UniLodge response to Coronavirus and updates on our policy
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Important Student Information

Latest Update - February 21st 3pm Brisbane. UniLodge Response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

The Australian Prime Minister issued an updated advice on February 20th to extend the existing travel ban out of China for another 9 days with a further decision to extend or relax the travel restriction to be made on February 29th

UniLodge continues to work closely with our students and partners to provide support and flexible leasing options where we can.

Some students have successfully arrived in Australia after taking precautionary isolation for 14 days in a country outside of China. Should you wish to consider this avenue, you will not be required to re-serve the precautionary isolation period again in Australia. Please seek advice from your travel, migration or accommodation agent about this alternative entrance option. Should you decide to take this avenue, please inform UniLodge of your updated arrival dates and flight details.

Leasing Flexibility

UniLodge continues to support students who wish to defer their lease start date. We can advise that we will extend our policy to enable students to request a deferment up until the 20th of March for Semester 1. When a property receives a request for a deferred start date, it will, however, be considered on case by case basis.

Please note our leasing policy can and will change as we respond to changes in Government policy.

Students who would like to defer their University start until Semester 2 should advise UniLodge of these plans preferably before the 1st of March. In these cases, any payments already made will be applied to a lease for Semester 2.

Students who do not request to have their leases deferred to a future date will begin their lease on their contract start date whether they are able to arrive or not. It is therefore important that UniLodge is advised of any changes to your leasing preference as soon as possible.

Our policy with regard to cancellations has not changed. Should a student need to cancel their accommodation as a result of illness or no longer partaking in study, we require the following information:

  1. An email requesting cancellation sent prior to their scheduled lease start date.
  2. Confirmation of having travelled through China and;
  3. Notice of withdrawal and refund issued by their University or education provider.

Cancellation for convenience will be subject to standard contract provisions. 

Students who decide to cancel their lease are able to reapply at any time, however UniLodge cannot guarantee an offer in the same property past the date of cancellation.  Hence deferment is the recommended option. We will however assist students to find an alternative UniLodge property that meets their needs, should their original property no longer be available.

Footnote: It is important to note that each UniLodge is unique in its ownership structure and as such there are different requirements at each building for deferring a contract start date.  Each student will be responded to on a case by case basis with UniLodge working to support the best outcome for all stakeholders.

 

 

Updated February 14th 2pm. UniLodge Response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

The Australian Prime Minister issued an updated advice on February 13 to extend the existing travel ban out of China by another week until February 20, by which time it will be reviewed again.

  • This travel ban does not apply to people who have left or transited through mainland China a minimum of 14 days prior to arrival in Australia.
  • This travel ban does not apply to travellers from Hong Kong and Macau.
  • This travel ban does not apply to Australian citizens, permanent residents and some other limited exceptions.

These measures are temporary and will be reviewed weekly, next review date being February 20.

We are now very hopeful that the travel restrictions will be lifted over the next few weeks and are preparing for the arrival of students who have been in China.

Universities have adjusted some start dates and are applying temporary on-line learning to enable students to overcome these difficulties and get on with their studies. We are determined not to let our students down and are equally preparing with stringent safety measures, flexible booking terms where possible and a welcoming team.

Whether you have been travelling though countries other than China over the past 14 days and therefore eligible for arrival, or are preparing for your upcoming trip to Australia, we suggest you keep an eye on your visa situation and keep abreast of your University advice.

UniLodge will continue to review all leases with students and agents on a case by case basis and we encourage you to get in contact with us to discuss your changing circumstances.

 

Previous update -  5th Feb 2020

 

Over the past week, the Coronavirus situation has evolved, and we are sure many students are seeking answers to a range of questions they may have about how UniLodge will respond to this event.

We understand that after many years of schooling and hard work to arrive at your goal of studying in Australia, this event is undoubtedly challenging, hence we aim to be supporting you as best we can along the way.

As this situation continues to evolve we will update you as more information comes to hand. Please ensure that you keep informed by reliable sources. We have listed some sources below.

 

The World Health Organisation and other reliable sources.

 

The World Health Organisation is the foremost authority on the issue and we are closely monitoring their advice. Their website can be found here;  https://www.who.int/

Further resources can be found here:  

Novel Coronavirus Update

Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) resources

Novel coronavirus - Frequently asked questions - Alerts

 

Australian Government Response

As you would no doubt be aware, the Australian Government responded by restricting any arrivals out of China, effective 1 February. This decision will be reviewed every 14 days, we are reliably informed.

The Prime Minister applied the following travel restrictions to people entering Australia having left mainland China after 1 February 2020:

  • foreign nationals (excluding permanent residents of Australia) who are in mainland China, will not be allowed to enter Australia until 14 days after they have left or transited through mainland China
  • Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family will still be able to enter Australia, as well as airline crews who have been using appropriate personal protective equipment

 In addition, the following self-isolation requirements apply:

  • if you have travelled to Hubei Province within the past 14 days, you must isolate yourself until 14 days after you left Hubei Province
  • if you have left or transited through mainland China on or after 1 February 2020 you must isolate yourself until 14 days after leaving China
  • if you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of novel coronavirus, you must isolate yourself for 14 days after last contact with the confirmed case

New Zealand Government Response

The New Zealand Government made the decision on 2 February 2020 that any foreign travellers who have left or transited through mainland China after 2 February 2020 will be denied boarding or refused entry to New Zealand. 

This measure includes all of China, but not Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR, and not Taiwan. This decision to deny boarding or refuse entry does not apply to New Zealand citizens, permanent residents, residents with valid travel conditions and their immediate family, who will still be able to come to New Zealand. 

Australian citizens and permanent residents are also not subject to the travel restrictions if New Zealand is their primary place of established residence. 

The decision to restrict travel will be in place for up to 14 days and will be reviewed every 48 hours.

If you have been in mainland China since 2 February 2020 or in the Hubei Province in the last 14 days, you may have been exposed to, and infected with, the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

For some people it may take up to two weeks before symptoms present if they have been infected. So, to keep you and others safe, you should isolate yourself from other people for 14 days from when you arrive back in New Zealand. 

 

UniLodge Response

 UniLodge has been focused on assessing the risks and ensuring the safety of our students and team members.  Operational procedures have been activated with education, self-care, hygiene, containment and escalation protocol as priorities.  We are pleased to report a high level of readiness, good morale and no cases of coronavirus at this stage. See FAQ below for more information about what to expect on arrival and general advice.

For those of you directly affected by travel restrictions, we are also providing booking flexibility.

 

Accommodation Flexibility

As mentioned above, there are currently precautionary travel bans into Australia and New Zealand, which are periodically being reviewed by the respective governments.

We have been in contact with many universities, who are all intent on going ahead with most courses, some with small variations to starting dates and/or increased online content.

There is still a window of time prior to semester commencement and we are determined to give our students the best possible chance to realise their ambition to get on with their studies. To that effect, UniLodge has committed to holding existing bookings for our students over the next few weeks to provide planning certainty. We are still hopeful of a successful course start.

Both Australia and New Zealand are likely to have decided whether to continue or cease travel restrictions by February 17, by which time there is still opportunity to arrive in time for studies. UniLodge has therefore decided to apply a holding position until that date.

In practical terms, that means the following:

1.      For students affected by the Coronavirus and travel ban and with a contract start date after the 17th of February.

We will hold their booking as per current agreements to enable students to plan with known facts. On the 17th of February, we expect improved clarity around travel restrictions and University responses and we will work with students to respond to those factors at that time. For these students no action is required at this time.  (Some local variations may apply. Subject to legislation)

2.      For students affected by the Coronavirus and travel ban and with a contract start date before the 17th of February.

We will work with students on a case by case basis to defer their lease start date until at least the 17th of February. (Some local variations may apply. Subject to legislation)

For students choosing to defer their lease start date, we will simply require:

  1. An email requesting the deferment of their lease start date to be submitted to the property where the student’s booking is held (either from the student or agent) 72 hours prior to their lease commencement date on or before the 17th of February;
  2. Confirmation of having visited China and being unable to commence their lease due to travel restrictions or preventative isolation requirements;
  3. A statement of intention to continue to travel to Australia to study when current restrictions are lifted. 

For those who have an agreement with the property to defer, the bond/security deposit and advance rent will be retained and applied towards a new contract start date after the 17th of February. Students can request to defer their lease start date past the Australian Government’s pending decision point however, this is subject to room availability and each property will need to agree to an extension on a case by case basis.

3.      For students affected by the Coronavirus outbreak and travel restriction and have a fee-refunded withdrawal from the University or other education provider.

For best possible planning opportunity, we recommend waiting until 17th of February to make any decisions, however for those students who are irreversibly affected, UniLodge will work with students on a case by case basis to honour any cancellation without penalty where possible. (Some local variations may apply. Subject to legislation)

Should a student need to cancel their accommodation as a result of illness or no longer partaking in study, we require the following information:

  1. An email requesting cancellation sent prior to their scheduled lease start date.
  2. Confirmation of having travelled through China and;
  3. Notice of withdrawal and refund issued by their University or education provider.

Cancellation for convenience will be subject to standard contract provisions. 

Students who decide to cancel their lease are able to reapply at any time, however UniLodge cannot guarantee an offer in the same property past the date of cancellation.  Hence deferment is the recommended option. We will however assist students to find an alternative UniLodge property that meets their needs, should their original property no longer be available.

If students want to arrive earlier than their initial agreed start date, we require an email requesting an update to their current contract for an earlier lease start date. Each request will be subject to room availability at their chosen property. After we receive the request for an earlier start date, we will contact you and advise whether this is possible or not.

If we are unable to bring forward the check-in or delay the check in due to a specific property requirement or situation, we will facilitate an offer of accommodation at a similar UniLodge property or provide a full refund. 

For students unable to return to China due to travel restrictions, please contact your property administration at your earliest convenience to discuss extending your contract end date. 

For students who are existing residents of UniLodge and unable to return to Australia due to travel restrictions, the above policy does not apply and rent must continue to be paid as the room remains effectively occupied.

Please visit this page for further updates. We will be posting changes on a regular basis. 

Footnote: It is important to note that each UniLodge is unique in its ownership structure and as such there are different requirements at each building for deferring a contract start date.  Each student will be responded to on a case by case basis with UniLodge working to support the best outcome for all stakeholders.


UniLodge Frequently Asked Questions

 

Who do I contact if I need to make any changes to my accommodation arrangements?

For all enquiries regarding your changing circumstances, please contact the property you have booked with directly and the team will do everything they can to assist you. Our Property Contact list can be found here.

How will UniLodge keep me up to date if I am isolated in my room?

Your health and safety is paramount to us. We provide a detailed briefing on arrival and keep you up to date via text, email and phone. In most cases, WIFI will be enabled upon check in. We will provide detailed information to all students at all stages as required.

If I am self-isolated as a precaution, what options or services are available for preparing food, cooking or doing laundry?

If you need to self-isolate, UniLodge will provide you clear advice and support to make any necessary arrangements. This includes practicalities such as cleaning, communications, bedding and kitchen essentials ordering of food and other services. Your education supplier will most likely provide information and on-line support where necessary. Our teams will do our very best to make you feel comfortable despite the obvious limitations. Our Property Contact list can be found here.

How should I prepare for self-isolation?

You will not be able to leave your room for 14 days if you are in self-isolation as a precaution. We would suggest you bring with you entertainment devices, study activities, indoor health and wellness activities and reading materials in order to keep yourself occupied during this time.       

What if someone needs to be self-isolated in a multi-share apartment with common rooms?

In the instance that someone needs to be isolated from their fellow students we will make alternative accommodation arrangements for them. This may involve moving into a single room  for the duration of their self-isolation.

Is UniLodge accepting students who are coming from affected countries?

Provided you have not knowingly been exposed to the virus, you will be accepted into our accommodation. Please note that our accommodation protocols are based on our local health authority advice which is subject to change. We will inform you of any updates. Please be prepared to provide information about your travels over the past 14 days.

Will I be safe from contracting Coronavirus if I live at UniLodge? What health and safety precautions is UniLodge taking?

UniLodge takes the health and safety of its students and staff very seriously. We are following recommended measures to ensure our accommodation remains free of the virus. 

These guidelines have been developed and approved by the Department of Health and the World Health Organisation. 

How can I protect myself from Coronavirus?

The World Health Organisation’s standard recommendations for the general public to reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses are as follows:

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Cover mouth when coughing and sneezing  
  • Avoid close contact when experiencing cough and fever
  • Practice food safety

What should I do if I am starting to feel unwell?

Any resident who is feeling unwell or concerned about their health should in the first instance, contact a member of their property management team who will liaise with them to organise medical attention. 

If you need urgent medical support, please call 000 in Australia and 111 in New Zealand.