What are the latest travel restrictions?

    The Department of Home Affairs has advised that travel restrictions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic are subject to frequent change. To stay up to date with alerts, visit and

    In NSW, temporary border restrictions now include:

    • road closures between the NSW and Victorian border
    • aircrafts travelling from Victoria and arriving into NSW airports will be met by police and health staff
    • NSW residents returning home from Victoria must self-isolate for 14 days.

    Currently, any person that has been in a declared COVID-19 hotspot during the past 14 days, including Victoria and Greater Sydney, must not enter Queensland. You can see a list of declared hotspots here.

    In WA, people travelling from Victoria or NSW will not be admitted entry unless they meet exemption requirements. If you a person meets those requirements, they will still need to isolate for 14 days upon entry. For more WA-specific advice, click here.

    For information about local restrictions, see below:

  • What do health authorities advise?

    The latest information is available at the Department of Health website.

  • Can I attend campus?

    Return to Campus information is available for students here. Return to Campus information for staff is available here.

    Students and staff must not attend the University if they have:

    • symptoms of respiratory illness such as a fever, cough, fatigue, sore throat or headache
    • been in close contact with a confirmed case of Coronavirus in the last 14 days (they must isolate themselves for 14 days after the date of last contact with the confirmed case)
    • arrived in Australia from any overseas destination (they must self-isolate for 14 days from the date of arrival in Australia)
    • been in Victoria in the last 14 days

    Self-isolation means staying at home and not accepting visitors.

  • What does self-isolation mean?

    Isolation means you:

    • must not leave your home except in an emergency or to get essential medical care
    • must not go into public places including work and shops
    • must not let any other person into your home unless the person

    You should tell your public health unit before leaving your house if possible. If you leave, you must wear a mask.

    If you live in a house, you may go into your garden or courtyard. You can go onto your balcony if you live in an apartment or are staying in a hotel.

    If you are in a hotel you must avoid contact with other guests and staff.

    For general advice on who should be isolating and how, click here .

  • What is social distancing?

    Social distancing is a measure to slow the spread of infectious diseases, although it is recognised that it cannot be practised in all situations, and the aim is to generally reduce potential for transmission of the virus. It means less contact between you and other people.

    While practising social distancing, people can travel to work (including public transport). For non-essential activities outside the workplace or attendance at schools, universities and childcare - social distancing includes:

    • avoiding crowds and mass gatherings where it is difficult to keep the appropriate distance away from others
    • avoiding small gatherings in enclosed spaces
    • attempting to keep a distance of 1.5 metres between yourself and other people where possible, for example when out and about in public place.
    • avoiding shaking hands, hugging, or kissing other people – perhaps nod a greetings
    • avoiding visiting vulnerable people, such as those in aged care facilities or hospitals, infants, or people with compromised immune systems due to illness or medical treatment

    For more guidance on social distancing, visit the Department of Health website.

  • Staff and student travel

    The University is ceasing approval of all study or business-related international and interstate travel by staff and students until further notice. In the case of exceptional circumstances please contact for review and consideration.

    Importantly do not book any business travel without seeking approval from the University.

    Please contact Fabian D’Mello, Manager Risk and Compliance on for information and advice on Travel Risk and Insurance.

    Study Abroad Students please contact:

    Fremantle and Broome Campus 
    Call us: +61 8 9433 0121
    Visit us: ND1 (opposite Foley Hall)
    Email us:

    Sydney Campus
    Call us: +61 2 8204 4382
    Visit us: Pioneer House
    Email us:

  • How can I keep safe on public transport?

      If you are travelling to and from the university on public transport, check the below pages for advice on how to stay safe:

    • Transperth
    • TransportNSW or the COVIDSafe Travel Choices page
    • The NSW Government is now strongly encouraging the use of face masks in indoor settings where physical distancing is hard to maintain, for example on public transport. Read more here.