In the latest of COVID-19 news, the Vice Chancellor encouraged students to temporarily move out of residential halls. Those who cannot return home or move off-campus may remain in residence.  This announcement follows a university-wide shut down and a call for students to do more to help mitigate the spread of coronavirus on campus.

For those who can leave, their accommodation contracts will be cancelled with any advance rent paid to be refunded. No rent will need to be paid following the cancellation of contract and students will be given priority access to their rooms when the university reopens. The university is confident that students will be able to secure accommodation contracts upon return.

Students who cannot leave, for instance international students and those affected by travel restrictions, may remain in residence. Restrictions to gatherings and visiting will be put in place. Students will face disciplinary action and eviction from accommodation if they do not comply with these measures.

The ANU has also announced that it will provide a new support package for students affected by COVID-19.

This package includes $1 million in emergency grants for students who need emergency financial support throughout this semester. This is separate to the emergency grants provided by ANUSA and PARSA. In his email sent out late this afternoon, Brian Schmidt claims that the emergency grants were made to ease financial burden in relation to “accommodation and travel expenses, grocery vouchers, textbooks or IT equipment and medical costs.” To apply for one of these grants visit the ANUSA or PARSA websites. 

After a week of government announcements, this comes as no surprise. The bottom line is: stay home and stay safe, for everyone’s sake.