Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We have a comprehensive set of plans, protocols and other measures in place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our ANU community.

Sometimes finding the information that you need, when you need it, can be tricky. To assist you, we have developed the below questions and answers based on queries coming in from the community.

This page will be updated as new questions come through.

If you have a question that you would like to ask, please send it in via the Ask a Question web form. Alternatively, you can email the COVID Response Office:

Click on the topics below to find out more.


 » COVID-safe posters and resources

Where can I get COVID-safe posters?

We have compiled some of the most reliable resources to help you understand current advice and restrictions. This includes guidance on signage and posters that work areas must display, and how to get these printed for your area.

 » Exams and grading

What's happening about exams and assessments?

We recognise that this year has been very disrupted for you, so we've made some adjustments to grading and assessment to support you and your wellbeing. Click here for more information on grading, exams and graduations in Semester 2, 2020.

You will also find some helpful information on how to deal with the anxiety around exams in our self-help section at this link. This resource has also been translated into Chinese, Arabic and Indonesian.

 » Functions and events on campus

I am considering holding a function on campus. What are the steps for me to consider to make sure it is a COVID-safe event?

ACT Health further eased our restrictions on Friday 9 October, moving to Step 3.2 of the Canberra Recovery Plan and we have updated our Functions on Campus Protocol to reflect this. Under step 3.2 restrictions all gatherings can increase to 200 people, where one person per four square metres can be maintained in indoor spaces and one person per two square metres for outdoor spaces.

End of year events

You may be able to hold an end of year event including on-campus functions. Facilities & Services (F&S) will open BBQs which are a safe (and low-cost) event option for teams. You can also look at functions off-campus, but these should adhere to ACT health guidelines, including social distancing and hygiene protocols.

All supervisors are responsible for ensuring events are inclusive, COVID-safe and meet current ACT Health adviceUniversity Guidelines and Functions on Campus Protocols (as applicable). If you have questions about an end of year function, please contact the COVID Response Office.

 » Masks, and staying COVID-safe and healthy

Visit this page for our latest tips on staying COVID-safe and healthy. 

If you are sick and think you might have COVID-19, check your symptoms using healthdirect's Coronavirus (COVID-19) Symptom Checker

Should I wear a face mask on campus?

Wearing a mask on campus is not mandatory at the current low risk level, but we encourage wearing a face covering when coming on to campus to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community. If we go to a higher risk level, wearing of masks will become mandatory. 

This page provides advice relating to the use and/or provision of face coverings at all ANU campuses during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Can COVID-19 be spread through air conditioners?

It was known early on that COVID-19 can spread via droplets that is when an infected individual breathes, speak, coughs or sneezes. These droplets generally only travel a few feet of the person, which why spatial distancing (the 1.5M rule) is one of the most import measures we have to stop the spread of infection.

More recently it has been recognised that the virus can be spread as an aerosol, that is when an infected person breathes out microscopic infectious particles that are so small that they stay in the air and spread from person to person in air currents, and therefore can travel much further.

According to the WHO, a well-maintained and operated air conditioning system can actually reduce the spread of COVID-19 in indoor spaces by increasing the rate of air change, reducing recirculation of air and increasing the use of outdoor air.

If you are concerned that your office space is not well ventilated, please raise your concerns with your building manager.

 » Outdoor activities and sport on campus

Can we resume outdoor sports?

Outdoor activities can resume on campus. Click the below links for more information about:

   » Sport and recreation
   » Functions on Campus

 » Remote campuses

How does the COVID-safe campus alert system apply to remote campuses?

Visit this page for information on remote campuses and an indicative alert level for each campus. It also includes local health information and campus-specific measures in place.

 » Research fieldwork

Can research fieldwork recommence?

Yes. Domestic fieldwork may recommence after considering the conditions and process in the Research Fieldwork Protocol.

 » Returning to campus - information for managers

What should a manager know when planning for their staff to return to campus?

It is important you follow these steps when considering re-starting your activities on campus:

  1. Review the guidelines
  2. Develop a plan
  3. Complete a risk assessment
  4. Review and complete Protocols
  5. Gain approval
  6. Submit plan to the COVID Response Office

This guide can help you complete each of these actions.

 » Students in domestic hotspots

Will ANU support me in seeking an exemption to return to Canberra to continue my studies?

ACT Health has advised that a letter from ANU will only be considered in deliberations for exemption if that letter attests that a student must be on campus for face to face learning.  Accordingly, these are the only circumstances in which a letter will be provided. If a letter is required in these circumstances, it will be provided by the Dean of Students.

Note that nearly all courses in UG and PG coursework programs in Semester 2 have been adapted so that they can be undertaken remotely.

Can I get an exemption to travel back to the Canberra if my mental health is suffering from being away from campus?

ACT Health may issue exemptions in exceptional circumstances, including for compassionate reasons.

If you believe your mental health is suffering as a result of being away from campus, you may be eligible to seek exemption. This does not require a supporting letter from ANU, however you will need a letter from your GP outlining your condition and how returning to the ACT may be beneficial.

More information on how to apply for an exemption is available here.

If you are granted an exemption, you will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon your return.

Can I return to campus if I am an HDR student and need to attend to further my research?

Students who may be required to be on campus for reasons other than coursework will be considered on a case by case basis. If you think that this applies to you, please contact the Dean of Students.

I am feeling disconnected from the University. How can I reconnect?

A range of virtual events have been organised to help you to continue to be connected and participate in co-curricular, social and wellbeing activities.  You will find a number of events and activities listed here.

Additionally, a large number of university wide and College specific activities are now being conducted online. Information can be found here.

Your College and School are also there for you, and many of your colleagues are in a similar boat. Don't be afraid to reach out, make contact, and even ask for assistance.

I feel like my mental health and/or general wellbeing is suffering and that this is impacting on my ability to study. Where can I go to get help?

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on many people's lives, and especially in Victoria. It is therefore even more important than usual to work hard to ensure you are maximising your health and wellbeing in the five essential areas: physical, mental, social, financial and spiritual. You will find some tips to assist you here.

To support your wellbeing, learning and development while at the ANU and to assist you if you are having difficulties, you have access to a range of support services. These are now available remotely from home either by email, videoconferencing and or phone. You can find a full list of services and information on how to access them can be found here.

We also have a range of self-help resources that cover common topics of interest to students such as homesickness, issues with study, relationships and mental health.

 » Support

Where can I get support?

Need help now?

If you are in immediate danger, phone 000. If you are safe but require urgent assistance phone ANU Wellbeing and Support Line (for students) on 1300 050 327 or Assure Employee Assistance Program (for staff) on 1800 808 374.

You may also refer to Urgent Support for a list of community services available across Australia and locally in the ACT.

Support for our community

The University provides a range of support services to all students (both domestic and international) and staff, to support their wellbeing and mental health. All support services are available remotely.

Click on the links below for information:

If you do not require urgent assistance, and are unsure of what support options best suit your needs, you can contact the Community Wellbeing Team to discuss options via email at

 » Travel

Has the University provided any advice on travel?

We have up-to-date travel guidance available to help you make decisions about travelling in a COVID-safe way.

This includes information on:

  • Travelling within Australia - including official University travel and the Travel Approval eForm, and private travel
  • Travelling to and from overseas
  • Airline travel principles
  • Risk assessments

When can students return to Australia?

We acknowledge that 2020 has been a very strange and difficult year for many people, and we here at the University especially feel for our international students who have been stranded abroad.

Travel into Australia

Australia's borders are closed. Only Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members can travel to Australia. Learn more about who can enter Australia from the Department of Home Affairs.

Information on health screening, quarantine requirements and exemptions are available on the Australian Government website.

International students

Visit our page on studying remotely overseas for relevant information and support services for our international student community. This includes the latest advice on the pilot program and international student return, and visas.

 » Visitors on campus

Can external visitors come on to campus?

At the current level on the COVID-safe campus alert system external visitors may enter the campus, following COVID-safe practices.