COVID-19 New Zealand information

COVID-19 Information

2 April 2020

COVID-19 Update : New Zealand Ministry of Education

The government has today released its plan to safely repatriate foreign nationals including international students while the country is in lockdown. We understand the past few days have been uncertain for you and the government is working to respond quickly to your needs.

This update provides advice for international students who want to depart New Zealand on scheduled commercial or foreign-government assisted charter flights.

  • If you are a student intending to travel, you should speak to your education provider about travel arrangements. They are working with the government and have all the latest and accurate information.
  • Under Alert Level 4, international students are now able to leave New Zealand on scheduled commercial or foreign-government assisted charter flights.
  • You must have a confirmed booking and a valid international ticket to travel to the airport and depart New Zealand.
  • To get to an airport, you must be able to drive in private transport, or complete a public transport, taxi or uber ride within two hours or a single domestic flight (commercial or charted) to either Auckland or Christchurch International Airport.
  • Students travelling to airports must follow the Alert 4 health and safety advice to protect themselves and others. These measures include ensuring 2 metres distance between people, coughing/sneezing into an elbow, washing and drying hands often.

Educational providers must ensure certain requirements are met under the Code. These include:

  • Clear and timely communication with students and parents about travel. Parents and students should only be consenting to travel with an informed understanding of the relevant risks and the possibility of changing plans.
  • A transfer of care plan for under 18 students that is agreed to in writing (digitally) by the student’s parent or legal guardian.
  • Appropriate and safe supervision for students under 18 to ensure that the wellbeing of the student is maintained during their transfer of care.

For more information on other travel criteria, visit: Update on domestic travel criteria for foreign nationals returning home

Stay up to date and get more information below:

For official Government information about COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), including health advice and travel restrictions visit the All-of-Government website
https://www.govt.nz/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/

For health advice, please refer to the Ministry of Health’s website.
https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus

For more advice for students, visit the Ministry of Education website ation website
http://www.education.govt.nz/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-3/

To keep updated on travel restrictions and visa information visit
https://www.immigration.govt.nz/about-us/media-centre/news-notifications/coronavirus-update-inz-response

Updated 30 March 2020

On 23 March 2020, The New Zealand Government has announced an immediate change in the alert level from 2 to level 3,
and that at midnight Wednesday 25 March, the alert level will rise to Level 4 – where it will stay for at least 30 days.
New Zealand is currently on pandemic level 4.
After 30 days, The New Zealand Government will re-asses COVID-19 levels in New Zealand, and adjust the alert level accordingly.

Find out more about Pandemic Alert Levels >

What does this mean for students?

  1. Face to face teaching will end immediately – all classes are cancelled from today – there will be no teaching tomorrow;
  2. Aspire2 International will continue to work on the logistics of closing our campuses and setting up distance learning options until complete lock down at 12 noon Wednesday 25 March 2020.

The New Zealand Government says this is in place for 4 weeks from 23 March 2020 (with the potential for partial lifting of measures in some regions depending on data).

Please watch your emails and our messaging on line for updates – I will be writing to all of you frequently.

For more detailed and up-to-date information on New Zealand’s response to COVID-19, visit  www.covid19.govt.nz

How is Aspire2 International responding?

Aspire2 International is fully committed to supporting our students in in the event of a school or campus closure due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Since January 2020 (shortly after the virus was reported by international media), Aspire2 International has been following a Pandemic plan that was created and recommended by New Zealand’s Ministry of Health.

On Monday 23 March, our campuses closed to students for face-to-face lessons; and on Wednesday 25 March, our campuses closed to all staff due to Government requirements.

Most staff members will continue to work from home, and planning is currently underway to ensure continuity of delivery to our students across New Zealand via online instruction.

For Aspire2 International students

WORK RIGHTS

Full time work rights during scheduled vacations

  • A student visa may be granted with conditions to allow the holder to work full-time during all scheduled vacations, if the student is undertaking a full-time programme of study (see U6.1.1); and of at least one academic year’s duration.
  • Despite (a) where scheduled vacations are more than one third of the programme of study duration for programmes of study offered by tertiary providers other than universities, full-time work rights may not be granted.
    Note: An academic year means a programme of study of a minimum of 120 credits during a period of at least eight months (minimum of two semesters)

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I’m a student who has been unable to complete my study because exams were suspended. Can I work full time in the term break?
    Yes, but you must tell Immigration NZ what has changed for you – Immigration NZ has been told about the change to the length of the term break.
    Click here to go to Immigration NZ’s website >

  2. I’m a student who couldn’t complete my L5 study because exams were suspended. Can I work full time in the term break?
    Yes, but you must tell Immigration NZ what has changed for you – Immigration NZ has been told about the change to the length of the term break.
    Click here to go to Immigration NZ’s website >

  3. I’m a student who has completed my study (including last term assessments) and I’m just waiting for my results. Can I work full time in the next term break?
    No, you have completed your study – your results will issue as usual. The next term break is not a scheduled vacation for you
  4. I’m a student who needs to repeat some papers which will not be offered until the July term. My student visa has been extended by the government. Do I have to go onto a visitor visa because I won’t be studying from now until July?
    You must always tell INZ when your circumstances change so you must inform them that you will not be studying until July. However, it is quite likely because of the Epidemic Management Notice that you will have the same visa conditions as your previous visa.

Immigration advice provided by Immigration Advisers NZ (Vandana Rai)

Additionally, visa restrictions have been relaxed for students working in supermarkets: “Changes have been made to immigration instructions to relax visa restrictions for two groups of current supermarket employees for a period of 30 days:
1. Work visa holders to allow them to work in roles other than specified on their visa;
2. Student visa holders to allow them to work more than 20 hours per week”
Find out more >

RENT FREEZE
New Zealand’s Minister of Finance announced on 23 March 2020 a freeze of rent increases and an extension of no-cause terminations.  Students will still have to pay rent but landlords cannot raise the cost of rent during COVID-19 Level 4.
Find out more >

DATA USER CAPS
Several cell phone companies have removed data caps on their mobile phone plans during COVID-19 Level 4.
Here’s a summary from major providers:

  • Spark
    https://www.spark.co.nz/help/covid-19/
    “Removing overage charges for customers who are on data-capped broadband plans, so they won’t have to worry about paying extra to stay connected. This applies to both small and medium business and consumer customers;”
  • Vodafone
    https://news.vodafone.co.nz/covid-19-care
    “The removal of data caps from data-capped Broadband plans for consumers and small to medium sized businesses until at least the end of June 2020”
  • Vocus/Slingshot
    https://help.slingshot.co.nz/hc/en-us/articles/900000386943-Our-action-against-COVID-19?_ga=2.224375707.1878754814.1585097493-87562686.1585097493
    “We removed all the data caps from our plans to better enable you to work from home during this time of social distancing and self-isolation.”
  • 2Degrees
    https://www.2degreesmobile.co.nz/help-and-support/mobile/your-account/covid-19/