The University of Newcastle has a comprehensive framework for managing health emergencies and business continuity. We have a team working closely with NSW Health to ensure our response reflects the most up-to-date advice.

On this page

General advice

  • We encourage everyone on our campuses to adhere to handwashing and hygiene practices and practice social distancing.
  • If you are feeling unwell, please do not visit our campuses and please seek medical support.
  • Please take your own measures to respond to COVID-19 in line with Australian Government COVID-19 guidelines.

Current advice


Staff and students are expected to:

  • Stay at home if you have COVID-19 symptoms and get tested
  • Work from home if they are classified as at risk
  • Be aware of social distancing requirements and try to keep 1.5m between others
  • Comply with maximum room occupancy level based on 4m2 (Sydney and Ourimbah campuses) or 2m2 rule (all other campuses)
  • Maintain good hand and cough hygiene
  • Follow all directions within relevant Public Health Order(s)
  • Not host non-essential visitors
  • Review events involving 10 or more externals with
  • Apply caution when serving refreshments: for instance, no sharing of food platters
  • Follow NSW Health Advice

Update 11 January 2021

Please note that, in line with advice from Queensland Health, staff and students who visited greater Brisbane between 2 January-8 January 2021 no longer have to self-isolate or stay-at-home as of 7pm AEDST today (11 January). There is no need to quarantine for 14 days unless you have been advised to do so by the Health department. We look forward to welcoming you back to campus from Tuesday 12 January.

For all staff and students, if you experience any symptoms associated with COVID-19, get tested, and self-isolate until a negative result is obtained.

Update 8 January 2021

New orders are in place for people who have travelled to or from areas of Brisbane, Queensland, since 2 January 2021, effective from 7pm AEDST 8 January 2021.  Any people who have visited the local government areas of Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Ipswich, Redlands, and Logan will be required to stay at home from 7pm AEDST Friday January 8 2021 through until 7pm AEDST Monday January 11 2021. This includes both residents and visitors to these areas, including staff or students who may have since returned to NSW following their time in these local government areas in Brisbane.  Affected staff and students are advised to regularly monitor the Queensland Health website for more information and updates as they emerge. If staff or students have any symptoms at all, please get tested immediately and self-isolate until you receive a negative result.

Update 6 January 2021

New cases of COVID-19 have been identified in NSW. We ask that anyone intending to come onto campus over the holiday period do not do so if they have been into any area of concern. Details of areas of concern are available on NSW Health website.

From Monday 4 January, NSW Health has mandated face coverings be worn in certain situations and for certain events for people in the Greater Sydney area of NSW. This includes the Central Coast and Wollongong. These situations and events are listed here.

For staff and students attending our Ourimbah and Sydney campuses, we strongly recommend face coverings are worn, and require them to be worn when involved in events or situations included in the NSW public health order.

At present, the public health order does permit attendance/movement into and out of greater Sydney for work and essential activities. Staff are able to travel between Sydney CBD, Central Coast and Newcastle to attend work. Working from home is not required.  Staff are also able to travel to greater Sydney for meetings. However, if concerned, staff could consider attending the meeting via zoom instead of an in-person meeting. If research participant data collection in greater Sydney can be carried out via phone or zoom than this could also be considered rather than in person for Ourimbah and Sydney campuses. Teaching can still occur as timetabled.

How to get tested

Testing Centre open on Callaghan Campus

NSW Health Pathology is now operating the COVID-19 drive through testing clinic at the University of Newcastle, Callaghan Campus ICT Carpark 1.

Anyone can come and get tested if you feel unwell, even if you only have mild symptoms. The clinic is open every day, from 8am-4pm.

Peak periods are early morning and late afternoon so if possible, please try to visit the drive through clinic outside of these times. No appointment necessary, just drive on up!

Please note: Babies and children under five need to be tested at hospital or their GP.

Are the University campuses open?

All University of Newcastle campuses are open. As there are current active cases of COVID-19 identified in NSW, we ask that anyone who has visited an area of concern does not come on to campus. Details of areas of concern are available on NSW Health website.

Are the University Libraries still open?

Library buildings are open to university students, staff and our Community Borrowers membership holders. These members no longer require swipe card access. Social distancing measures are in place to help keep everyone safe. You will notice signage around the Library spaces that indicate the number of people that each space can accommodate and the seating capacity in our Group Study rooms has also been reduced so please check the room information before Booking a Study Space. At this time, no general community members or non-university students can access libraries.

Are you cancelling community events at your campuses?

In accordance with the latest Government advice, large student and community events of more than 500 attendees will be cancelled and we will reassess in July. We have also cancelled a number of smaller events happening on campus. We think it’s better to hold non-essential events at another time and will be in touch with people as new dates are confirmed.

Will graduations go ahead?

In light of limiting public gatherings to fewer than 500 people, we will postpone our April graduation at Ourimbah and the July graduation ceremony at Callaghan. Eligible graduates will be deemed to have graduated in absentia and we will invite them to a ceremony in the second half of 2020.

Eligible graduates will still receive their qualifications on time, it is only the ceremonies which will be postponed.

I’m a contractor that works at your campus. How can I get more information?

Please talk to your University contact. If you need further information, email and read the information on this website.

Travel advice

No international travel for work or study is permitted at this time. Domestic travel is permitted within NSW and to anywhere in Australia where state border crossing does not require quarantine arrangements.

Increased hygiene measures

Hand washing is the most effective way to protect yourself.

Keeping work and study environments clean may also help to stop the spread of COVID-19 and other infections such as the common cold.

We ask students, staff and visitors to our campuses take the precautions advised by the public health experts including:

  • Hand washing for 40 - 60 seconds with soap
  • Using hand sanitiser
  • Following coughing and sneezing etiquette

Please observe and comply with health-related signage around the University.

Travel and health information

For the most up-to-date information, visit:

Student Hardship Fund Crucial assistance to students facing emergency situations

Information for media

Journalists, please direct all media enquiries to