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COVIDSafe: operational guidance for higher education and skills

Guidance for higher education, TAFE, and registered training organisations.

Return to on-site learning and teaching

The public health recommendation for Victorians to work or study from home has been removed. This means that universities, TAFEs, training and adult education providers have returned to on-site learning and teaching.

Face masks

Face masksExternal Link are not required for staff and students attending on-site work and study, although they remain highly recommended in all indoor settings.

Any students or staff members who wish to wear a mask may do so, including those who are medically at-risk.

Face masks must be worn if it is a requirement of a workplace students or other visitors are attending for hands-on, practical learning. This could include a hospital or care facility, for example. For more information, visit when to wear a face maskExternal Link .

QR codes

QR code check-in requirements are no longer in place for TAFEs, universities and other training and adult education providers. This includes for retail and hospitality venues such as cafes and restaurants that are on campus.

Management of COVID-19 cases and close contacts

Actions once you have been notified a person with COVID-19 has attended an on-site indoor space

Workplaces must advise staff generally if there has been a COVID-19 case in the workplace. However, workplaces are no longer required to identify and notify individual staff members exposed to an infectious colleague.

A worker who tested positive to COVID-19 must identify and inform the staff they came into contact with. For more information, visit Checklist for cases.

Recording requirements for the higher education sector

The requirement to collect, record and store COVID-19 test result information that relates to staff at universities, TAFEs and other training and adult education providers is no longer in place.

An employer may continue to hold vaccine information following the removal of the vaccine requirements for the period a pandemic declaration remains in place. If the service provider makes the choice to require their staff to be vaccinated, guidance on the collection of new information on staff vaccination status will be forthcoming.

Non-school Senior Secondary Providers (NSSPs)

NSSPs must adhere to any advice, guidance and support for managing and responding to COVID-19 in schoolsExternal Link .

Vaccination requirements for students and staff

The Pandemic Orders requiring two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine for the higher education sector have been removed, with responsibility for vaccine requirements shifting to individual employers.

This means employers are able to set their own workplace conditions, including whether to continue requiring their staff to have two or three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. Please check with your employer directly to see if you are required to have received the COVID-19 vaccine.

Despite these changes, you are strongly encouraged to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you are eligible. COVID-19 third doses are recommended for anyone aged 16 and over who had their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine three or more months ago.

While students and other visitors attending onsite (excluding paid or volunteer workers) are no longer required to show evidence that they have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccination, those undertaking placements must continue to adhere to the vaccination mandate that applies to their sector.

For more information about COVID-19 vaccines, including how to book them, visit COVID-19 vaccines.

Recognised Vaccinations

Only certain COVID-19 vaccines are classified by the Therapeutic Goods Association as ‘recognised vaccinesExternal Link ’ in Australia for incoming travellers (e.g. international students).

Vaccinations obtained overseas can be verified via a foreign vaccination certificate. See guidance on foreign vaccination certificatesExternal Link .

COVIDSafe Plans

Organisations must have a COVIDSafe Plan in place for each worksite. COVIDSafe Plans should be reviewed regularly to ensure alignment with current public health advice. Find out more at COVIDSafe workplaces. The plans must demonstrate:

  • actions to help prevent the introduction of COVID-19 to the workplace
  • actions to address relevant face mask and protective personal equipment requirements
  • how the workplace will prepare for, and respond to, a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19
  • how the workplace will meet all the requirements set out by the Victorian Government, noting some organisations must meet industry-specific requirements.

Reviewed 24 June 2022

Coronavirus Victoria

Coronavirus Hotline

Call the Coronavirus Hotline if you need help to report a rapid antigen test (RAT) or if you have any questions about COVID-19.

The Victorian Coronavirus Hotline diverts to the National Coronavirus Helpline every night between 4pm and 9am.

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

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