UWA - return to campus
The University’s Recovery Management Team (RMT) has developed a four-phase framework to guide our safe return to campus.
Our RMT is made up of representatives from across the University who are bringing their expertise to oversee and coordinate a COVID-safe reopening of campus and a return to face-to-face working, learning and campus activities. The RMT will also work closely with Universities Australia and the Group of Eight to ensure UWA is aligned with the sector-wide recovery response and specific higher education and State health and safety guidelines.
Frequently asked questions
- Protecting the UWA community
Members of the UWA community must also take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and others, complying with reasonable instructions, policies and procedures that the University has in place. There is a collective responsibility to adhere (and encourage others to adhere) to COVID-19 practices and University procedures.
- Transport to campus
Parking conditions across all UWA campuses reverted to standard operating arrangements on Monday 25 May 2020. This means you need to have a valid parking permit or parking voucher displayed.
If using public transport to attend campus, try to avoid peak times and follow the information on the Transperth website about boarding, physical distancing and hygiene practices.
It is not recommended that people carpool to and from campus at this stage, but if necessary, maximum separation should be maintained by sitting in the rear opposite of the driver.
For active commuters, end-of-trip facilities are available with risk controls in place. You should enquire with the local area manager(s) who may have a registration system in place for use of shower and change room facilities.
You should follow physical distancing and hygiene practices when using end-of-trip facilities.
Please note - Staff and student parking zones will be enforced, requiring all users to display a valid staff/student permit or parking voucher on their vehicle.
- Hand hygiene
The most important thing you can do to protect yourself is to wash your hands regularly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
This is important: washing your hands kills viruses that may be on your hands.
You should wash your hands after blowing your nose, using the bathroom, and before and after eating. You should also perform hand hygiene when entering and exiting buildings and common areas such as libraries and lecture theatres.
Avoid touching your face as droplets containing the virus on your hands can be transferred to your eyes, mouth or nose where they infect you.
Hand wash and sanitiser is widely available in University buildings and prominent areas on campus.
- Respiratory hygiene
By following good respiratory hygiene you can ‘catch’ the droplets produced when you cough or sneeze and protect the people around you.
You should follow good respiratory hygiene practices:
Cover your mouth/nose when you cough/sneeze with your elbow or a tissue.
Dispose of used tissues.
Wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based sanitiser.
Wearing a face mask in public won’t protect you from infection. You should only wear a face mask if you have respiratory symptoms or may have been exposed to COVID-19 (i.e. travel or close contact).
- Physical distancing
Physical distancing means maintaining 1.5 metres distance between people and allowing 2 square metres per person in enclosed areas where it is possible to do so. This includes during lunch breaks, in shared spaces and when travelling to and from campus.
This is important because if you are too close you might breathe in droplets that other people cough or sneeze.
Occupancy signage should be displayed at the entry to venues/spaces on campus and you should consider this before using or entering the space. Your supervisor is responsible for managing physical distancing in learning spaces and you should follow their guidance.
If staff or students are not following physical distancing you have a responsibility to respectfully address this with them.
- Cleaning and disinfecting
Regular cleaning of frequently touched surfaces is essential. This is because droplets from an infected person can land on a surface and be transferred to other people who touch that surface.
Frequently touched surfaces include doorknobs, hand rails, elevator buttons, tables, desktops, mobile devices and computer accessories
Routine daily cleaning is performed by Campus Management’s appointed cleaning provider, along with additional touch-point cleaning in high-traffic areas throughout the day
Disinfectant wipes and face masks will be provided by Safety, Health and Wellbeing for high-traffic and student-facing areas. These supplies are managed by safety / administration personnel in each space.
Shared equipment or workspaces should be cleaned when:
- The user is exhibiting respiratory systems.
- The equipment appears visibly dirty.
- There have been multiple users.
Self-isolation means staying at home or in your hotel room for 14 days to prevent the possible spread of the virus to other people.
You must self-isolate if any of the following applies to you:
- You have COVID-19 or are being tested for COVID-19.
- You have been in close contact with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19.
- You have arrived in Western Australia from interstate (refer to ‘Quarantine following interstate travel’ below)
- You have returned to Australia from overseas.
If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 do not attend campus until you have fully recovered and received a Release from Isolation letter from the Department of Health.
If you are unwell for any reason even with mild symptoms you must stay home and seek medical advice. Do not attend campus until you have recovered.
- Quarantine following interstate travel
- Suitable premises for quarantine
A suitable premises is a location where you and those travelling with you can live for 14 days without putting others at risk.
- Essential food, toiletries and medication can be delivered to the place of isolation without you having contact with those delivering the items and without you leaving the premises.
If there are other people staying at the accommodation:
- You must be able to stay more than 1.5 metres away from them at all times
- They must not be elderly, immunocompromised or have any underlying medical conditions
- Have a separate bedroom
- Have a separate bathroom
- Be able to avoid being in the kitchen / living area
- Be able to have food/medication delivered to your room
You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels or pillows. These items should be wash thoroughly with soap/detergent and warm water or placed in the dishwasher for cleaning after each use.
You should ensure that high touch surfaces such as phones, light switches TV remote, door handles and communal areas such as kitchen, bathroom, are cleaned regularly with household detergents or disinfectant.
If you are residing with someone in quarantine and all government conditions for quarantine can be met then you can continue attending University campuses. If the person in quarantine becomes symptomatic then you will be required to quarantine and not attend the University until the household members COVID-19 test results are received.
- Contact tracing
In line with WA government advice, from Friday 4 December 2020 it is compulsory to maintain contact registers across UWA venues. This protective measure will enable the University to assist the WA Department of Health to quickly and easily contact staff, students and patrons in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 on campus.
Contact tracing will be implemented in all UWA areas specified by the WA State Government. This includes:
- UWA food and beverage outlets
- All UWA sporting facilities including the gym, aquatic centre and swimming pool
- Chapel facilities and prayer rooms
- UWA libraries, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery and other galleries and museums
- Somerville Auditorium
- All UWA function venues
- Accommodation facilities that have check-in procedures in place
The University is encouraging staff, students and the UWA community to use the free SafeWA app as the preferred contact tracing method on campus. For people who cannot or do not wish to use the app, a paper-based contact tracing register will be available.
All events must comply with WA State Government advice. This includes limits on the number of people gathering, physical distancing, hygiene/cleaning requirements and other safety advice. For more information about a specific event, please contact the event organiser or visit the events on campus FAQ page.
- Internal resources
- External resources
The situation surrounding COVID-19 health and travel advice is dynamically changing and the above information may change at short notice as a result of updated directives from State or Commonwealth agencies.