COVID-19

Remember to check in using the QR codes when on campus.

We are working on updates to this page. Please check back again soon. In the meantime, please follow NSW Health advice.

Last Updated

18 Mar 2022 at 9:21am

Charles Sturt University has returned to on-campus learning.

We’re following public health advice and easing COVID-19 restrictions on our campuses with confidence due to high vaccination rates.

As of 1 January 2022, it is a condition of entry that students, staff and visitors are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with a TGA-approved vaccine before visiting any of our sites.

More about your vaccination status

Fill in your vaccination details form

Vaccinations

In line with government health advice, we strongly encourage all students to get their COVID-19 vaccination as soon as they become eligible. This is particularly important for any student who undertakes Workplace Learning (WPL) in the community as a part of their course requirements.

Find out more

Campus advice

We have removed QR code and mask requirements in most campus spaces, with some limited exceptions. QR code check-in is still required for on-campus clinics, and you may be required to wear a mask in some indoor settings, such as practical classes, where physical distancing is not possible. Of course, if you feel more comfortable continuing to wear a mask indoors, you are welcome to do so.

We all have responsibility for the wellbeing of our campus communities. Please do not attend campus if you are unwell. Continue to use hand sanitiser and good hygiene habits, and follow NSW Health requirements for testing and isolation when applicable.

  • General on-campus accommodation information

    From 1 January 2022, you must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to live in, or visit, our residences on campus.

    You can book accommodation online. There may be restrictions on the style and availability of accommodation due to COVID-19 operational requirements. Students seeking self-contained solutions, particularly for health or comfort reasons, should consider alternatives off campus.

    Keeping residences COVID-19 safe

    All students are asked to complete a RAT and receive a negative result 24 hours before checking into on-campus accommodation. A limited number of RATs may be available for purchase at university retail outlets, however, Res Life does not have the ability to source or provide RATs for students.

    When checking in you must be able to show evidence that you are fully vaccinated and have completed the Student Vaccination Form or you will not be provided with access to your room.

    In line with NSW Health requirements, everyone on campus is required to implement strategies to minimise risk to themselves and others such as:

    • be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and be able to show evidence of this if requested. We strongly encourage you to get a booster shot when you become eligible
    • wear a 3-ply face mask where you're not able to physically distance
    • maintain physical distancing, good hygiene practices and comply with rules in proximity areas and shared spaces, including residences
    • complete testing and reporting requirements as necessary.

    Please be respectful of others and ensure you do not attend campus if you are unwell, and follow any testing and isolation requirements from NSW Health if necessary. Charles Sturt University has installed hand sanitising stations at building entrances that we encourage you to use. We also conduct regular cleaning throughout all our facilities including high touch point surfaces.

  • Testing and isolation for students in on-campus accommodation

    Testing before checking into accommodation

    All students are asked to complete a RAT and receive a negative result 24 hours before checking into on-campus accommodation. A limited number of RATs may be available for purchase at university retail outlets, however, Res Life does not have the ability to source or provide RATs for students.

    When checking in you must also be able to show evidence that you are fully vaccinated and have completed the Student Vaccination Form or you will not be provided with access to your room.

    After checking in we ask students residing in on-campus accommodation to take responsibility for their own COVID-19 testing and isolation requirements.

    Positive cases within a residential building

    All occupants of a building with a positive case will be informed and referred to advice from NSW Health. As each person's individual circumstance is different, advice on isolation needs must come from NSW Health. In some cases, it may be necessary for a positive case to remain on campus and continue to share facilities within a residential building. Res Life will liaise with residents to provide direction and implement risk mitigation strategies, including extra cleaning, in line with NSW Health recommendations.

    If you test positive for COVID-19 while residing in on-campus accommodation

    Report it via Protecht and contact Res Life immediately so we can manage the situation and support you as best we can. The university will respond on a case-by-case basis and according to NSW Health recommendations. Students who test positive in dorm settings may need to isolate in the room in which they were staying at the time of testing positive. In certain situations, it may be necessary for you to return home to complete your isolation requirements. We will discuss this with you.

    If you are isolating on campus

    A Res Life representative will contact you daily to check on your wellbeing. Campus security personnel are also available 24/7. In the event of an emergency, follow NSW Health advice.

    You will have access to shared facilities but use should be kept to a minimum and PPE must be worn. You will receive cleaning materials for use in common spaces. The university will also clean these areas daily.

    You will be responsible for sourcing your own food, however, Res Life may be able to assist with the delivery of fast food or click and collect orders.

    The same daily/weekly accommodation cost will apply for any additional nights required.

    Further information will be made available in the event you test positive and notify Residence Life.

  • Do I need to supply my own RATs?

    Yes. A limited number of RATs may be available for purchase at university retail outlets, however, we do not have the ability to source or provide RATs for students. It is recommended you purchase your own supply before arriving on campus.

Study advice

We will continue to provide the information and support you need to be successful in your studies.

  • Can I get special consideration if I need to isolate as a close contact or I catch COVID?

    You will still have access to resources such as Interact2 sites and discussion boards and your set readings to continue your studies from home if you contract COVID-19 or need to self-isolate as a close contact. If your isolation requirements mean you miss essential practical classes, workplace learning or residential schools, you will need to apply for special consideration. If you are too unwell to complete assessments on time, you should contact your Subject Coordinator/s in the first instance to request an extension. You may also be asked to submit a special consideration application. Evidence of a positive PCR test or details of a positive RAT (for example, evidence of your online submission to NSW Health), or evidence that you were a close contact and needed to isolate may be required.

  • Will I have to do blended learning or full on-campus study like I've signed up for?

    We will need to monitor the situation closely and amend our approach accordingly as we work towards mitigating any risk to our staff, students and community. This may mean a move to some mixed mode study or a move to online if required, depending the situation. If this occurs we will reach out to you to provide you with all the information and support you need to be successful in your studies.

  • What can I do about my face-to-face classes if I catch COVID?

    If you miss classes due to COVID, you may be provided with make-up opportunities such as recordings, streaming, or additional classes (note: not all options may be provided in all cases). Please reach out to your Subject Coordinator to advise them of your absence and they will support you.

  • Residential schools and workplace learning

    Residential schools

    Please visit the COVID-19 residential schools updates page.

    Workplace learning

    Please visit the workplace learning page.

Health advice

Students should continue to follow public health orders and government advice regarding health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Government information and public health orders
  • What COVID-safe measures are in place on campus?

    The university will continue to monitor health advice, implement other control measures, and adjust safety practices as appropriate.

    While on campus, all students, staff and visitors are required to:

    • be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and be able to show evidence of this if requested. We strongly encourage you to get a booster shot when you become eligible
    • wear a 3-ply face mask indoors where physical distancing is not possible
    • maintain physical distancing, good hygiene practices and comply with rules in close proximity areas and shared spaces, including residences.

    Please be respectful of others and ensure you do not attend campus if you are unwell. Follow any testing and isolation requirements from NSW Health if necessary.

    Charles Sturt University has installed hand sanitising stations at building entrances that we encourage you to use. We also conduct regular cleaning throughout all our facilities including high touch point surfaces.

  • What happens if there is a positive case on campus?

    In the event of a positive case on campus or in residence, Charles Sturt University will follow NSW Health advice. If students in residence are impacted, they will be contacted by a member of the Res Life team. Charles Sturt University Campus Alerts may also be used to provide urgent or after-hours updates.

    As we return to residential living we ask all students to follow our COVID safe principles.

    While on campus, all students, staff and visitors are required to:

    • be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and be able to show evidence of this if requested. We strongly encourage you to get a booster shot when you become eligible
    • wear a 3-ply face mask where you are unable to physically distance
    • maintain physical distancing, good hygiene practices and comply with rules in close proximity areas and shared spaces, including residences.

    Please be respectful of others and ensure you do not attend campus if you are unwell. Follow any testing and isolation requirements from NSW Health if necessary.

    Charles Sturt University has installed hand sanitising stations at building entrances that we encourage you to use. We also conduct regular cleaning throughout all our facilities including high touch point surfaces.

  • Do I need to get a COVID-19 test before I attend on-campus classes?

    From 1 January 2022, you will not be required to get tested before attending on-campus classes. The exception to this is if you have been, or may have been, exposed to COVID-19 or are directed to get tested by NSW Health. Find out more.

  • What if I have been exposed to COVID-19?

    On campus students

    If you have been in contact with someone with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, please follow NSW Health guidelines and get tested. If you are staying on campus, inform Residence Life. If you receive a positive test result, you need to report it via Protecht and must not attend campus until you have followed NSW Health's process for managing positive test results.

    Students who live off campus but attend on campus classes

    If you have been in contact with someone with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, please follow NSW Health guidelines and get tested. If you receive a positive test result, you need to report it via Protecht and must not attend campus until you have followed NSW Health's process for managing positive test results.

  • Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT)

    Most people can now use a rapid antigen test (RAT) result to confirm they are positive for COVID-19. This includes people with symptoms, people who live with someone who has COVID-19, and people who have spent a long time with, or interacted closely with someone who has COVID-19. Find out more about getting tested.

Vaccination requirements

From 1 January 2022, all staff, students and visitors must be fully vaccinated with an approved COVID-19 vaccine before returning to campus.

  • Do I have to be vaccinated to return to campus and/or attend class?

    Yes. From 1 January 2022, all staff, students and visitors must be fully vaccinated with an approved COVID-19 vaccine before returning to campus.

    This includes for access to all campus spaces including buildings, outdoor spaces, vehicles, residences and clinics. In addition, this will apply to visitors attending on-campus events or tours.

  • Do I need a booster shot?

    The University strongly encourages students to obtain a booster shot when eligible. A booster dose helps strengthen immune systems and improve long-term protection against serious illness from the COVID-19 virus. Please follow the relevant health advice with regard to the requirement for booster shots.

    When booster shots become a NSW Health requirement to be considered fully vaccinated and compliant, we may also require this as part of our condition of being fully vaccinated to attend one of our locations or to live on campus. If/when this occurs, you will be notified and you will need to complete the vaccination status web form with your updated status as soon as you've had your booster shot.

  • What happens if I choose not to be vaccinated?

    Refusal to provide proof of vaccination status will result in you not being able to attend a Charles Sturt campus. If there is a component of your course that must be completed on campus, this may result in you being unable to complete your studies.

    If you are unable to attend campus, there will be no additional exceptional online learning provided.

  • I want to lodge a formal complaint about being forced to vaccinate to continue access to campus and my degree. How do I do that?

    Student Central can discuss your concerns with you.

    If you are still not satisfied you can find more details around making a complaint. You can lodge a formal complaint via the Office of Governance and Corporate Affairs by phoning 1800 664 235 or via our online reporting system 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • What if I have a medical exemption from being vaccinated?

    If you have a medical exemption this needs to be notified to the university when you complete your vaccination status form prior to attending campus. You must be able to provide a COVID-19 Vaccine Medical Contraindication form completed by your doctor.

  • Why are you requiring people to be vaccinated to attend campus?

    The university has a primary duty of care to provide a safe environment for staff, students, contractors and visitors and to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 on our campuses. While vaccination does not guarantee a person will not contract COVID, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) states that “Vaccination remains the best way to protect against severe illness and death from COVID-19 and is a core element of the pandemic response”.

  • How are you verifying the vaccination status of everyone on campus if students don't need to upload a digital copy or the medical exemption?

    The university will conduct respectful spot checks in the coming weeks and months to ensure anyone attending campus has evidence of vaccination or medical exemption in a similar way to what happens at public venues that still require vaccination. The expectation is that proof will be provided if asked.

    Providing false or misleading information may be investigated as an allegation of misconduct pursuant to the Student Misconduct Rule 2020.

  • How will my vaccination information be used and who will have access to it?

    At all times, the personal information that you provide to Charles Sturt University will be treated in accordance with the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW) and Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW), and the University’s Privacy Management Plan.

    Please read this Privacy Notice for more information about COVID-19 vaccinations and your privacy, including how and and why the University collects your personal and health information, how we manage that information, and your rights to access and/or correct that information.

  • What is the process for international students?

    International students will not be permitted into Australia without evidence being fully vaccinated with a TGA approved vaccine. Any current or potential international students currently residing in Australia will need to be fully vaccinated like staff, students and visitors prior to physically attending the university.

  • Do I need to be vaccinated to live in on campus accommodation?

    Yes. Our residences are considered campus facilities. From 1 January 2022, you must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to live in or visit our residences on campus.

  • What if I have only had one vaccination by January 1?

    If you have not been fully vaccinated and do not have a valid medical exemption, you are not permitted to attend a Charles Sturt University campus. If you need to come onto campus for your studies, please contact Student Central to discuss your options.

  • When do I need to complete the vaccination status form by? What happens if I don't?

    We strongly recommend you complete the form as soon as possible, as it is a requirement for physically attending our campuses.

    If you are not attending campus (for example, you study entirely online), there is no requirement to complete the form at this time (as at 1 January 2022).

  • What do I do if my study is affected by the vaccination requirements?

    In the first instance, contact Student Central to discuss your individual circumstances and options.

  • I will not get vaccinated. Can I graduate with a lower award instead?

    Depending on your course and the subjects you have already completed, you may be able to graduate with a lower award. This is not possible in all courses and you will need to have satisfied the subject requirements of the lower award.

    Check the Knowledgebase for more information about how to check if you're eligible, how to apply and deadlines.

  • Where on campus do these rules apply?

    Charles Sturt's COVID-19 measures apply in all campus spaces, including buildings, outdoor spaces, residences, vehicles and clinics.

    You must follow the rules for each space you enter at

    • Albury-Wodonga
    • Bathurst
    • Canberra (Brisbane Avenue)
    • Dubbo
    • Goulburn
    • Orange
    • Port Macquarie
    • Wagga Wagga
    • Wangaratta
  • What arrangements will be in place for other locations?

    Canberra (St Mark’s National Theological Centre, Blackall Street)

    As of 10 November 2021 the St Mark’s Novel Coronavirus Response Plan does not require vaccination for entry onto the premises.

    Goulburn

    The NSW Police Force has advised the university that vaccination is required for entry onto their premises.

    North Parramatta (United Theological College, Masons Drive)

    As of 12 November 2021, there is no indication as to whether vaccination may be required to attend this site.

    Wangaratta

    'GOTAFE' has advised the university that vaccination is required for entry to Wangaratta Regional Study Centre.

    Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne Study Centres

    As of 10 November 2021, the Centres are closed and there is no indication at this stage as to whether vaccination may be required on re-opening.

  • Will all staff on campus be vaccinated?

    Yes. From 1 January 2022, all staff, students and visitors must be fully vaccinated before returning to campus. This includes for access to all campus spaces including buildings, outdoor spaces, vehicles, residences and clinics. In addition, this will apply to visitors attending on-campus events or tours.

  • When and how do I prove my vaccination status?

    Students are required to provide their vaccination status via the Student Portal prior to attending campus. If you have an exemption, you must be able to provide a COVID-19 Vaccine Medical Contraindication form completed by your doctor.

    You must also carry proof of your vaccination status with you at all times whilst attending campus, on placement or on university business and be prepared to produce this if asked by university staff or campus security.

    If you have workplace learning, there are additional requirements. View the WPL vaccination requirements.

  • I am unvaccinated, where do I go for support?

    We recommend you contact your primary health provider for advice and support in the first instance.

    You can also access a range of Charles Sturt wellbeing services and information, or seek further advice from NSW Health.

  • Do I need to be vaccinated to attend campus when everything opens for people who are not vaccinated?

    Yes. From 1 January 2022, all staff, students and visitors must be fully vaccinated with an approved COVID-19 vaccine before returning to campus. This includes for access to all campus spaces including buildings, outdoor spaces, vehicles, residences and clinics. In addition, this will apply to visitors attending on-campus events or tours.

    The university will monitor government advice and public health requirements. This decision and associated arrangements will be reviewed in June 2022 or as otherwise required in response to evolving circumstances.

  • Which vaccines are approved by the TGA?

    The list of recognised and registered vaccines continues to evolve. Vaccines registered in Australia by the TGA as of 15 February 2022 are:

    • Moderna (Spikevax)
    • Johnson & Johnson (Janssen)
    • AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria)
    • Pfizer (Comirnaty)
    • Novavax (Nuvaxovid)

    The vaccines not registered in Australia but are recognised by the TGA as of 22 October 2021 are:

    • Coronavac (Sinovac)
    • Covishield (AstraZeneca/Serum Institute of India).

    The university will not accept evidence of medicines or vaccines not approved by the TGA for the prevention of COVID-19.

  • Would a student studying online only with no requirements to go to campus be required to be double vaccinated?

    Full vaccination is required if you want to attend one of our campuses in person. If you do not need to attend one of our campuses whilst this is a requirement, we do not require you to be vaccinated to continue studying online at this time (as at 1 January 2022).

Campus statuses

We have developed three alert levels to assist with planning campus-level responses to local circumstances. Further information on each level is listed below. (Note these are Charles Sturt nominated levels)

  • Alert Level 1: Low local COVID-19 transmission (low numbers in general)

    General things to do at all stages

    General

    • Review campus alert levels daily
    • Encourage fellow students to follow COVIDSafe practices
    • Stay up-to-date with prevalence of local cases
    • Look after your own health and wellbeing

    Minimise transmission

    • Practice physical distancing and avoid crowds (>1.5m and 1 person / 4 m2)
    • Practice hand and respiratory hygiene
    • Manage personal health
    • Self-isolate if required by government advice

    Support contact tracing

    • Download the COVIDSafe app
    • Check into buildings with QR codes

    Follow NSW Health and Government advice

    • Monitor your health and get tested even if you have mild symptoms
    • Stay at home if you have symptoms and while waiting for test results
    • Symptoms include:
      • Fever
      • Coughing
      • Sore throat
      • Shortness of breath

    Alert level 1 campus actions

    General

    • Students and staff attend campus
    • Student Residences are open where physical distancing can be achieved
    • Food and beverage facilities open (with physical distancing)
    • Learning Commons and Library are open including for community borrowers – check website for hours
    • Indigenous Student Centres are accessible for study
    • Know what to do if someone on campus appears unwell or tests positive
    • Plan for possible shift to reduced or online services

    Increase Hygiene

    • We will increase cleaning of surfaces, touch points and equipment
    • We will reduce touch points, e.g. doors chocked open to prevent multiple touching of door handles
    • Sanitiser is supplied at entrance to facilities

    Minimise transmission

    • Avoid the use of ‘hot-desk’ spaces
    • Use cashless payments on campus
    • Adhere to the room capacity numbers displayed
    • Travel is permitted subject to physical distancing recommendations
    • Events are permitted subject to event registration processes
    • Face Masks: Only for previously assessed high risk activities involving exposure to respiratory aerosols and hand to face contact. Discretionary in other circumstances

    Alert level 1 teaching and research actions

    General

    • Teaching and research will be on-campus with access to online content and resources where possible
    • Workplace learning placements will be reviewed for areas of concern for COVID
    • No workplace learning to frontline roles with potential COVID exposure
    • Students who do not comply with University directions may be excluded

    Increase hygiene

    • Students and staff advised to wash their hands (soap and water) when entering and exiting facilities
    • Non-disposable equipment will be cleaned before and after use with a suitable disinfectant (available in class)

    Minimise transmission

    • Physical distancing in teaching areas is preferred, but reliance on university exemption is permissible
    • Floors, work areas marked to identify physical distancing
    • Learning and research activities redesigned to limit close proximity or crowding
    • Face Masks: Only for previously assessed high risk activities involving exposure to respiratory aerosols and hand to face contact
    • Complete health declarations for intensives and some teaching activities. Students to present these to subject coordinators
    • Minimise personal belongings in class. Only items required for activity e.g. book and pen
    • Store personal belongings safely outside facility
  • Alert Level 2: Some local COVID-19 cases (and/or increasing risk of transmission)

    Extra actions for this scenario

    All of the actions for Alert level 1, plus:

    • Prepare yourself for a possible increase in cases in your community
    • Develop a social bubble outside uni/work and limit interactions outside your bubble
    • Change or avoid non-essential activities where you are exposed to people outside your bubble
    • Change or avoid activities shown to have increased risk (indoor activities, singing, planned holidays or travel)
    • Change some of your activities to reduce your interactions (such as online shopping or online banking)
    • Avoid public transport to and from campus
    • Exclude any person who is unwell or has symptoms
    • Prepare for exclusive online learning

    Alert level 2 campus actions

    All of the actions above, plus:

    • Attend campus with care
    • Student residences remain open but the uni may review acceptance of students from at-risk areas
    • Student Central, Learning Commons and Library open for staff and students only, face-to-face services likely to reduce or cease – check website for hours
    • First Nations Student Centres remain accessible for study

    Minimise transmission

    • Avoid bringing visitors to campus
    • In the absence of government advice, only essential travel at 50% of vehicle capacity
    • Events minimised to be consistent with internal use of campuses and facilities. Events subject to Event Registration requirements
    • Face Masks: In the absence of government advice, only for previously assessed high risk activities involving exposure to respiratory aerosols and hand to face contact and where physical distancing cannot be achieved.

    Alert level 2 teaching and research actions

    All of the above, plus:

    General

    • Classes and research may shift to online where face-to-face is not required
    • Alternative learning and data collection may be facilitated for affected students and activities
    • Special consideration available for students
    • COVID safety plans in place for teaching environments
    • Further minimise contact activities during class
    • Arrival times will be staggered to avoid gatherings of people waiting to enter rooms
    • Break times will be staggered to minimise the number of staff and students using common areas at the same time

    Increase hygiene

    • We will supervise hand hygiene using hand sanitiser or soap and water
    • We will increase frequency of in-class hand cleaning

    Minimise transmission

    • In the absence of government advice; restrict the need for participants to come to campus from COVID-19 areas of concern
    • In the absence of government advice; exclude students and visitors who left areas of concern less than 14 days ago and have not completed self isolation
    • Face Masks: If you are teaching, you can remove your mask where clear enunciation or visibility of your mouth is essential. Please ensure all students are wearing their masks and maintain physical distancing.
    • Maintain contact bubble for practical classes, e.g. students to stay with the same workgroup or partner.
    • Avoid circulation of students between bubbles and limit person to person contact
  • Alert Level 3: Significant local COVID-19 transmission (recognised area of risk)

    Extra actions for this scenario

    All of the actions for Alert levels 1 and 2, plus:

    • Stay at home except for essential activities

    Alert level 3 campus actions

    All of the actions above, plus:

    • Only 'essential' on-campus activities to occur
    • Student services provided in online mode only
    • Only essential access to Learning Commons or Library
    • Likely close of food and beverage services

    Minimise transmission

    • No travel is the norm.

    Alert level 3 teaching and research actions

    All of the above, plus:

    General

    • Only essential on-campus classes and research to occur if unable to be delayed – Deans to review and approve
    • In the absence of Government advice, require a negative test result if returning to campus for any learning or teaching activity
    • Comprehensive COVID safety planning required for any on campus teaching. Plans to address all elements of NSW Health COVID Safety Plans
    • Plan for cancellation of all workplace learning

    Increase hygiene

    • Face masks required for all learning and teaching activities

    Minimise transmission

    • In the absence of government advice; exclude students and visitors who left areas of concern less than 14 days ago and have not provided a negative test result
    • Lock in the bubbles: If persons leave the region then an additional 14 days period of isolation required prior to return
    • Follow NSW Health advice for Universities

Support for students

We are responding to COVID-19 as the situation evolves. As part of this, we continue to offer a range of support services to students.

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Travel advice

Students should continue to follow travel advice issued by government authorities in the first instance.

  • Interstate and intrastate travel

    Please check the latest government advice on state and territory border closures due to COVID-19 as these may affect your ability to attend classes, residential schools, intensive catch-up blocks, workplace learning, or access facilities on campus.

    You will need to comply with NSW Health’s travel and transport guidance before attending campus. For information regarding your specific circumstances please visit Service NSW or phone 13 77 88.

    If you are not able to attend your classes, residential school or intensive catch-up teaching block, or if you choose not to attend as a result of government travel restrictions, you should contact your Subject Coordinator or Workplace Learning team. Checking your Interact2 subject site for updates may also be helpful.

    If you have an accommodation booking and need to cancel due to a border closure, you will not be charged.

    More general advice for travelling (international and interstate) is available from the Australian Government COVID-19 advice for travelling.

FAQs

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