Safe Return to Campus

UNSW is starting its gradual shift back to campus and we are looking forward to welcoming you on your return over the next few months. We are taking a deliberately cautious and phased approach to ensure a ‘safe return to campus’ which is broadly outlined below:

May/June 2020

  • Return of campus-dependent research community
  • Return of campus-dependent staff 
  • Partial re-opening of library - essential visits only via booking system

July/August 2020

  • Return of student-facing staff and remaining researchers

September 2020 onwards

  • Full re-opening of library and campus amenities
  • Return of onshore students on-campus activity 
  • Return of all other staff


  • Return of offshore students
  • Recommencement of large events

Until it is time for you to return to campus, and you have explicit permission to do so, all students and staff should continue to learn/work from home.

This remains the most effective way to minimise risk to you and others until our campus is ready. We will provide further updates on our return to campus plans as they develop. 

Please read the information and guidance on your return to campus available at the links below:

It is important we work together as a community to continue to limit the spread of COVID-19, particularly as we have many high-risk groups on campus.

  • UNSW is taking NSW Health advice, including the cleaning of facilities as required. 
  • The University has upgraded its cleaning standards above its regular operations to reduce the risk of infection. These measures include: 
    • Using bleach-based hospital-grade disinfectant cleaning products throughout the University. This includes all restrooms at Kensington. 
    • Large numbers of pump hand sanitiser units have been ordered and placed at high-contact points throughout campus. 
    • Additional training and education have been completed by cleaning contractors on cleaning processes, personal hygiene and personal protective equipment while conducting cleaning throughout the University. 
  • Current medical advice is that there is no increased risk of contracting COVID-19 by being on campus. 
  • Posters and signage have been placed around campus with guidance on the safety measures being adopted by UNSW. Please adhere to these directions to ensure the safety of yourself and others.
  • Non-essential services on all UNSW campuses have been impacted by the latest government measures. These include gyms and indoor sporting venues, while restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery.  

  • The UNSW Library has reopened with a limited number of spaces available for essential study sessions at the Main Library, Law Library and Paddington Library.
    • Study sessions are only for students and staff who have no alternative study arrangement.
    • A limited number of 'quick visit' tickets are also available for each location for those who only need access to printing facilities. These visits will be limited to a 10-minute stay.
    • Students must register here in advance to book a study session or quick visit ticket.
    • There will be no access to physical collection items during these visits. Those wishing to borrow items can use the Library's Click and Collect service.
    • Students and staff who do not absolutely need to be on campus should continue to study from home until further notice. If you are unwell, do not come to campus, seek medical attention.
  • The Y NSW, which manages the pool and gym on the Kensington campus, has automatically suspended all upfront and direct debit memberships, class enrolments (gymnastic and swimming programs) and multi-visit passes. Multi-visit pass expiry dates will also be extended for the duration of the closure. 

  • Other on-campus retailers including IGA and the Pharmacy@UNSW have adjusted operating hours.

    • The IGA is open from 8am – 6pm on weekdays and from 9am – 10pm on weekends (please note hours may vary).  

    • The Pharmacy@UNSW, in the Quadrangle Building, is open 8:30am – 7pm, Monday to Thursday, and 8:30am – 6pm on Friday. 

  • The UNSW Health Service continues to operate as normal. Opening hours are 8am – 6pm Monday to Thursday and 8am – 5pm on Friday and contact number is (02) 9385 5425. The Director of the Health Service has put in place these steps to protect your safety. More information is also available on its website. 

Due to the increase in staff working from home at this time, many buildings across our campuses will have reduced Emergency Control Organisation (ECO) members on site. This includes reduced coverage of wardens and first aid officers. 

In the event of a fire emergency, the building alarms will operate as usual, and UNSW Security will arrive. 

However, staff will need to monitor the alarms and self-evacuate accordingly. 


  • Alert alarm is Beep, Beep, Beep 

  • Evacuate alarm is Whoop, Whoop, Whoop

  • Go to your nearest exit immediately and leave personal belongings behind.