Coronavirus / Health and safety update

The University is continuing to closely monitor the situation around the continued spread of the novel coronavirus and we are taking advice from the relevant authorities, including the Australian Government’s Department of Health, DFAT Smart Traveller and the World Health Organisation.

What is this virus?

Coronaviruses can make humans and animals sick. Some coronaviruses can cause illness similar to the common cold and others can cause more serious diseases, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

The virus seen in Wuhan, China is called ‘novel’ because it is new. It has not been detected before this outbreak. Most people infected live in or travelled to, Wuhan, China. There have been cases of 2019-nCoV reported in other Chinese provinces and other countries. It is likely that the virus originally came from an animal, and there is now evidence that it can spread from person-to-person.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms can include fever and cough, sore throat, or shortness of breath.

If you suspect you may have the novel coronavirus, please call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398. Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

How do I protect myself from viral infections?

It is also a timely reminder of the importance of following hygiene principles to prevent the spread of any communicable illnesses.

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Alternatively, sneeze or cough into your inner elbow.
  • Dispose of used tissues into a plastic-lined rubbish bin immediately after use.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth as infections
  • Not share eating utensils, food or drinks.
  • Clean surfaces regularly, such as bathroom sinks and taps, kitchen sinks and counters.
  • Don’t go to work if you are unwell and don’t send your children to school or childcare if they are unwell. Seek medical attention.

Can I attend La Trobe if I am overseas or recently returned? 

From 1 February 2020, people who have visited or transited through mainland China will be banned from entering Australia for two weeks from 1 February.

Australian citizens, permanent residents and members of their immediate families will be exempt from the ban but will continue to be asked to self‐isolate for 14 days from their date of departure from China.

This is a temporary measure, which will be reviewed in 14 days.

As this affects many of our Chinese student community, we are actively working on a number of contingency plans to ensure as many affected students as possible can start and continue their studies while these border controls remain in place, and to successfully continue their studies with us once the controls are lifted.

We recognise that this is potentially disruptive for new and returning students from China and we are putting every possible measure in place to minimise disruption to your study plans. For example, it may be possible to start your degree online.

If you have concerns about the impact on your studies, please contact La Trobe International Student Services.

Chinese students can follow the latest advice on social media channels WeiBo and WeChat:



What if I have recently returned from mainland China, including Hubei Province?

All students and staff who have travelled to mainland China including Hubei Province within the past 14 days must isolate themselves at their home or hall of residence for 14 days from the time they left China and follow the advice of the Department of Health.

Monitor your health closely, and if you develop symptoms, you need to call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398. Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only. You cannot attend La Trobe until Public Health informs you that it is safe for you to do so.

General Information and FAQs

Comprehensive background information and Frequently Asked Questions can be found from our website.

Please make sure you keep across this information which will be updated regularly.