Dear Colleagues,

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to evolve, the University has now put in place an immediate moratorium on all University-funded (i.e. all sources of funds) international travel by staff and students to minimise risk of exposure to the virus.

The health and safety of our students, staff and community is our highest priority and as such, the University made the decision at an extraordinary meeting of VCAG (the Vice-Chancellor’s Advisory Group).

This moratorium applies across all of the University’s Australian campuses and to not only prospective but also previously booked travel.

Any travel in the immediate next six weeks (until end of April) is cancelled, unless express approval of the Chief Operating Officer (COO) is granted. COO approval will generally only be granted to existing contractual obligations that are required to be met by the University.

Travel requests beyond the six-week period will be reconsidered closer to that time and will be assessed on criteria including staff safety, business requirements and contractual obligations.

Staff undertaking personal international travel while on leave are asked to closely monitor the Government’s Smart Traveller for travel updates, including entry restrictions. Changes to travel information and entry to Australia are changing often and quickly.

The University will also be recommending that students reconsider any personal travel plans and also refer to the Smart Traveller website.

The University will continue to follow the advice and directions set by the Australian Government and NSW Health in its response to COVID-19. UOW staff continue to work closely with the health authorities to provide a safe environment for our students, staff and community.

There remains no confirmed cases of coronavirus at any Australian UOW campus. We will continue to monitor the situation and update staff and students as new information becomes available.

The University has long-established public health procedures in place that have been refined from experience during previous influenza pandemics such as SARS in 2003.

Individuals can minimise risk of infection and avoid the spread of disease by practising positive hygiene principals: washing hands regularly using soap or alcohol-based hand wash; covering your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when coughing and sneezing; discarding used tissues immediately in the bin; not attending work or study if unwell.

Detailed information about COVID-19 can be found at the staff FAQs page and the University’s coronavirus response page. Stay up to date on the latest COVID-19 developments via the Universe newsletter and the MyUOW app.

Thank you,

Damien Israel
Chief Operating Officer