Dear Parents, staff and College community,
The following message was sent to schools over the weekend regarding the coronavirus.
The Minister for Education, James Merlino, along with Commonwealth Ministers for Education and Health, and Chief Health Officer, today announced limited and conditional exemptions to the restrictions currently in place for travellers to Australia from mainland China. These exemptions relate only to international VCE students currently in China.
International VCE students
International students who are in Year 11 and 12 and enrolled in VCE studies in Victoria may be exempt from travel restrictions from mainland China if they meet strict criteria set by the Commonwealth. To apply for an exemption, students must demonstrate that they:
- Hold a current visa (for themselves and, where applicable, their guardian) and are enrolled in Year 11 or 12 in an Australian School;
- Are not currently unwell (Chinese authorities are screening all departing passengers, and passengers will undergo mandatory screening on arrival to Australia);
- Are not travelling from, or through, Hubei Province; and
- Are willing and able to meet the quarantine requirements set out by Victoria health authorities at their port of arrival.
As per other travellers from mainland China, on arrival, these students will be required to self-isolate for 14 days before being able to attend school.
The International Education Division will contact schools with enrolled international VCE students who are currently in China regarding these arrangements and the application process.
Students or their families can also call the DHHS coronavirus hotline for any health concerns on 1800 675 398.
Extension of travel restrictions
The travel restrictions for foreign nationals travelling to Australia from mainland China have been extended for a further week. These restrictions will now remain in place until 29 February, at which time they will be reviewed by the Commonwealth.
There are no changes to the existing advice regarding anyone who has returned from mainland China – that parents/guardians/carers should ensure that any child returning from mainland China (not including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) on or after 1 February 2020 is isolated at home and should not attend school until 14 days after they were last in mainland China.
This same advice applies to any impacted staff.
Resources will be available shortly to assist you in communicating with families, including information translated into simple Chinese and Mandarin.
As per previous advice, all students should be attending school, except those in the categories identified by the Commonwealth’s Chief Medical Officer and Victoria’s Chief Health Officer as requiring self-isolation.
Please refer to the Department’s coronavirus web page for the latest advice and information, including advice on:
- templates for communicating with school communities, including translated advice
- continuity of learning for students who are not attending school
- international students and families hosting
- international travel
- maintaining good health hygiene at school
- health promotion posters and materials
- information, resources and contacts related to coronavirus.
Dr David Howes
Schools and Regional Services