Classes Suspended for Two Weeks: Coronavirus Update

At Whitecliffe we are taking the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic very seriously. We have a COVID-19 Emergency Response Team in place who meet on a regular basis to review risk, planning and process to ensure we keep our staff and students safe. If there is anything to report from these meetings an update will be added to this page for Whitecliffe students.

Important contacts:

Handy COVID-19 Whitecliffe links:

22/03/2020 Update: Teaching is suspended for two weeks beginning Monday 23 March

While we have had no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Whitecliffe, the health and safety of Whitecliffe staff and students is of paramount importance, as is our commitment to delivering the highest quality of training and education. So, as the challenges of COVID-19 are not diminishing, we are suspending teaching for two weeks between Monday 23 March to Friday 3 April. This is to help reduce the potential spread of COVID-19 and allow us to prepare for remote teaching and learning in the event that this is required.

We would urge students to stay away from campus during this period, but we do appreciate that this may not be possible for all of you, at least in the first few days. If you are on campus please take this situation seriously and practice safe social distancing and avoid being in groups of more than ten people.

During this transition period your faculty will be in contact with you to confirm ongoing teaching arrangements. If you do not have access to a computer/phone or the internet please make this known to them.

Remember to follow the guidance of the Government at the official COVID-19 website:

20/03/2020 Update: International Student Visa Expiry

Latest information is that Individuals who are currently in New Zealand are able to apply for a further visa, which will be assessed on a case by case basis against immigration instructions, taking in to account the current coronavirus outbreak and any relevant travel restrictions.
Please contact the Immigration Contact Center for support on 0508 55 88 55.

If you are unsure of your situation or have any concerns please contact Dhiren or Tracy whose details are at the top of this page.

19/03/2020 Update: Graduation Postponed

As you will be aware, COVID-19 is very quickly changing the landscape of gatherings and events in New Zealand. After much consideration we have made the decision to postpone the upcoming graduation to support the national efforts to keep COVID-19 from spreading within the community.

We understand that many of you will be disappointed at this decision however, we believe it is the most appropriate and responsible decision based on governmental advice and restrictions.

All qualifications will still be conferred on the 20th April however, the formal ceremony will be postponed until a later date yet to be decided. We will communicate with you again in the coming months regarding when and how you can receive your qualification certificate.

Thank you for your understanding. Please don’t hesitate to send through any questions you may have.

17/03/2020 Update: Travel Restrictions

Over the weekend it was announced that anybody who enters New Zealand after 1am Monday 16th March will be required to undertake 14 days self-isolation. What does this mean for you?

  • If you are currently overseas you will need to self-isolate for 14 days on your return to New Zealand. Please communicate with your lecturer and HoD as soon as possible to advise of your individual situation so a plan to support your completions can be put in place.
  • If you have an upcoming overseas trip planned – please discuss this with your lecturer and HoD as this may have an impact on your attendance and/or completion.
  • If you are an international student covered by Uni-Care Insurance, please keep up to date with your policy here.

13/03/2020 Update: Whitecliffe is aware that there are a number of international students starting over the next week or two, after spending 14 days in quarantine outside of New Zealand. Current information from Ministry of Health regarding countries of concern and when students could potentially be asked to repeat the quarantine can be found here. In summary,

  • if a student is coming from a category 1a country they will not be approved entry to New Zealand.
  • if a student is coming from a category 1b country they will need to self-isolate for 14 days once in New Zealand.
  • If a student is coming from a category 2 country (and if transiting through they are able to provide evidence they were there for the 14 day quarantine period) they do not need to go in to isolation however, they should be aware of any symptoms of COVID-19 and ring Healthline on 0800 358 5453 immediately if any symptoms present themselves.

Useful links for students:

What is coronavirus?

Coronaviruses can affect humans and animals. Some coronaviruses cause illnesses like the common cold and others cause more serious illnesses, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

What is novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?

In January 2020, officials identified a new coronavirus called novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV.

We don’t know yet how 2019-nCoV is transmitted to people, but it’s likely that it comes from an animal. A live animal market in Wuhan is suspected as the original source, but that hasn’t been confirmed. There is evidence that 2019-nCoV can spread from person to person in the community and in health care settings. There have been cases of 2019-nCoV reported in some other Chinese provinces and countries. Some of these cases have no history of travel to Wuhan.

What are the symptoms of 2019-nCoV?

Symptoms of 2019-nCoV are similar to a range of other illnesses such as influenza and do not necessarily mean that you have 2019-nCoV. Symptoms include fever, coughing and difficulty breathing. Difficulty breathing is a sign of possible pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention. We don’t know how long symptoms take to show after a person has been infected.

How do I protect myself from 2019-nCoV?

The World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend any specific health measures for travellers.

WHO advises people follow the basic principles to reduce the general risk of acute respiratory infections. These are:

  • avoid close contact with people suffering acute respiratory infections
  • wash hands frequently, especially after contact with ill people or their environment
  • avoid close contact with sick farm animals or wild animals
  • people with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice good cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing and wash hands).​
I am returning from Hubei province, what do I do?

Recognising the evolving nature of the evidence and data for transmission of the coronavirus, the Ministry of Health advice for people who are at high risk of exposure because they have recently been to Wuhan or Hubei province is that they should self-isolate for 14 days after leaving Hubei province.

This means you should avoid situations that could facilitate the transmission of the virus such as social gatherings and events where you come into contact with others in particular, child care/pre-school centres, primary and secondary schools (including staff and students), aged care, health care facilities, prisons, public gatherings.

What do I do if I am sick now or get sick while in New Zealand?

If you have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing please telephone Healthline (for free) on 0800 611 116 and tell them you have just arrived in New Zealand from overseas. You should also:

  • avoid close contact with people (stay at least an arm’s length away)
  • wash hands frequently, especially before contact with people, before eating, after coughing or sneezing
    practice good cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing and wash hands).
Where can I get more information about 2019-nCoV?

Visit the Ministry of Health’s website at

Over the weekend the New Zealand Government made the decision to deny entry for any foreign travelers who leave from or transit through China. This is a quickly changing situation with these restrictions currently being in effect for up to 14 days, reviewed every 48 hours.

I am a Whitecliffe international student not yet in the country, what does this mean?

If you are planning to travel from or transit through China within the next 14 days you will not be allowed entry to New Zealand.

What do I need to do if I am already in New Zealand?

Please follow the last email and ensure you stay at home, for a period of 14 days from the date of arrival to New Zealand. If you have any flu like symptoms during this period contact Healthline at 0800 611 116 or your GP for medical advice (do this by phone rather than attending in person).

What about my study?

There is two weeks extension for February intake. Please contact us for the further study plan if you cannot enrol on time.

Handy COVID-19 Whitecliffe links:

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