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Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus Update #20

National Response: New Zealand moved from Alert Level 3 to Alert Level 2 from 14 May

In Alert Level 2, a lot of normal life will resume, with some minor adjustments. Most businesses will start functioning, and educational institutions will open. However, as we gain more freedom, we should not forget that COVID-19 is still a risk. To keep New Zealand safe and to reduce the risk of transmission, the Government will require the following stay in place at Alert Level 2:

  • Maintain physical distancing – 2m away from strangers, 1m away from those in a workplace or classroom.
  • Socialising may occur but only in small, controlled gatherings of up to 10 people (including those in already in a household). Distancing should continue.
  • Businesses needs to ensure physical distancing, hygiene standards and tracing systems are in place.
  • Education institutions and early childhood centres will open with controls in place.
  • Everyone is encouraged to make a record of who they meet with and locations they have been to, in case tracing is required.
  • Anyone who is unwell will need to self-isolate, get tested, and tracing their close contacts will continue.
  • Wide-scale testing will continue.

Read for more details.

Student travel

Safe travel is allowed in Level 2.  Those travelling should follow good personal hygiene, maintain a record of the travel services and who they contact. They should also keep an appropriate distance from groups of people they don’t know.

The New Zealand borders will remain closed to reduce the spread of the virus from outside the country. Students are advised to regularly check the Immigrations NZ website and the official websites of their country’s Embassy or High Commission in New Zealand for information on Visa and Travel.

UCOL updates

UCOL values the wellbeing and safety of UCOL whānau and our wider community. We have been planning and preparing learning spaces for the change in Alert Levels and what this will mean for teaching and learning.

In line with the Government’s advice, we are planning for students to continue theoretical learning from home and come to campus for practical activities, tutorials and assessments in Alert Level 2.

We'll continue to increase the amount of people we have on our campuses in the coming weeks, so please take a moment to read the info below and drop us an email at if you have any questions.

Phased return to campus

After Queen's Birthday weekend, we will begin to open up our campuses for more people.

The systems we have in place are working and comply with Worksafe NZ, who will be doing random checks on our campuses throughout Alert Level 2.

This next phase involves all staff returning to work on campus from 2 June.

From 8 June, general study spaces and computers will be available for students. To access these facilities you will need to do the following:

  • Use our sign in/out processes at the door (for contact tracing).
  • Maintain social distancing of at least 1 metre .
  • Wash your hands frequently and/or sanitise your hands using the sanitisers provided on campus.
  • Generally follow good hygiene practices, especially when coughing and sneezing.
  • If you are coming to campus just for classes, there is no need to sign in at the door . Your lecturer will continue to record your attendance in class.

This is all part of our new normal and will continue for some time. As part of this phased return, if you are not due to be on a UCOL campus for a class and can access all that you need to learn from home, then please continue to do so.

More about Alert Level 2

  • There are no ‘bubbles’ in Alert Level 2.
  • Everyone at UCOL must sign in and stay 1 metre apart where possible while on campus.
  • Closer contact with others is okay for less than 15 minutes and when passing in stairways etc.
  • For us to operate at Level 2, everyone needs to take a responsible approach and be considerate of others.

Teaching in Alert Level 2

  • All activity on campus must comply with the 1 metre distance requirement under COVID-19 Alert Level 2.
  • This has reduced the number of people we can fit into our classrooms and spaces.
  • Teaching staff will let you know well in advance of any classes or activities on campus that you need to attend.
  • The blend of learning on-line from home and coming to campus for some activities will continue.
  • Each programme and course is taking an approach that suits their learning requirements.
  • If you have questions about your timetable please contact your lecturer or Programme Leader.
  • The semester dates remain unchanged.

Students are requested to in touch with their lecturers regarding classes and changes to your specific programme. Check your UCOL email, student intranet, Facebook groups (if relevant) and Moodle regularly.

Tanz eCampus is operating as normal with no change to programmes or start/finish dates.  For more info view Tanz eCampus website.

The Incident Management Team has released the return to campus plan for Alert Level 2 which is provided in the link below.

Student support

The Student Success team will continue providing care and support for UCOL students during the Level 2.  We encourage you to talk to the Student Success team and get support. Sessions will be available on campus. Manawatū and Whanganui students can make an appointment here. Horowhenua and Wairarapa students can check the links below for staff contact details to arrange an appointment.

Read the latest Tertiary Students Bulletin from Government.

We look forward to welcoming the majority of students and staff onto UCOL campuses when we return to level 2.

Bus service

The Horizons bus that travels from Whanganui to Palmersto North in the morning, and returns in the evening, is running. The shuttle that runs from Palmerston North to Whanganui is currently suspended, however should the number of passangers increase sufficiently it will be reinstated. If you need to use the Palmerston North to Whanganui shuttle service please email

Key local and national services during COVID-19

Manawatu and Horowhenua Services    Whanganui Services    Wairarapa Services

Hardship support information for international students

Support Information for International Students

Student meetings

We had  Zoom sessions for students providing a platform for students to engage with staffs and share their concerns. Here are the meeting notes for those who couldn’t attend the meetings.

Zoom session on Friday, 24 April

Whanganui   Wairarapa   

Zoom session on 7 and 8 May

Whanganui   Wairarapa   

Future communications has been set up for staff and students to send any questions to or seek clarification regarding COVID-19. General and programme related enquires via ‘contact us’ form or ‘help’ on the website will be processed as usual. Updates will be via UCOL social media, website and email. Where urgently required we will also text students.

Information Systems & Technology

UCOL Information Systems & Technology team has shared the instructions to access the Creative Cloud Destop App for students.

Unite aganist COVID-19

The Ministry of Health has launched a dedicated website for COVID-19 that provides every information and updates on COVID-19.

COVID-19: Information for disabled people and their family and whānau

COVID-19 - New Zealand Sign Language

COVID-19 - Easy Read information

Travel advice

New Zealand government has advised all New Zealanders to not travel overseas. The temporary border closure continues to remain in place. Read the recent updates.

Key sources of information and advice are: