Residential students off campus

Latest directions

Residential students unable to travel to campus

  • If you are in an area in a lockdown, please stay where you are if it is safe to do so and follow all public health directions. You will need to continue your semester 2 studies online until you get an exemption to travel to the ACT or restrictions ease where you are.
  • If you are not safe to stay where you are and have an urgent need to return to the ACT, please email accomreturntocampus@anu.edu.au. An urgent need may include being homeless or unsafe in your current housing. We'll do all we can to support you and explain your exceptional circumstances to ACT Health.

Students in Greater Sydney

How long will I need to wait to return to ANU?

You will need to continue your semester 2 studies online until you get an exemption to travel to the ACT or restrictions ease where you are.

We have been working closely with the ACT Government on a way to return a small group of students who meet the ACT Government's exemption requirements to quarantine on campus. We now have to pause our preparations at least until the ACT lockdown is lifted.   

If an on-campus quarantine trial goes ahead and is successful, we would work with the ACT Government to continue quarantining our students on campus and help more of you to return safely to the ACT. However, the reality for most of you who do not meet the limited exemption criteria is that you will need to stay where you are and continue online learning for the foreseeable future.

We understand that waiting to return is frustrating. We are doing everything we can to find a pathway for your return that meets government requirements and keeps you, and everyone around you, safe.  

We will continue to update you as soon as new information becomes available.  

Students in a lockdown elsewhere in Australia

How long will I need to wait to return to ANU?

Until you are approved to return to the ACT, please stay where you are and continue to follow the health advice of that jurisdiction.

If you are in an area that declares a lockdown, please stay where you are if it is safe to do so and follow all public health directions. The purpose of lockdowns is to limit movement while contact tracers work to quickly to identify who has been exposed to the virus and move them to quarantine. Most lockdowns usually end relatively quickly once all sources of transmission have been identified. For this reason, students should stay in place and follow local health directions until restrictions are eased, at which time entry into the ACT is usually a more straight forward process.

Leaving lockdown areas is a violation of the public health directions and people who do so could be fined. We will monitor the situation and will work with ACT Health to find potential ways for you to return to campus if the lockdown where you are continues to be extended.

I plan to travel to the ACT from a state that is not in lockdown, but I need to transit through an area that is in lockdown. Will I be able to enter the ACT?

Yes, you can enter the ACT without any restriction if you transit through an area that is in lockdown by car, train or an airport, as long as you do not exit the airport, car or train other than to go directly to the next mode of transport. More information can be found on the ACT Health website.

Contracts and rent

I'm a residential student with a room on campus. What are my obligations regarding my occupancy agreement and rent?

You were advised before you signed your Occupancy Agreement that if you were unable to use the room because of a public health direction, you would continue to be liable for the cost of that room. 

If you are experiencing any financial difficulties in making payments, contact your residence to discuss what options are available. If you are experiencing financial hardship, you can apply for an emergency accommodation bursary.

I'm a residential student and live in a catered residence. Can I get some relief from paying for my meals? 

Our catering contracts require us to pay for the full population of students regardless of the occupancy level.  This arrangement allows us to keep your catering prices lower than would be possible if we allowed for flexibility with catering.

The consequence is that students are required to continue to pay the catering costs as part of their tariff as agreed to in their Occupancy Agreement. 

If you are experiencing any financial difficulties in making payments, contact your residence to discuss what options are available. If you are experiencing financial hardship, you can apply for an emergency accommodation bursary.

Exemptions and quarantine

Can I get an exemption to travel to the ACT? If so, how?

A small number of our on-campus residential students may be eligible for an exemption from ACT Health to travel to the ACT. To be eligible, students need to demonstrate an urgent or priority need to travel to the ACT and have a safe, approved place to quarantine.

When you submit an exemption request, include as much detail and supporting documentation to help ACT Health assess your case. You may receive a call from an ACT Health officer who will ask you for further details to assess your situation.

Until you are approved to return to the ACT, please stay where you are and continue to follow the health advice of that jurisdiction.

We are working with ACT Health to seek approval to bring all students back in a large group. Pathways back to the ACT for our on-campus residential students currently in Greater Sydney were discussed during the online forum on Tuesday 27 July 2021. To clarify, there are two pathways back to campus that health authorities have approved:

  1. If you are not safe to stay where you are and have an urgent need to return to the ACT, please email accomreturntocampus@anu.edu.au with your uni ID number and "Quarantine" in the subject line immediately. An urgent need may include being homeless or unsafe in your current housing. We'll do all we can to support you and explain your exceptional circumstances to ACT Health. You will also need to apply for an exemption directly from ACT Health to travel to the ACT.
  2. If you have a "priority need" to return (see definition below), and have documentation to verify this need, you should arrange your own accommodation off campus that is suitable for safe quarantine and apply for an exemption directly from ACT Health to travel to the ACT. If you are approved by ACT Health to travel to the ACT, you will need to advise accomreturntocampus@anu.edu.au.

What is a "priority need" to travel to the ACT?

A priority need to travel to the ACT may include, but is not limited to: 

  • Needing to commence or maintain work, especially if you are at risk of losing employment if you do not return imminently
  • A documented impact on your mental health if you do not return imminently;
  • An unsafe living situation, which may include being accommodated at somewhere currently unsafe or impractical, being severely financially impacted by your current living situation, or facing loss of current accommodation; or
  • needing to attend an in-person placement or face-to-face studies to meet course requirements. This will only apply if course requirements cannot be met online.

You will need to provide documentation as evidence for your exceptional need to travel to the ACT. This may include a letter from your employer, medical reports, lease arrangement, photos of your living arrangement, police reports.

What is a "safe, approved place to quarantine" in the ACT?

ACT Health has strict requirements for spaces which are suitable for quarantine. ACT Health has determined that on-campus accommodation is currently not suitable for quarantine due to the transmissibility of the Delta COVID-19 strain, but we are working with ACT Health on quarantine protocols and will update you when we can.

You must be able to be safely accommodated in the ACT during your quarantine period.

Either: 

  • At an approved hotel in the ACT, for which you provide evidence of a booking confirmation; or
  • At a residence of a friend or family member who provides written confirmation that you can quarantine there. If there are other members residing in the household, you will need access to a separate bedroom and bathroom, otherwise the whole household will need to quarantine.

How do I book a hotel to quarantine in?

When you apply for an exemption with ACT Health, they will provide you with a list of Quarantine-approved hotels. You will need to book for 15 days and pre-pay for your stay. When you make your booking with the hotel, remember to inform them of any requirements. You will not be able to leave the hotel for the quarantine period, except in an emergency. Here are some useful questions to consider:

  • Do you require any disability adjustments?
  • Do you need a kitchen to cook in?
  • What are the parking arrangements?
  • What size bed is available, and do you need to bring your own sheets and/or other linen such as bath towels?
  • Is there WiFi available at the hotel?  If yes, are there any additional charges I should be aware of?
  • When can you check-in?  Does the hotel have any specific check-in arrangements for quarantining individuals?
  • What is their cancellation or amendment policy, in case my circumstances change after my booking?

Can I quarantine in a hotel with my friend/partner?

This is a decision for ACT Health. In some cases, they may allow you to quarantine with one other person. Be aware that if one of you test positive for COVID-19, you and the other person will need to quarantine for an additional period.

Will ANU pay for my hotel quarantine?

No, students will be responsible for covering the cost of their quarantine in a hotel. This includes any associated hotel costs, such as parking, wi-fi, mini-bar and meals.

Students were advised not to travel away from their residences at this time, except for urgent reasons, due to the unpredictability of the COVID-19 situation across Australia.

If you are experiencing financial hardship, more information about bursaries can be found here.

How do I get food during quarantine?

As you are not allowed to leave your hotel room, you will need to arrange deliveries of food and groceries. Coles and Woolworths offer delivery services, and there are also meal delivery services. Please check with the hotel you are staying at to see if there are any specific delivery instructions you may need to provide with your order, such as delivery point or timeframes for delivery (ie some hotels reception areas are not 24/7 staffed).

We have partnered with the meal delivery service, Gym Meals Direct, which have a special discount code for ANU students. For more information on how to access this discount, please contact your residence.

I can't quarantine with a friend or family member, or at an approved hotel in the ACT. Is there another option?

If you are unable to quarantine in any of the above accommodation options and have an urgent need to return to the ACT due to safety reasons, please email accomreturntocampus@anu.edu.au

I have a self-contained apartment on campus and am happy to quarantine in there. Can I stay in my apartment?

ACT Health have deemed that all on-campus accommodation is unsuitable for quarantine purposes. We have asked ACT Health to re-consider this option and we will provide advice as soon as it is available. 

I have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Can I get an exemption on that basis?

No. As only a small amount of the population is vaccinated, and people who have been vaccinated could still transmit the virus, you will be subject to the same requirements as others who have not yet been vaccinated.

Studying online

Click here to find out more about studying online and academic support.

Accessing support and staying connected

We have a range of support services for our students, and these can be accessed remotely at no cost.

There are also a range of financial support options available to you.