Message to staff from Professor Ian Anderson AO, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student & University Experience) via On&Off Campus on Tuesday 27 October.
It's been a tough year and as we approach summer and the festive season, we're all looking forward to end of year events and hoping to be able to see our family and friends. Some of you have asked for advice on what end of year team events might look like this year, and about travelling outside of the ACT over the break. I'll try and answer your questions below.
End of year events
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.
This means 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 advice, University Guidelines and Functions on Campus Protocols (as applicable). If you have questions about an end of year function, please contact the COVID Response Office.
Easing of restrictions is a great sign, but it doesn't mean that we have gone back to pre-COVID normal. We are still living with a global pandemic and being COVID-safe at all times should now be a way of life for all of us.
The COVID situation in Australia is improving and whilst easing of restrictions provides more freedom, it doesn't mean that we're back to normal. We're all excited to get out and about in the warmer weather, and we have updated our travel guidance to help you make decisions about travelling in a COVID-safe way.
Please follow ACT Health advice and always be mindful of the ABC of COVID-safe travel:
Avoid COVID-affected areas - check the COVID website of the state or territory you are travelling to, including advice on check in and contact tracing apps in the region for your safety. If you wish to welcome relatives or visitors from interstate, you may wish to discuss precautionary isolation if they are from a state or territory with active cases, and discuss cancelling or postponing the visit if more cases emerge or you are feeling unwell.
Behave in a COVID-safe way - be vigilant with hand and respiratory hygiene, maintain physical distancing from other groups, and stay home if feeling unwell. Talk with your interstate visitors about keeping COVID-safe in the ACT. You may wish to download the Check In CBR app to help them stay safe in Canberra.
Check back when you're home - monitor the COVID website of the state or territory you visited for two weeks to see if they had any cases. Follow the website's advice about testing and self-isolation. If you feel unwell with COVID symptoms while away or when you return, please get tested immediately, notify CommunityWellbeing@anu.edu.au and self-isolate until you get the result.
Please access support if you need it. We have a number of free support services available for our students. It's okay to need a little extra support for your mental and physical wellbeing - 2020 has been a year like no other.
If you are isolating, have been tested, or have a confirmed positive result for COVID-19, please don't forget to contact CommunityWellbeing@anu.edu.au. This keeps our community safe, and ensures we can support you.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please get in touch.
Professor Ian Anderson AO
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student and University Experience)