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After several months of lockdown and with a flattening of the COVID curve apparent, many universities are in the process of planning staged returns for both students and staff. The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) supports the re-activation of the on-campus environment with the following principles:
help stop the spread and stay healthy;
stay informed and continue to support physical distancing in accordance with the Australian Government and State/Territory guidelines; and
apply specific sector-based guidelines to all entities on campus where relevant (e.g. childcare centres, schools, sporting facilities, cafes).
General measures should be established for a return to campus that support physical distancing and help to protect health, in concert with detailed measures for specific activities involving the occupation of shared spaces. A sound plan, founded on clear policy and procedure will not only protect the health and safety of all, but also demonstrate a duly diligent approach by the university to the return of staff and students.
The following article covers the general and activity-specific measures that should be covered by a reopening plan, as well as what to consider when developing such a plan – including policies and procedures, communication, health and hygiene, and grievances.