University COVID-19 Guidelines

We need everyone in our community to follow our COVID-safe guidelines to keep our community safe.

Our new University COVID-19 Guidelines

We have updated the University COVID-19 Guidelines for behaviour and business on campus to reflect the new environment in which we're operating.

As more is known about the virus that causes COVID-19, and the health and safety circumstances improve, we're able to shift to behaviour-focussed guidelines, moving away from rules and regulations.

There are five key behaviours we should all make part of our every day lives:

  • Maintain good hand and cough hygiene
  • Keep your distance
  • Stay home if you're unwell and get tested
  • Check in using the 'Check In CBR' app
  • Stay informed

Please remember to isolate and get tested if you feel unwell.

Alert if you are:

  • a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19;
  • identified a close contact or a secondary contact of COVID-19; or
  • notified of a requirement to quarantine or stay-at-home.

University COVID-19 Guidelines

Version 2
Last updated Friday 7 May 2021

These Guidelines direct and support all activities associated with COVID-19 outbreak prevention and management plans on Australian National University (ANU) campuses. They are for implementation by all ANU staff types, visiting and honorary appointments (VaHAs), students, residents, external visitors, suppliers/contractors and commercial/retail operators.

About the guidelines

Version 2 of the University Guidelines has been extensively rewritten to a more risk-based approach that focusses on a set of key principles. It describes accountabilities and responsibilities of ANU staff and students, the key principles that underpin all we do on campus, guidance for specific activities, and the COVID-safe campus alert system that allows us to scale our public health measures up and down depending on the risk level in the ACT and other applicable jurisdictions.

The document is applicable to all ANU staff types, Visiting and Honorary Appointments (VaHAs), students, residents, volunteers, external visitors, suppliers/contractors and commercial/retail operators, all of whom will be collectively referred to as 'individuals'.


Roles and responsibilities

All individuals have a responsibility to be COVID-safe at all times and to follow the key principles set out in these guidelines. Individuals should be taking a balanced, risk-based approach to everything they do.

In line with the ANU Delegations Framework, the Vice-Chancellor and Council are accountable for University-level risks. The primary responsibility for managing these risks lies with the ANU Senior Executive (i.e. Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellors and Chief Operating Officer) and College Deans with delegated responsibility to School, Portfolio and Division Leads/Directors/Heads.

Consideration and management of COVID-19 related risk should reflect current lines of responsibility and accountability as a specific type of Workplace Health and Safety (WH&S) related risk. However, some COVID-19 specific roles and responsibilities have also been designated by the University.

A complete list of these responsibilities and accountabilities can be found at Appendix A.


Key principles

A number of key principles underpin all activities on campus. These principles are as follows:

  1. The health and safety of all members of the ANU community - staff, students, VaHAs, volunteers, external visitors, suppliers/contractors and commercial/retail operators - is paramount. Every measure must be taken by both the University and each individual to ensure the risk of contracting COVID-19 is minimised as far as reasonably practical
  2. All individuals have a responsibility to be COVID-safe at all times. This means everyone must:
    1. Maintain good hygiene by frequent washing or sanitising of hands, sneezing and coughing into elbows, and cleaning up your immediate area after use.
    2. Keep their distance from others where possible, particularly when indoors, and avoid crowded spaces.
    • Maximum room capacities for each alert level as stipulated in the Campus Alert System should be adhered to.
    • If unable to maintain a reasonable distance from others, consider wearing a mask or face covering, particularly if there are local COVID cases in the community[1].
    1. Stay home (or in your room) if you develop any COVID-19 like symptoms[2], self-isolate, get tested for COVID-19[3].
    2. Check in for contact tracing - contribute to contact tracing requirements by downloading the 'Check in CBR'[4] application (or jurisdictional equivalent[5]) and check in using the QR code. Alternate means of tracking are also permissible[6]. Individuals should also download and register on the Federal Government COVIDSafe Application[7].
    3. Monitor the situation - keep up to date with the local Government health advice and the Campus Alert System risk level.
  3. ANU must fulfil its legal responsibilities in relation to occupational health and safety[8] by adopting its Hazard Management procedures to identify COVID hazards, assess these risks and implement effective control measures to minimise the risk (as far as reasonably practical) of any individual contracting the virus/disease while conducting any ANU activities.
    1. All Colleges, Schools, Divisions and Portfolios are responsible for including COVID hazards as part of BAU risk assessments for every area and activities based on the guidance in this document[9].
    2. The University and its staff must follow this guideline and any additional risk control measures identified through a risk assessment.
  4. All individuals while conducting Universities activities must comply with COVID-19 directions and guidelines as indicated below. Failure to do so could result in disciplinary action in accordance with existing policies, rules and processes in place for dealing with staff or student misconduct. They must:
    1. comply with the University's COVID-19 guidelines as outlined in this document, as well as the protocols, risk assessments and action plans for the local area, to ensure that all spaces remain a safe environment.
    2. follow all enforceable public health directions[10], guidelines, protocols and advice from the ACT or other jurisdictional governments (as applicable).
  5. Individuals most at risk of complications of COVID-19[11] are subject to these guidelines but are not excluded from campus. Individuals who feel they are at increased risk of COVID-19 should discuss alternative work and/or study arrangements with supervisors. If the individual has an onsite dedicated responsibility, appropriate alternate arrangements need to be made on campus before transitioning to working from home.
  6. The COVID-safe campus alert system (Appendix B) will guide and determine all risk mitigation measures on campuses. This includes but is not limited to the following:
    • Wearing masks on campus
    • Physical distancing/room capacity limits
    • Cleaning protocols
    • Functions and Events
    • Travel - domestic and international
    • Field-based studies, professional and clinical placements and internships
    • The presence of vulnerable people on campus
    • Visitors to campus
  7. Facilities and Services Division will install and monitor signage and 'Check in CBR' QR Codes at all entrances, points of egress around buildings and in communal areas on each floor. The ANU UniSafe team will check and report that this signage is in place daily. if the signage is not visible, a workflow to replace the missing QR code will be created.
  8. Indoor environments must be well ventilated to reduce the risk of aerosol transmission of COVID-19. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems must be well-maintained and operating properly. Consideration should be given to opening windows where applicable or moving events outdoors where appropriate.
  9. Individuals who are a suspected[12] or confirmed case of COVID-19, or who have been identified as either a close contact of someone with COVID-19 or is a close contact of a close contact, must self-isolate, follow medical advice and notify the COVID Response Office. Individuals who have otherwise been told to self-isolate or quarantine should also notify the COVID Response Office. They should follow all health guidance and not return to campus until they have been cleared to do so. More information on notification and processes required in these situations is available in the COVID-19 Notification Requirements at ANU (PDF, 633.42 KB).
  10. The COVID Response Office will be the primary liaison point with ACT Health, including in relation to contact tracing and outbreak management. It will also be the single point of contact for any questions or concerns about COVID-19 related matters. After hours ACT Policing or ACT Health may contact ANU UniSafe (Security) to conduct self-isolation or quarantine checks. In these cases, the COVID Response Office should be notified by email where possible.
  11. Each College or Division is to determine who are essential workers in accordance with Appendix C.

Guidance for specific activities or circumstances

In addition to the Key Principles, the following general guidance is provided on specific activities. This guidance will vary depending on the Campus Alert Level.

  1. All events and functions must seek approvals in accordance with the Functions on Campus Protocol (PDF, 650.32 KB). Informal student events and study groups may continue if individuals are COVID-safe.
  2. The requirement to use Personal Protective Equipment should be based on official health advice and be used as outlined in specific protocols based on the level of risk.[1].
  3. Staff and students who are health care workers or students must follow the specific directions, guidelines and protocols of their place of work.
  4. The University permits vehicle travel (in line with existing vehicle procedures and processes) in accordance with current restrictions in the local State or Territory[2].
  5. Communal spaces can be used provided COVID-safe practices are followed, including ensuring any food handling is done with gloves and appropriate utensils, or food is individually plated.
  6. Sport is allowed on campus provided ACT Health[3] (or other jurisdictional) and general COVID-safe guidelines are followed.
  7. Students living in Residential student accommodation must abide by the principles in these guidelines and also comply with specific guidance as outlined in the Residential COVID Guidelines (PDF, 771.9 KB).
  8. Details on the management of quarantine on campus can found in Annex 3 to Residential Guidelines - Home based quarantine in student accommodation (PDF, 824.44 KB).

[3] ACT Health guidance on use of community sport and swimming pools is at:


COVID-safe campus alert system

The COVID-safe campus alert system has been established to clarify ANU control practices to be activated as the COVID-19 situation changes in Australia, the ACT and other jurisdictions as appropriate. This will ensure the University will continue to operate in a COVID-safe manner despite changing circumstances.

The various risk levels including triggers for escalating risk, are detailed below:

  • NORMAL (Green) - Pandemic has been declared over
  • LOW RISK (Blue) - COVID normal. No local transmission in jurisdiction
  • MEDIUM RISK (Amber) - local transmission in jurisdiction
  • HIGH RISK (Orange) - local outbreak or hotspot. May include:
    • Cases on campus
    • Lockdowns or severe restrictions in jurisdiction
  • EXTREME (Red) - large local outbreak; widespread hard lockdowns

The requirement to move between these stages will be determined by the Public Health Lead - COVID Response Office and a recommendation will be made to the VC to formally increase or decrease risk level. The community will be alerted immediately via the ANUOK app when there is a change in level.

A more detailed list of changes to control measures at different risk levels is at Appendix B. These measures are the minimum required. The local risk assessment should inform any additional measures that may be required.



The key references utilised for the development of this document include:




Risk assessments

From Tuesday 20 April, the University requires all risk assessments conducted in accordance with the University COVID-19 Guidelines to assess COVID-19 hazards and risks and implement controls to reduce the risk of exposure. There is no longer a requirement to complete a separate COVID-19 Risk Assessment Template.

Here is a collection of common controls associated with COVID-19 exposure to consider.

Additionally, click on the below links to access the


Supporting resources

Notifications process

COVID-19 Notification Requirements at ANU (PDF, 644.86 KB)

Teaching and learning

Safety plan for education delivery spaces (PDF, 617 KB) - aligned with the COVID-normal restrictions we are currently operating under in the ACT.

Functions and events

Functions on Campus Protocol (PDF, 650.32 KB) - aligned with the COVID-normal restrictions we are currently operating under in the ACT.

Residential halls and colleges



[1] Information on the use of masks can be found on the NSW Health website: and the ACT Health website

[5] For example, Information on the Service NSW app can be found at:

[6] Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) obligations are applicable when undertaking these processes:

[8] As prescribed by the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act 2011 (Cth) and WHS Regulation 2011 (Cth)

[9] Note - this does not mean a COVID-safe plan is required for BAU functions. Such as plan is only required for functions and events.

[10] ACT Government 2021, Public Health Directions. Available at:

[12] A suspected case is someone who has developed COVID-19 like symptoms, is undergoing testing for COVID-19 and has a known risk factor, such as: close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case; international travel; interstate travel to a known hotspot; healthcare, aged care or residential care workers or staff with direct patient contact

[15] ACT Health guidance on use of community sport and swimming pools is at: