Notice: Coronavirus Outbreak

Please read to the end of this page for the latest information and Whitecliffe updates. If this affects your travel and/or study start date please get in touch with Tracy or Dhiren as soon as possible. We will also be reaching out to all students who noted China as their country of origin individually.

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.

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If you would like to ask us a question or request more information, please detail your enquiry using the form below. If you would like you can contact us directly on 0800 800 300, email us or use the contact us form.

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