The University of Canberra will continue a slow community return to campus after yesterday’s announcement that all staff, students, and contractors will be required to be fully vaccinated when entering an indoor campus setting for the remainder of 2021.

The announcement came after results of a University of Canberra survey regarding COVID-19 vaccinations showed over 70% of staff and students agree with a vaccine mandate on campus.

Over 850 staff and 2500 students completed the survey in October. Staff reported a vaccination rate of 96%, and students a rate of 94%.

Of those surveyed, 0.9% of staff and 2.7% of students indicated that they do not intend to get vaccinated for COVID-19, another 1.5% of students and staff opted not to answer.

The university has said the results of this survey helped in shaping the community’s return to campus plan.

The COO provided a further return to campus update on Monday, the 8th of November, announcing that students and staff will be able to return to campus for some teaching, research, and business-related activities from the 10th of November. However, noted that this is not a community-wide compulsory return.

“As the ACT Government has been reminding us, it is to be expected, that when there is an increase in the movement of people there is the possibility of virus transmission, irrespective of the vaccination status of the community. A vaccinated community is a strong safeguard against severe illness, but it is imperative that we all take the necessary precautions when coming on to campus to safeguard our personal safety and practise the basic COVID-safe measures that we are now accustomed to; do not come to campus if you are unwell with COVID symptoms, maintain good hand hygiene and safe physical distancing.”

Message from COO: Return to campus update

Most classes will remain online for the remainder of 2021, including units delivered in the Summer Term. Each faculty will arrange and communicate any essential face-to-face classes outstanding from semester 2. Faculties will communicate all information regarding individual units.

All staff and students entering indoor facilities on campus will be required to show their COVID-19 vaccination certificate upon entry.

Digital vaccine certificates are available through myGov, in your Medicare online portal. If you are not eligible for Medicare you will need an Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI) to access your digital vaccine certificate. More information can be found here, through Services Australia. If you are unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccination due to medical reasons, you should ask your doctor to update your record on the Australian Immunisation Register. More information on medical exemptions can be found here. Those with a medical exemption will have to provide this certificate/ statement upon entering any indoor campus settings.

Details regarding a return to campus in 2022 will be announced at the end of November.

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