Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) - fact sheet

Updated: 14 February 2020

Key points


What are the symptoms of the Novel coronavirus?

  • The Novel Corona Virus is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Symptoms range from a mild cough to pneumonia. Some people recover easily, others may get very sick very quickly. There in no treatment. There is evidence that it spreads from person to person, so good hygiene can prevent infection.
  • Symptoms can include (but are not limited to) fever, cough, fatigue, sore throat, and/or shortness of breath.


Health advice

  • The Australian Government has said travellers who have been in Hubei Province of China must be isolated in their home for 14 days after leaving the Hubei Province, other than for seeking individual medical care.
  • If you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of the Novel coronavirus, you must isolate yourself for 14 days after the last contact with the confirmed case.
  • Students and staff in these circumstances should not attend the campus and must avoid contact with other students and staff


International travel

  • In line with the Australian Government travel recommendations, DO not travel to China.
  • For travel on travelling outside of Australia see Smart Traveller.
  • We understand that students may normally travel to and from Australia transiting in Hong Kong or China. We advise you to make alternative arrangements and DO not travel through China and Exercise a high degree of caution if travelling via Hong Kong.


Students currently in China

Extended Travel Restrictions

  • The Australian Government announced that as of 1 February 2020, all travellers arriving from any part of mainland China, regardless of nationality, will be subject to enhanced border control measures to ensure the health, safety and well-being of the Australian community.
  • Australia will deny entry to anyone who has left or transited mainland China from 1 February, with the exception of:
    • Australian citizens
    • Permanent residents
    • immediate family members of Australian citizens and permanent residents including spouses, minor dependents and legal guardians
  • Limited exemptions also exist for airline and maritime crew, where they have taken appropriate precautionary measures.
  • These enhanced public safety measures will apply to those seeking to enter Australia as well as those seeking to transit through Australia en route to another country.

Any MIT students or staff who are in this situation are encouraged to contact the campus to notify of their situation. Campus staff are also attempting to contact those who may be impacted to offer guidance and support. Special consideration is being extended to those impacted.

  • Students unable to return to Australia to continue their studies by the end of Week 2 may need to have their study deferred. This will not affect their visa status. Students should contact the Student Counsellor & Advocacy Officers on their campus for further details:

These measures are temporary and will be reviewed.

The Australian Government Department of Health is working across agencies and with states and territories to implement measures to manage the risk of COVID-19.

For the latest information see the Department of Health - Novel Coronavirus

For information about visas, see the following fact sheets:


If you’re feeling unwell – Off-Campus

  • If you are experiencing symptoms, please stay home and call the Department of Health and Human Services dedicated novel coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398, and wear a surgical mask to avoid the potential spread of any illness.
  • MIT provides free confidential counselling support for any MIT student. If you need support at any time, please call 8600 6700.


If you’re feeling unwell – On Campus

  • For anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms, shortness of breath after arriving on campus:
    • Avoid contact with others.
    • Go immediately to the closest on-site location:

      Allocated First Aid Spaces

      Melbourne CampusSydney Campus
      Level 2M – ReceptionLevel 3 – Library
      Level 6 – Academic ReceptionLevel 7 –Main Reception


  • Please be aware to keep an appropriate distance from people around you and alert the staff member at reception.
  • A staff member will provide you with a mask, direct you to an allocated room and contact health services.
  • An MIT First Aid Officer will be called to assist you.
  • We will provide you with contact details of the nearest medical facility.


Instructions for staff (not at reception and not first aiders):

If a student or staff member present with flu-like symptoms, shortness of breath and says they are feeling unwell;


  • Students and staff attending classes are asked to self-exclude from classes if they feel unwell or are experiencing symptoms.
  • Staff are expected to undertake regular activities unless you have symptoms and:
    • had close contact with someone within the past 14 days who had signs of the virus and a history of being in Wuhan, China; or,
    • had close contact with someone who has a confirmed or suspected case of the Novel Coronavirus
  • If staff members feel stressed or anxious about the situation, please discuss your personal health circumstances with a medical professional, and if required discuss with your supervisor.
  • The Employee Assistance Program is available for part and full-time MIT staff member. If you need support from four counsellors please call 8600 6700.


Staff leave provisions

  • We are aware that some students may need to take an approved leave of absence, or deferral of studies due to travel restrictions, self-isolation or ill-heath. Students should contact the Student Counsellor & Advocacy Officers on their campus for further details:


Student leave provisions

  • We are aware that some staff may need to take care of children who are unable to attend school due to advice from the Department of Health. You may be eligible for carer’s leave.


More information