COVID-19 Information
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COVID-19 New Zealand information

New Zealand is a country where COVID-19 has been slowed and restricted with some success – and Aspire2 International wants to help keep it that way!  That is why we have had to change the way we deliver some programmes, and change programme offerings, so that both students and staff can continue-on in a way that is supportive and safe.  Students, staff, and partners are recommended to follow the New Zealand Government’s COVID-19 at www.covid19.govt.nz for accurate advice from top-level experts; and to keep in touch with Aspire2 International for how it will affect studies.

Keep in touch so you can stay updated!

  • Follow Aspire2 International on Facebook and Instagram for updates
  • Ensure that your local campus has your current cell phone number, for urgent SMS updates
  • Check your Aspire2 International email regularly

Thank you for your cooperation to help contain COVID-19 in New Zealand

28 August 2020

COVID-19 Level 2 guidance for the week commencing Monday 31 August 2020

Auckland is moving to Alert Level 2, the rest of New Zealand is staying at Alert Level 2, but there are some important changes…

The government has announced that Auckland will move out of Alert Level 3 and onto Level 2 at 11.59pm on Sunday 30th August.   So, from Monday all of New Zealand is at Level 2.

Key information for students

  1. From Monday (unless you are told otherwise) it is study and work as normal.  All Aspire2 International campuses will be open for teaching, and all students have to come to class (unless you are sick).
  2. Scan the QR codes wherever you go, including each day at campus, with the COVID-19 tracer app.  Keep a record of where you have been and with whom
  3. Carry and use a mask when you are in public and when you can’t easily keep at least 1m away from others, especially on public transport
  4. Keep washing your hands frequently – use hand sanitiser when you can’t wash your hands
  5. Stay home and don’t socialise if you are unwell
  6. Take care and stay in touch

What this means for Aspire2 International

While there are restrictions on gatherings at Level 2, educational facilities are not considered gatherings. This means there are no restrictions on the number of students and staff who can be on-site at Aspire2 International.

Under Alert Level 2, all on-site activities can continue or resume i.e. classes, lectures, labs, workshops, tutorials, and meetings. We will ensure that the public health control measures are in place.

Under Alert Level 2 physical distancing is not required on campus but we will manage on site and in class capacity to allow for 1m physical distancing where possible.  We ask that everyone is mindful of those around them and we will be encouraging the use of face masks, especially in situations where physical distancing isn’t possible. Examples of situations where it is advisable to wear a face mask or face covering include, in lifts, crowded spaces on campus, or in teaching and learning situations where close physical contact cannot be avoided. Posters encouraging use of masks will be provided for display before midday Friday, some classes may remain on line for a time to manage capacity and space levels – notification of this will come from either the Campus Manager or from the head of faculty.

Our classrooms and offices are defined as ‘controlled learning spaces or environments’ and this means contact tracing information must be collected in a way that identifies which students and staff (and any other visitors) have been in each ‘controlled space’ and at what time.   Attendance rolls will meet this requirement – logs will be kept in office spaces.  Everyone should also be keeping their own record of what they have been doing and who they have been mixing with – you are all encouraged to keep a digital diary.

We will be displaying the official NZ COVID Tracer QR code posters in a prominent place at or near the main entrances as required.  All staff and students should scan the QR code when they arrive and leave campus and everyone is asked to encourage this and to ensure (to the greatest extent practicable) that everyone coming onto campus scans the QR code or provides appropriate details to enable contact tracing.

Click here to get more information or to download the COVID-19 tracer app >

Face coverings will be mandatory on public transport

From 11.59pm on 30 August everyone will have to wear a mask or face covering on buses, trains, ferries, planes, taxis and Ubers.

Transport operators will generally encourage physical distancing in addition to requiring face coverings. Wear a face covering, follow the directions of drivers/operators and sit where the stickers and posters on-board tell you to.
People not wearing masks on public transport could be fined $300 on the spot from Monday for as long as New Zealand is in alert level 2.

And remember…if you’re unwell

  • If you are sick, stay home. Do not come to work or school. Do not socialise.
  • Make sure you follow our normal sick or reporting absence requirements – make sure we know why you are not at school or at work
  • If you have symptoms of cold or flu call your doctor / Healthline and get advice about being tested. Follow the directions you are given and let us know if you have any problems
  • If you have been told to self-isolate, you must do so immediately, and you must let us know – through your tutor or manager.

To understand Aspire2 International’s sickness and leave processes, click here >
To contact or to find out more about Healthline, click here >

25 August 2020

All New Zealand, including Auckland, will be at Level 2 after midnight Sunday 30 August.

All New Zealand, including Auckland, will be at Level 2 after midnight Sunday 30 August.
The New Zealand government will make it manditory to wear masks on public transport across the whole country.
Aspire2 International will continue to it’s current way of teaching for the remainder of this week (week ending Friday 28 August 2020),
An announcement on how lessons will be delivered in Auckland on Monday 31 August onwards will be given before Friday 28 August.
For Tauranga and Christchurch students, it is looking likely that way lessons are currently being delivered will continue.

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
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

3 June 2020

Short-term variation of conditions for essential services

As New Zealand moved into Alert level 2 at 11.59pm on Wednesday 13 May, any visa holder who received a short term variation will revert back to their original visa conditions at 11.59pm on Wednesday 24 June 2020. Immigration New Zealand intends to proactively inform students about this condition expiry.

Click here to download the Immigration NZ Factsheet >

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
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/