Updates on coronavirus

Thursday 26 March 2020

AMDC and ATC buildings in Hawthorn captured in the morning on the first day of semester 2015.

Swinburne has established an incident management group and is closely monitoring the situation.

In summary

26 March – 12.00pm AEDT 

The health and wellbeing of our students remains Swinburne’s priority. In light of the tightened social distancing measures announced by the federal government and in the best interests of our community’s health, we have transitioned most of our support services online.   

Following are some of the ways we are continuing to support our students during this time and the services that can be accessed remotely: 

  • We have established the Swinburne Student Emergency Fund to support students who have been impacted by an emergency, including COVID-19.  
  • We are introducing special consideration for all students. Students who fail this semester will not have their fail grades recorded on their Academic Transcript and any fail grades this semester will not have an impact on their GPA.  
  • All campus libraries, Latelabs and student HQs are now closed, but students can continue to access support via phone, email and live chat, Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm. 
  • The Wellbeing at Swinburne clinic is still open for appointments at Hawthorn campus from Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm.   

24 March – 10.40pm AEDT

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced further restrictions on social gatherings in enclosed spaces. From midnight on Wednesday 26 March, the following services will be restricted:

  • cafes will remain limited to takeaway, as announced on Sunday 
  • cinemas, nightclubs, casinos, gambling venues, adult entertainment venues, concert venues, stadiums, as announced on Sunday 
  • amusement parks and arcades 
  • indoor and outdoor play centres 
  • community and recreation centres, health clubs, fitness centres, yoga, barre, spin facilities, saunas and wellness centres
  • boot camps and outdoor personal training are limited to a maximum of 10 people 
  • hairdressers and barbers must limit patrons with appointments no longer than 30 minutes
  • social sporting-based activities such as swimming pools
  • weddings and funerals are subject to social distancing rules
  • galleries, museums, national institutions, historic sites, libraries, community centres, non-essential facilities, community facilities such as halls and PCYCs
  • food courts in shopping centres are limited to serving takeaway
  • auction houses and open house inspections 
  • outdoor and indoor markets will be addressed specifically by individual states and territories
  • beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons and tattoo parlours.

Mr Morrison also announced that the existing ‘do not travel’ advice for Australians relating to overseas travel has been upgraded to a travel ban. Exemptions to this ban include aid workers, compassionate care and essential travel for employment.

For the latest travel information, consult the government’s Smartraveller website.

23 March – 1.00pm AEDT

The Australian and Victorian governments have issued new directives, requiring non-essential services to be closed or limited from midday today. This includes:

  • gyms and indoor sporting venues
  • pubs, registered and licensed clubs (excluding bottle shops attached to these venues), hotels (excluding accommodation)
  • cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos and night clubs
  • restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery
  • religious gatherings and places of worship.

Further to these restrictions, the Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, announced that school holidays in the state have been brought forward to Tuesday 24 March, to allow schools to plan for remote learning.

Universities have responsibly implemented the social distancing directives and we are not being asked to close. The government recognises our vital role in our communities; acknowledging our critical role in educating our students, developing the workforce for the future, and continuing to develop new knowledge through our research.

However, in keeping with the strong direction to abide by social distancing directives, and in the best interests of our community, we have asked staff to work from home, starting Tuesday 24 March.

It will be essential for some staff to continue to work on campus, and buildings will remain accessible to staff to support them in making the transition to working from home. At all times, staff are required to abide by social distancing rules.

We have tremendous experience in providing excellence in online education and we are confident our students will continue to receive the very best education available. Swinburne students who want to discuss their study options are advised to speak to their unit convener or teacher in the first instance. Students can also contact Library and Student HQ on 1300 794 628 or email askgeorge@swin.edu.au.   

Staff and their immediate families have support available through our Employee Assistance Program.   

20 March – 3.30pm AEDT

The Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has announced updated social distancing rules of four square metres per person (2 metres by 2 metres) for non-essential gatherings of less than 100 people in an enclosed space.   

Mr Morrison also announced new travel restrictions in remote Indigenous communities. All non-essential travel into Indigenous communities is now banned under the Biosecurity Act. Exemptions apply to supplying and undertaking critical services such as medical care, mental health and domestic violence support, police and emergency services, food and medical supplies, educational and maintenance and repairs of essential services.

20 March – 10.30am AEDT 

Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has announced new border restrictions.

From 9pm on Friday 20 March, non-residents and non-Australian citizens will not be permitted to enter Australia.  Exemptions are available for immediate family members.

Any Australian citizens, permanent residents and travellers exempt from the entry restrictions must self-isolate for 14 days when they return to Australia from overseas.

The government is continuing to ask that Australians do not travel internationally and that all Australians overseas return home as soon as possible.  Those who are unable to do so should follow the advice of local authorities and minimise their risk of exposure to COVID-19 by self-isolating.

For the latest travel information, consult the government’s Smartraveller website.

19 March – 4.00pm AEDT 

Swinburne has paused on-campus coursework teaching this week as we prepare to transition to teaching online from Monday.

Campus remains open. However, a small number of facilities are temporarily closed to minimise the risk to our community. This includes:

  • Multifaith facility on Level 3 of Hawthorn's George Swinburne (GS) Building
    • All prayer, meditation and faith rooms are temporarily closed
    • Chaplaincy support for students will continue to be available by telephone during this time. Students can consult our list of spiritual carers. 
  • Community Bank at Swinburne
    • The customer hub at our Hawthorn campus is closed but branch staff can be contacted on +613 5485 7373
  • Hawthorn Aquatic Leisure Centre (HALC)
    • HALC is closed and regular programs including swimming lessons, gymnastics, group fitrness and childcare are cancelled.
  • Haddons café at 642 Glenferrie Place, Hawthorn

Other university facilities including StudentHQ, our library and health centres remain open.

Staff can continue working on campus while implementing the latest advice on social distancing, but have the option of working from home with the support of their manager.

Local councils have closed a number of facilities and cancelled events. For closures around your campus, consult the following websites:

18 March – 12.00pm AEDT 

Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has announced a number of new rules to slow the spread of COVID-19.

This includes:

  • An indefinite level-four travel warning for the entire world, which asks that Australians ‘do not travel’ overseas.
  • A ban on non-essential indoor gatherings of 100 people or more and outdoor gatherings of 500 people or more.
  • Social distancing advice, such as not shaking hands and staying 1.5 metres from other people, remains in place.

Infographic explaining social distancing and how it helps slow the spread of coronavirus

Social distancing includes simple, everyday actions that can contain the spread of COVID-19

Gatherings listed as ‘essential’ by the government continue to be allowed, which currently includes: universities, schools and childcares; public transport; emergency, health and medical facilities; supermarkets and grocery stores; and accommodation facilities.

17 March - 10.00pm AEDT

The Australian government has changed its travel advice and is recommending that all Australians overseas return home as soon as possible via commercial flights.

With countries across the world closing their borders in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19), the government says it is concerned that Australians may not be able to return home at a later stage.

Swinburne is contacting all of its staff and students overseas to ensure they are aware of the new advice and to offer support and assistance. 

16 March – 4.30pm AEDT 

Swinburne is pausing all on-campus coursework teaching, including lectures, teaching labs and tutorials, from Tuesday 17 March 9am until Friday 20 March. 

This is to enable our staff to prepare for online delivery using existing systems from Monday 23 March. 

Where this is not feasible, alternate arrangements will be made. 

Staff will be supported to deliver their courses. 

University facilities remain open. 

All staff, including teaching staff, researchers and professional staff, are being advised to continue working on campus, while implementing the latest advice on social distancing. Staff who would prefer to work from home can be supported to do so at the discretion of their manager. 

Students already studying remotely, Higher Degree Researchers (HDRs) and those on placement or internship will not be affected by this change.  

Swinburne students with concerns or who want to discuss study options are advised to speak to their unit convener in the first instance. Students can also contact Library and Student HQ on 1300 794 628 or email askgeorge@swin.edu.au.   

Counselling and psychological services are available to all of our students. Staff and their immediate families also have support available through our Employee Assistance Program.   

General information is available on our COVID-19 hub, which we will continue to update regularly.  

15 March – 7pm AEDT 

The Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, says anyone arriving in Australia from overseas after midnight on Sunday 15 March must self-isolate for 14 days. 

The measure is part of attempts to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

Any Swinburne student or staff member required to self-isolate will be supported and offered flexible learning or working arrangements where possible.  

Mr Morrison also confirmed that non-essential, static gatherings of more than 500 people would be banned from Monday. 

Universities and schools will stay open for the time being. 

At Swinburne, classes are continuing as scheduled.  However, the university is preparing to transition to remote delivery in case face-to-face classes, labs and tutorials need to be suspended.  

Anyone who is unwell is asked to stay home.  Staff and students are asked to familiarise themselves with recommended public health measures and to practice social distancing, which involves staying 1.5 metres from other people, not shaking hands and avoiding gatherings in enclosed spaces.  

13 March – 6.30pm AEDT 

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed that schools and universities will remain open.

The government has also updated its travel advice on the Smartraveller website advising all Australians to reconsider travelling overseas at this time.

In his latest update, Mr Morrison said that all non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled from Monday to limit the spread of COVID-19.

He said that the advice does not apply to essential services such as universities, schools, workplaces, hospital, public transport, domestic travel or shopping centres. 

"What we are seeking to do is to lower the level of overall risk and, at the same time, ensure that we minimise any broader disruption that is not necessary at this stage," Mr Morrison says.

For the latest information, Swinburne students and staff can visit our COVID-19 hub

12 March – 6.30pm AEDT 

The Australian government has extended its coronavirus (COVID-19) travel ban for travellers from Italy, South Korea, Iran and China for another week.  The Prime Minister has also asked health officials to consider extending the ban to all travellers from Europe.

Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families are still exempt from restrictions but are required to self-isolate for 14 days after visiting Italy, mainland China, Iran or South Korea.

Anyone who has been outside of these countries for more than 14 days and shows no signs of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) can also enter Australia.

Swinburne is continuing to support students unable to travel to Australia, as well as members of our community affected by self-isolation measures.  

For updates and the latest travel advice from DFAT, consult the Smartraveller website

Anyone arriving on campus is asked to report any new or persisting respiratory symptoms to Wellbeing at Swinburne as quickly as possible.  

Answers to students' frequently asked questions relating to COVID-19 are available on the Swinburne website.   

11 March – 6.30pm AEDT

The health and wellbeing of our students and our staff is Swinburne’s top priority. As a result, we are making some changes to our travel and event policies, and our on-campus health services. 

Staff travel 

All Swinburne-related travel scheduled after Thursday 12 March must be postponed, including domestic and international travel paid for by Swinburne or external partners.  

Events – including graduations 

In anticipation of health authorities implementing new measures to increase social distancing, Swinburne is reviewing all upcoming university events to determine whether they are essential. 

To provide clarity and minimise health risks for our students and their families, as well as our staff, we have decided to postpone our graduation ceremonies scheduled for Thursday 26 March. Students have been invited to graduate later this year and to receive their testamur by mail. All student enquiries can be directed to graduation@swin.edu.au or 1300 794 628.  

Flu clinic 

A dedicated flu clinic will be established at our Hawthorn campus to support our staff and students who are unsure if they have symptoms that warrant attention. We encourage staff and students with flu-like symptoms to use one of the screening clinics established at Melbourne hospitals. Contact numbers are available on the Department of Health and Human Services website.  

Any student or staff member experiencing flu-like symptoms and wanting to attend the Swinburne flu clinic must call first to make an appointment. The Health Centre can be contacted on +61 3 9214 8483. We are also looking into options for our Wantirna, Croydon and Prahran (NICA) campuses to support our staff and students.  

11 March – 4.00pm AEDT 

The Australian government has expanded its coronavirus (COVID-19) travel restrictions to include Italy.  

The restrictions already apply to foreign nationals who have been in mainland China, Iran or South Korea, and include Italy as of 6.00pm AEDT Wednesday 11 March.

Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families are still exempt from restrictions but are required to self-isolate for 14 days after visiting Italy, mainland China, Iran or South Korea.

Anyone who has been outside of these countries for more than 14 days and shows no signs of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) can also enter Australia.

Swinburne is continuing to support students unable to travel to Australia, as well as members of our community affected by self-isolation measures.  

For updates and the latest travel advice from DFAT, consult the Smartraveller website

Anyone arriving on campus is asked to report any new or persisting respiratory symptoms to Wellbeing at Swinburne as quickly as possible.  

Answers to students' frequently asked questions relating to COVID-19 are available on the Swinburne website.   

5 March – 6.00pm AEDT 

The Australian government has again extended and expanded travel restrictions as part of measures related to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). 

The restrictions on foreign nationals who have been in mainland China and Iran have been extended for another week to Saturday 14 March, and revised to include South Korea.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), through its Smartraveller website, is currently advising those who are planning to travel to Japan, Italy and Mongolia to ‘exercise a high degree of caution’. Anyone planning to travel to South Korea is advised to reconsider their need to travel and is advised not to travel to Daegu.  

Travellers from Italy will face advanced screening measures on arrival in Australia.

Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families are still exempt from restrictions but are required to self-isolate for 14 days after visiting China, Iran or South Korea.

Anyone who has been outside of these countries for more than 14 days and shows no signs of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) can also enter Australia.

Swinburne is continuing to support students unable to travel to Australia, as well as members of our community affected by self-isolation measures.  

Anyone arriving on campus is asked to report any new or persisting respiratory symptoms to Wellbeing at Swinburne as quickly as possible.  

Answers to students' frequently asked questions relating to COVID-19 are available on the Swinburne website.   

For Swinburne-related travel, the university is following the latest advice from DFAT, which is available on the Smartraveller website

2 March – 6.00pm AEDT 

The Australian government has activated an emergency response plan and elevated its response to the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Swinburne’s incident management group is closely monitoring the situation and will continue to follow the advice of the relevant authorities. 

Meanwhile, travel restrictions on foreign nationals who have been in mainland China have been extended to Saturday 7 March. Heightened travel restrictions are now also in place for Iran, with the government raising its advice level to 'do not travel'. 

Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families are still exempt from restrictions, but are required to self-isolate for 14 days after visiting either China or Iran.

Anyone who has been outside of China or Iran for more than 14 days and shows no signs of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) can also enter Australia. 

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), through its Smartraveller website, is currently advising those who are planning to travel to South Korea, Japan, Italy and Mongolia to ‘exercise a high degree of caution’.

Swinburne is continuing to support students unable to travel to Australia, as well as members of our community affected by self-isolation measures.  

Anyone arriving on campus is asked to report any new or persisting respiratory symptoms to Wellbeing at Swinburne as quickly as possible.  

Answers to students' frequently asked questions relating to COVID-19 are available on the Swinburne website.   

For Swinburne-related travel, the university is following the latest advice from DFAT, available through the Smartraveller website

21 February – 11.00am AEDT   

The Australian government has again extended travel restrictions by a week to Friday 28 February. 

Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families are still exempt from the restrictions. Anyone who has been outside of China for more than 14 days and shows no signs of the novel coronavirus (now named COVID-19) can also enter Australia. 

Swinburne is continuing to support students unable to travel to Australia, as well as those affected by self-isolation measures. 

Students arriving on campus are urged to report any new or persisting respiratory symptoms as quickly as possible. These students should contact Wellbeing at Swinburne on 03 9214 8483 for advice. 

Answers to students' frequently asked questions relating to coronavirus are available on the Swinburne website.  

13 February - 7.30pm AEDT

Swinburne will continue to support students unable to travel to Australia following the government’s decision to extend travel restrictions by a week to Friday 22 February.

The university is working with any students affected by these measures, offering flexible learning options and tailored study plans to minimise the disruption to their studies.

According to the latest government advice, Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families are still exempt from the restrictions. Anyone who has been outside of China for more than 14 days and shows no signs of the novel coronavirus (now named COVID-19) can also enter Australia.

Flexible study options are also available to any students who have recently returned from China or been in contact with a confirmed case and are required to self-isolate. These students should let Swinburne know by emailing askgeorge@swin.edu.au or contact Library and studentHQ.

10 February - 11.00am AEDT

Universities Australia has issued a video message from universities around Australia showing support for students who may be affected by coronavirus and the current travel restrictions.

In the message, Swinburne’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Linda Kristjanson AO, reiterates Swinburne's support for students in China, saying that she is looking forward to their return to our campuses and supporting them in their studies. 

 

5 February - 4.00pm AEDT

Swinburne can confirm that all university activities are continuing as planned.

This includes:

  • Orientation for commencing students at Hawthorn and Wantirna campuses – 10-28 February
  • Welcome Back Week for returning students at Hawthorn Campus – 2-6 March
  • Higher Education
    • HE Block 1 – 16 February
    • Semester 1 and Term 1 – 2 March
  • Vocational Education
    • March Intake – 24 February
  • Unilink, Foundation, ELICOS
    • Unilink and Foundation Pathways – 24 February
    • ELICOS Intake 2 – 13 February 

We continue to monitor the situation and closely follow advice from the relevant government authorities. Measures are in place to protect our community.  

Students are expected to attend university activities unless you have been advised to self-isolate. Students who are self-isolating should let Swinburne know by emailing askgeorge@swin.edu.au

Answers to students' frequently asked questions relating to coronavirus are available on the Swinburne website.

Our advisers are working with students that may be affected by self-isolation requirements or travel restrictions, and updating study plans based on their needs.

Information about travel restrictions and advice for student visa holders and applicants can be found on the Department of Home Affairs website.

Students who may be affected can contact Library and studentHQ. International students can contact +61 3 9214 8444

1 February - 8.30pm AEDT

The Australian government has updated its travel advice and is recommending Australians do not travel to mainland China.

Australians currently in China are asked to leave as soon as possible by commercial means.

New border control measures are being put in place that will prevent anyone who has left or transited through mainland China from entering Australia.  Exceptions are being made for Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family.

If you are an international Swinburne student currently in China and needing advice, you can speak to one of our international student advisors.

From today, the Department of Health is also asking any travellers arriving out of mainland China to self-isolate for 14 days. 

31 January – 3.30pm AEDT

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared coronavirus a global health emergency to trigger international measures to contain the spread of the illness.  

There remain no confirmed cases of the virus at Swinburne and the appropriate measures are being taken to protect our staff and students.

Swinburne continues to follow the latest advice from Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services, and asks staff or students who have travelled to Wuhan or Hubei province in the last 14 days, or been in contact with a confirmed coronavirus case, to self-isolate and avoid public settings. 

Anyone who becomes unwell during this time is advised to call the Victorian Department of Health and Human Service’s dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398 for advice.

30 January - 3.00pm AEDT 

Swinburne continues to monitor and respond to the spread of coronavirus, which originated in the city of Wuhan in China’s Hubei province. 

Currently, there are no confirmed cases of the virus at Swinburne. 

Swinburne has established an incident management group and is closely monitoring the situation and following advice from the relevant authorities. 

If you have travelled to Wuhan or Hubei province in the last 14 days or have been in close contact with a confirmed case, you are asked to self-isolate at home and avoid public settings for 14 days after leaving Hubei province. If you become unwell during this time, call the Victorian Department of Health and Human Service’s dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398 for advice. 

Identifying symptoms and reducing transmission

Symptoms of coronavirus can include fever, a cough, shortness of breath, rapid breathing, a sore throat or runny nose. 

Anyone who is unwell or concerned about their health should stay home and consult general practitioner, health professional or the Swinburne medical clinic. Please contact the medical facility or clinic in advance so that appropriate precautionary measures can be taken ahead of your arrival. 

To help reduce the transmission of illnesses, including coronavirus, the World Health Organisation recommends: 

  • frequently cleaning hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water  
  • covering mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands afterwards  
  • avoiding close contact with anyone who has a fever or cough