ANU residential halls are in full swing for Semester Two as stricter COVID-19 guidelines have been set in place. For students returning to college this semester, they have experienced a range of increasing COVID-19 measures enacted by ACT Health.

Speaking to Woroni, an ANU Spokesperson assured that ‘strict social distancing and hygiene protocols remain firmly in place, including restrictions on guests, revised protocols and documentation for gatherings and enhanced cleaning regimes…We have refused entry to students from travel restricted areas until we receive documentation from a health authority confirming they are cleared to enter the residence, including completion of any period of quarantine.’

Whilst Halls have been trying to maintain a normal appearance for returning students, there have been some changes to meet these new guidelines. Regarding dining, residents can expect, ‘catering services [to] continue for residents, however, due to the COVID-19 protocols, there are changes to the way meals are served, including no self-service’.

Christian Flynn, the President for Wamburun Hall, notes ‘the kitchen has now fully opened up, and we have a sign-in and sign-out sheet for all attendees. The kitchen is regularly cleaned and has a number of other social distancing measures in place.’ These regulations will vary between each Hall for the foreseeable future.

For many Halls, events have commenced through the beginning of the second semester, albeit following COVID guidelines. Following the ACT measures, some events undertaken by the Halls have included, sporting activities, movie nights, museum trips etc.

’We’ve been running events that are compliant with restrictions continuously since the return of residents since around the 15th of July, and whilst the restrictions are evolving as the situation changes over time, CROW [the residential committee] is working incredibly hard to run events for our residents at all times’ said Christian. ‘Thankfully, a significant portion of those who are not returning are continuing to find ways to participate in online events and stay a part of our community’

The ANU’s Spokesperson further clarified that ‘All of these activities had a risk assessment document completed and reviewed before going ahead, and contact tracing documentation has also been collected from participants.’

However, it has been revealed to Woroni, by an unidentified source, that some Halls have received contradicting instructions regarding social distancing measures for the spectating of Interhall Sports. Whilst Fenner Hall has been told they are unable to spectate, other Halls have been given the chance to spectate in small numbers, causing confusion between residents.

John XXIII remains closed until Term 4 due to ongoing construction.