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COVID-19 Update

Update #40

Traffic Light Framework – How UCOL Will Operate 

Effective from 11.59 pm Thursday, 2 December 2021, we will enter into the ‘traffic light’ protective framework until further notice. Please see below for what this will mean for each campus, including travelling between them. 

Red Level

  • Campuses are open for learners, staff, and visitors who can show a valid My Vaccine Pass (or Government approved medical exemption) as per the Government's requirements.
  • Masks are compulsory and must be used while indoors at all times (unless you have a medical exemption card).
  • Social distancing and health measures apply, including capacity limits based on 1m distancing. 
  • People who do not have a My Vaccine Pass will study and work from home. 

Whanganui Campus - Red Level

  • As above - from Friday onwards, you'll need to show your My Vaccine Pass (or Government medical exemption) to enter onto campus.
  • From Friday learners with Vaccine Pass will only have access to Whanganui campus Mon – Fri between the hours of 8am-6pm. The campus will close to students at 6pm, with access moving to staff only card and pin. The campus will be closed to students (staff will required their card) on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Masks are compulsory and must be used while indoors at all times (unless you have a medical exemption card).
  • Learners who do not have a My Vaccine Pass - please stay home, let your lecturers know and they will discuss with you what is possible for your study. 
  • Staff who do not have a My Vaccine Pass - please stay home, let your Manager know and they will discuss with you what is possible for your role. 
  • ID card access will be temporarily disabled for Whanganui staff and students who do not have a My Vaccine Pass. 
  • Fully vaccinated staff (7+ days since you've had your second jab) can travel to other campuses.
  • No UCOL events are to be held while we are in Red. 

Orange Level

Tertiary education can open with current health measures in place – scanning, sanitising, social distancing, and mask wearing is strongly recommended.

Manawatū, Horowhenua, and Wairarapa Campuses - Orange Level

  • Campuses are open, with current health measures in place.
  • Gym users will be required to show a My Vaccine Pass (Manawatū).
  • Hair and Beauty clients will be required to show a My Vaccine Pass.
  • Fully vaccinated staff (7+ days since you've had your second jab) can travel to other campuses.
  • Follow the traffic light system for the area you are in, and when travelling to other areas, e.g. you will need to obey Red regulations and have a My Vaccine Pass if you go to Whanganui.
  • UCOL events must submit a RAMS form to Sylvie Hickton and it must be approved by her before the event can take place.

Green Level

The Government has said that no region will get to Green until, at the potential earliest, late January. We will update you with what this looks like for our campuses in due time. 

General Guidance
  • Travel between campuses with a My Vaccine Pass is permitted.
  • If you live in a Red region but normally study or work at a campus in an Orange region, you are allowed to travel to study and work. This is only available to learners and staff who regularly study/work at Orange region campuses.
  • Maintain current practices - scan in using the QR code or sign in, sanitise regularly, and stay home if unwell.
  • While there isn’t a deadline for people to be vaccinated at the Red and Orange level, the Ministry is strongly encouraging everyone who can get vaccinated to do so as soon as possible, as any region could go into Red at any time. 
Already vaccinated but still need to get your Vaccine Pass? Check out How do I get My Vaccine Pass?

Useful Resources:
If you have any questions on this, or on your own individual situation, please reach out to

Alert Level 2: All UCOL campuses are open to students.

All regions with UCOL campuses are currently at Alert Level 2 until 11.59 pm Thursday, 2 December 2021, and our campuses are open to students, unless you’ve been asked to remain at home.

If you feel unwell, please do not come to campus. Let your lecturer know and stay home until you are well again. If you are tested for COVID, please tell your lecturer and (and then update them with the results). This information will be kept confidential.

Read our Alert Level 2 Guide for coming to campus provided below.

COVID-19 Vaccinations

As of October 2021, the Government has announced a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for those working in the healthcare, education, hospitality, hairdressing and beauty, gyms, social services, and events sectors. If you are involved in, or wanting to study a programme in these fields - or a programme that involves a placement, work experience or internship component – then we highly recommend you are vaccinated for COVID-19. The Government’s mandates mean that many workplace providers will require you to be vaccinated before working with them. Work experience hours are an essential part of some of our programmes. If you are not vaccinated, you will have very limited access to placement or work experience opportunities, which will affect your ability to complete these programme successfully. 

To see this discussed in full please read our message to students provided below.

You can see more information on this on Ministry of Health's website.


Our intercampus bus service between Palmerston North and Whanganui continue to operate as per the scheduled timings. Masks are required for public transport.  

Student Services – All Campus

Our Student Services will be available on all campuses. You will require an appointment before meeting in person. We will resume the drop-in meetings only at Alert Level 1.


Manawatū – If you are facing hardship please contact Rebekah O’Donoghue on

Horowhenua – Please email Yvonne Seng at
Whanganui - Please talk to Senior Manager Student Success Coral Hanna on the phone 027 318 4026 or or

Wairarapa - Please email Steph Burling, Support, Employability & Youth Guarantee on

Counselling is available online. Please email

Future Communications

If you have any further questions, please get in touch with General and programme related enquires via ‘contact us’ form or ‘help’ on the website will be processed as usual. If we need to update you, updates will be shared via UCOL’s social media, website, Moodle or emailed to you. Where urgently required, we will also text students.

If you need assistance or help, please reach out to us.

Tracking Where You’ve Been

Have you travelled recently to the Auckland and Coromandel region. In that case, please check if you have been in close contact with a COVID-19 patient by visiting the Ministry of Health website information on contact tracing locations of interest.

If you have attended one of the locations listed during the relevant timeframes, it is considered a contact. Please check:

  • The full location and address details.
  • Date and the relevant times.
  • The instructions on ‘what to do’
  • Still unsure? Contact Healthline for advice on 0800 358 5453.

In Alert Level 4, the Government recommend using the Ministry of Health COVID-19 tracker app to keep a record of where you have been. UCOL will continue to display QR Codes for this app at its doors. Whatever system you decide to use, the important thing is to keep a track of where you have been.


You can take some simple steps to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

  • Wear a face covering on public transport.Learn more
  • Avoid close contact with people with cold or flu-like illnesses.
  • Practise 2 metre physical distancing and good hygiene.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing.
  • Stay home if you are unwell and contact your GP.
  • Wash hands for at least 20 seconds with water and soap and dry them thoroughly:
    • before eating or handling food
    • after using the toilet
    • after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose or wiping children’s noses
    • after caring for sick people
  • Keep a track of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen.

COVID-19 Vaccination

Here are some useful documents that covers everything you want to know about the vaccination.

Borders and International Students

Advice for international tertiary students   

The New Zealand borders remain closed at this time, to reduce the spread of the virus from outside the country. Students are advised to regularly check the Immigration NZ website and the official websites of their country’s Embassy or High Commission in New Zealand for information on visas and travel.

New Zealand government has advised all New Zealanders to not travel overseas.

Unite against COVID-19

The Ministry of Health has launched a dedicated website for COVID-19 that provides information and updates on COVID-19.

COVID-19: Information for disabled people and their family and whānau

COVID-19: New Zealand Sign Language

COVID-19: Easy Read information

Key sources of information and advice are: