COVID-19 novel coronavirus
As directed by the NZ government, all ITC campuses will be closed from Wednesday 25 March until further notice.
Teaching and learning will continue online, via our Moodle platform, so students can continue their studies from home.
ITC has been delivering distance learning via Study From Home for over fifteen years, so you can rest assured that we have robust systems and processes in place to teach virtually.
Our staff will support and help students adjust during these challenging times. Our goal is for ITC’s online platform to be a place of learning and joy for our students, just like our campuses.
For COVID-19 health advice and information, contact the Healthline team (for free) on 0800 358 5453 or +64 9 358 5453 for international SIMS. Healthline has translators and interpreters available 24/7 in 150 languages and they also have Mandarin and Cantonese speaking staff available.
The NZ government has set up a dedicated COVID-19 website for the latest (and verified) information on the virus in NZ. If you are unsure of something you have heard, you can find all official, NZ government approved announcements on this page.
Coronaviruses are a large and diverse family of viruses which includes the common cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
In January 2020, Chinese authorities confirmed a new type of coronavirus, known as COVID-19 (formerly known as 2019-nCoV). There are currently low numbers of cases of Novel coronavirus COVID-19 in New Zealand. This number is likely to increase in time, however the likelihood of a widespread outbreak is low-moderate. The Ministry of Health is closely monitoring the situation and following guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO).
If a student is unwell or anyone who may be at high risk of exposure because they have recently been to China or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with the virus, we recommend they stay at home and call Healthline or their GP for medical advice.
Below you will find more information on what ITC is doing to provide a safe environment for our students & staff, however if you have any queries about this or how we are supporting our students during this time, please feel free to contact us for free on 0800 868747 (within NZ) or +64 9 373 5510 (from overseas).
Self-isolation is an effective precautionary measure to protect those around you – your family, friends, colleagues – from contracting COVID-19. It means taking simple, common-sense steps to avoid close contact with other people as much as possible, like you would with the seasonal flu virus. We know it’s a stressful time, but taking these measures will help protect you, your family and all of New Zealand from COVID-19 and other common infectious diseases.
The Ministry of Health has a great page on their website regarding self-isolation and includes practical advice on how to do this. Including advice on avoiding contact with others, if you are in shared accommodation, hygiene practices, sharing utensils, laundry, transport restrictions etc. They also have some great tips on how to keep mentally healthy during this time and what to do if you start to feel unwell.
Keeping yourself healthy
The World Health Organisation suggests people follow this advice:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water, or cleansing with hand sanitiser, especially after contact with ill people or their environment
- Avoid close contact with sick farm animals or wild animals
- People with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette: maintain distance, coughing or sneezing into a tissue or your elbow and then performing hand hygiene
- Stay at home if you feel unwell and contact your doctor or Healthline
Please be advised that the safety of our students and staff is paramount for The International Travel College of New Zealand. We are actively following advice from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, have a Pandemic Plan in place, have increased the cleaning of surfaces within the college, are actively sharing information on good hygiene practices throughout the college with students/staff, social distancing, advising any unwell student/staff to stay at home and to contact the Healthline number above immediately.
Should it become necessary to close the close the college, we have a communication plan in place to advise all students immediately and will support students with their studies and well-being throughout the closure as much as we possibly can.
It’s quite normal to feel distressed and experience symptoms of stress during this time. With all the media coverage & public discussion of COVID-19, it may start to affect you and your mental well-being.
If any ITC student would like to chat with us about how you are feeling, please feel free to contact an ITC staff member. Also, here are some tips for managing your own mental well-being from the Ministry of Health:
- Spend time in places that feel safe and comfortable as much as possible.
- Tell yourself that how you are feeling is a normal reaction and will pass – it is nothing to be afraid of.
- Reach out to your usual supports – family and whānau, friends and workmates. Sharing how we feel and offering support to others is important.
- Keep to usual routines – mealtimes, bedtime, exercise and so on.
- Keep active – going to work, doing usual leisure activities and seeing friends can improve general well-being and help distract from distressing feelings.
However, if over days and weeks your distress or stress symptoms are escalating or you feel you are not coping, help and professional support is available. For support with grief, anxiety, distress or mental well-being, you can call or text 1737 to talk with a trained counsellor for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Healthcare cover if you get sick
People who have or who are suspected of having an infectious and/or quarantinable disease are eligible for publicly funded health services to address the risks to other people.
The services must relate only to all or any of the following:
- the surveillance of persons who are liable to quarantine under the Health Act 1956 or the Tuberculosis Act 1948
- treatment of the person’s infectious or quarantinable disease
- follow-up services and
- contact tracing services.
for the person’s infectious or quarantinable disease, to the extent appropriate in the circumstances to address risks to other persons, as determined by a clinician.
Citizenship and immigration status are not relevant; length of stay is not relevant.
For international students holding insurance policies that do not cover Covid-19 claims, please note, the medical services mentioned above will be covered by the NZ government. Other expenses, such as residual costs that may arise (for example, repatriation, costs of parents travelling over to support a sick student, changes to existing travel bookings, etc.) would need to be paid for by the student.
In order to help slow the rate of infection (as to-date, all virus cases have come from people that have recently come from overseas or been in contact with persons that have), the New Zealand Government has further strengthened travel restrictions, temporarily closing our border to almost all travellers from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020.
Exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis by Immigration New Zealand for:
- humanitarian reasons
- health and other essential workers
- citizens of Samoa and Tonga for essential travel to New Zealand
- the holder of a visitor visa who is the partner of dependent of a temporary work or student visa holder and who normally lives in New Zealand and is currently in New Zealand.
No other foreign traveller can enter New Zealand.
Returning residents and citizens must isolate themselves for 14 days upon arrival.
This temporary closure will be reviewed on a 16 day rotation. More information can be found on the Immigration NZ’s Covid-19 page on their website.