Actions and Advice on the University Level

  1. How is the University responding to the COVID-19 situation?
  2. What does the Committee on Health Promotion and Protection advise?
  3. What should I do if I feel sick or have come into contact with someone who is confirmed of COVID-19 infection?

Of Schoolwork and Outreaching

  1. What is the arrangement for teaching activities from 17 February 2020?
  2. As a postgraduate research student, do I also resume my studies on 17 February 2020?
  3. What support do I get for online learning?
  4. What other resources are available?
  5. Would there be special tuition fees arrangements?
  6. I have enrolled in an exchange programme in China in Term 2. What should I do?

Concerning Residents in Hostels

  1. Should I come back to stay at the hostel on campus?
  2. I am a resident and not feeling well. What should I do?
  3. What happens when a resident is suspected of being infected with COVID-19?
  4. I have just returned from China. What should I do?
  5. I have just returned from overseas. What am I supposed to do?

Concerning Staff

  1. What is the current work arrangement for staff members?
  2. For some special reason I am concerned about returning to work at the office after 16 February 2020. Can I continue to work from home until I am up to it?
  3. I am planning to travel to the mainland. Is there any advice for me?
  4. Are overseas trips advisable and what should I do in case I need to travel?
  5. If I reside in the mainland and commute regularly to work in Hong Kong, do I need to apply for leave while staying in the mainland during the period of work-from-home arrangement?
  6. What should I do if someone from my family has recently returned from overseas and is under compulsory quarantine in the same place where I am living?

Concerning Heads and Foremen

  1. I am doing and supervising some research work which is laboratory based. Could the research postgraduate students in my team be called upon to work in the laboratory?
  2. I am the head of a department/unit. What should I pay attention to when making work arrangement for staff members during this period?
  3. Any advice or directives from the government authorities that I should be aware of?
  4. A colleague is now in Wuhan and cannot come back to work. How should I handle his/her absence?
  5. A colleague is now in Sichuan and does not want to travel back for a while.
  6. One member of my team is now in a place in China other than Hubei province. Should I ask him/her to stay there for a while?
  7. Who can I approach for more advice?

Concerning our Campus and Services and Activities thereon

  1. What measures on social gathering on campus has the University taken in view of the recent surge of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hong Kong?
  2. Do I need to wear a mask on campus?
  3. Anything done to maintain environmental hygiene on campus?
  4. Are University facilities open and services available now?
  5. Are the canteens on campus open?
  6. Our Department is planning to organize a conference. Would the University advise going ahead with it?

What if I…?

  1. Finally, what should I do if I feel unwell?

Actions and Advice on the University Level

  1. How is the University responding to the COVID-19 situation?

    The University's Committee on Health Promotion and Protection (CHPP) is closely monitoring the development of the COVID-19 situation and making reference to the recommendations of the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health. An Emergency Response Group led by the Vice-Chancellor and President has been established to coordinate the University's efforts.

    The University has activated the Emergency Response Level (the second highest level) which corresponds to a situation where the risk of a novel virus causing new and serious impact to human health in Hong Kong is high and imminent. The University Health Service (UHS) will follow the reporting criteria and closely monitor the health surveillance on campus.


  2. What does the Committee on Health Promotion and Protection advise?

    The Committee on Health Promotion and Protection strongly urges all staff and students to adopt the health advice of the Centre for Health Protection, Department of Health, specifically:

    1. Maintain at all times strict personal and environmental hygiene, which is key to personal protection against infection and prevention of the spread of the disease in the community. You should wear a surgical mask when having respiratory symptoms, taking public transport or staying in crowded places. You should wash your hands frequently, especially before touching the mouth, nose or eyes.
    2. Maintain an appropriate social distance with other people as far as possible in your daily lives. In particular, you should go out less and avoid social activities such as meal gatherings or other gatherings to reduce the chance of contacting infected persons, who may not present any symptoms, and minimize the risk of outbreak clusters emerging in the community.
    3. As for household environmental hygiene, members of the public are advised to maintain drainage pipes properly, and regularly pour water into drain outlets (U-traps); cover all floor drain outlets when they are not in use; after using the toilet, they should put the toilet lid down before flushing to avoid spreading the germs.
    4. Avoid all non-essential travel outside Hong Kong.
    5. For the home confinees and their household members, please follow the Centre for Health Protection’s home quarantine guidelines (https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/inbound-travel.html).

  3. What should I do if I feel sick or have come into contact with someone who is confirmed of COVID-19 infection?

    You should:

    • follow the advice from the Department of Health to stay at home or special designated centres during the incubation period, if being identified as having contact with COVID-19.
    • report it to your Department/unit heads, College or hostel staff, or CHPP Information Coordinator if you consider yourself or have been told by officers of the Department of Health that you are a close contact.
    • if you are a student residing in a hostel and are required to stay home for medical surveillance but are unable to do so, contact the warden of your hostel to make the necessary arrangements.
    • consult a doctor if you are sick especially with respiratory symptoms with or without fever.

Of Schoolwork and Outreaching

  1. What is the arrangement for teaching activities from 17 February 2020?

    All courses will be conducted online until the end of Term 2 on 2 May 2020. In addition, all courses of the Summer Session will also be conducted online. For the teaching arrangements of the Faculty of Medicine, please contact the relevant office for details.

    Please click here for the revised University Almanac 2019–20.

    Students will be notified of the arrangements for course assessment later.


  2. As a postgraduate research student, do I also resume my studies on 17 February 2020?

    Research postgraduate students are also expected to follow the University's class arrangement in that all teaching activities will resume on 17 February 2020 in the form of online teaching. To minimize the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak on campus, research postgraduate students are strongly advised not to come back to campus. Research activities including laboratory work conducted on campus must have the approval of the relevant supervisors, Department Chairpersons/Directors of Schools, and Faculty Deans.

    Research postgraduate students who return to the University are required to declare their travel history in the previous 14 days to their supervisors by filling in the Health Declaration Form (paper / online). They are also required to monitor their health status for 14 days by filling in the Self-medical Surveillance Form (paper / online). Both forms should be submitted to their supervisors.


  3. What support do I get for online learning?

    Starting from 17 February, students should attend online classes according to their class timetables. To ensure the online courses run smoothly, the University has strengthened its network capacity and stability. Students who need hardware support can visit the University Financial Aid Schemes website for information on the related funding schemes. Students can also visit eLearning@CUHK for more information related to online learning.


  4. What other resources are available?

    The CUHK library has introduced a new print to e-copy service. CUHK staff and students can request an e-copy of an existing library print book if the e-copy is available. For books or journal without an e-version, the Library will try to obtain the licenses for the chapters or articles where possible. From February 17, the Library will begin a book retrieval service, and the Learning Garden will be partially opened. More information is available at CUHK Library services to support remote teaching and learning.


  5. Would there be special tuition fees arrangements?

    Given the very special circumstances of the times, the University has decided that the due date for payment of Term 2 tuition fees for all undergraduate and postgraduate programmes will be deferred to a date to be announced by the University in due course.

    Students with special needs may apply for leave of absence for the entire Term 2 with retroactive effect from the beginning of the Term on 6 January 2020 through the normal procedure, and may also apply for the carrying forward of paid tuition fees to the following academic term. Students who plan to pursue this course of action, however, are reminded that according to the University regulations, with the exception of some professional programmes, the maximum study period of all undergraduate Major Programmes shall be six years from first registration.


  6. I have enrolled in an exchange programme in China in Term 2. What should I do?

    After carefully assessing the risks, the University has decided to cancel all term-time exchange programmes and suspend short-term academic activities for our students in China. The Office of Academic Links has notified all students going on exchange in China this term.


Concerning Residents in Hostels

  1. Should I come back to stay at the hostel on campus?

    To avoid close contact among students in hostels so as to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19, all students, undergraduate and postgraduate, are strongly urged to stay home and not return to the hostels. Student residents with genuine and fully justified needs to come back to the hostels must obtain prior approval from the relevant College Administration/Warden, in which case the College/Hostel will make all necessary arrangement for the students including helping those who had been to the mainland in the previous 14 days to complete the 14-day compulsory quarantine imposed by the Government.

    Students returning to their hostels are required to declare their travel history in the previous 14 days by filling in the Health Declaration Form (online). They are also required to monitor their health conditions for 14 days, during which period they must fill in the Self-medical Surveillance Form (online). These forms should be submitted to the wardens of their respective hostels.


  2. I am a resident and not feeling well. What should I do?

    Those who are experiencing symptoms of fever or acute respiratory illnesses should contact their warden and seek medical help immediately. Individual Colleges may have other requirements, which will be made known to their residents.


  3. What happens when a resident is suspected of being infected with COVID-19?

    The Committee on Health Promotion and Protection (CHPP) has promulgated the Cohort Policy for close contacts of suspected cases of 2019-nCoV infection. The roommate(s) of the suspected case as well as the residents on the same hostel floor would be regarded as a 'close contact cohort' and the Policy would be activated until the suspected case is confirmed or otherwise. Hostel residents and their wardens/resident tutors are well advised to refer to the Policy.


  4. I have just returned from China. What should I do?

    The Government has promulgated the Compulsory Quarantine of Certain Persons Arriving at Hong Kong Regulation to require all people entering Hong Kong from the mainland, including Hong Kong residents, mainland residents as well as other visitors, to be subject to compulsory quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival. Even if they are entering from other places, if they have visited the mainland over the 14 days before, compulsory quarantine is also applicable.

    If you are a Hong Kong resident and had visited Hubei province in the 14 days before arriving at Hong Kong, you will be required to stay at a quarantine centre.


  5. I have just returned from overseas. What am I supposed to do?

    If in the 14 days prior to your return you had been to Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do in Korea, Iran, and Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy and Veneto regions in Italy, you will be arranged by the Department of Health's Port Health Division to stay in a quarantine centre.

    If you return on or after 19 March 2020 from any other overseas country/territory, you will be required to undergo compulsory quarantine.


Concerning Staff

  1. What is the current work arrangement for staff members?

    In view of the latest development of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University has decided that starting from 23 March 2020, only limited services will be provided by the departments/units until further notice. Work arrangements for staff members will be made according to the actual circumstances and service needs of each department/unit. Staff members of individual departments/units will be informed of the specific arrangements for on-site work or work-from-home by their heads/supervisors. Staff of the Faculty of Medicine should refer to the relevant announcement made by the Faculty.


  2. For some special reason I am concerned about returning to work at the office after 16 February 2020. Can I continue to work from home until I am up to it?

    Staff members who wish to continue to work under the special arrangement should discuss with their supervisors. The University is prepared to be flexible, and unit heads have the discretion to make special work arrangements where practicable and circumstances warrant. Unit heads should discuss with the member of staff concerned and arrive at an arrangement having taken into consideration the member's special reason (e.g., pregnancy, lactation, special family circumstances), deployment of the team, clients' needs, etc.


  3. I am planning to travel to the mainland. Is there any advice for me?

    To reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19 in the territory and facilitate the University to resume services as soon as the outbreak is under control, the University has decided that from 5 February 2020 onwards until further notice, the following new arrangements will be implemented for all staff travelling to the mainland:

    For staff members taking a trip to the mainland that begins on or after 5 February 2020, they are required to notify their respective heads of departments/units (HoDs) prior to making their trip, including the begin/end dates and place(s) of visit, irrespective of whether it is taken during their own accrued leave or rest days. They should take their own accrued leave for such a duration that allows them to undergo ‘self-isolation’ at home (if they returned to Hong Kong before 8 February 2020) or ‘compulsory quarantine’ (if they return to Hong Kong on or after 8 February 2020) for 14 days counting from the date of their return to Hong Kong. Such staff members should therefore apply for their own accrued leave for self-isolation or compulsory quarantine, as the case may be, prior to the trip or the said charging to their own leave accounts will be arranged for such purpose afterwards.

    If the staff concerned is able to produce evidence to the satisfaction of the HoD that the trip to be made to the mainland is out of necessity (e.g., to activate visa endorsement, to renew travel document upon expiry, to attend the wedding ceremony of an immediate family member in the mainland, etc.) or is duty-related, the HoD has the discretion to exempt the staff concerned from applying for his/her own accrued leave to enable him/her to undergo the 14-day self-isolation or compulsory quarantine, as the case may be, after the trip. Instead, the staff concerned may be allowed by the HoD to work from home for the same period of 14 days (counting from the date of return to Hong Kong).


  4. Are overseas trips advisable and what should I do in case I need to travel?

    The Government has issued Red Outbound Travel Alert (OTA) on all overseas countries/territories. Overseas trips are not advisable. For leave-taking and other personnel matters, please click here for detailed information.


  5. If I reside in the mainland and commute regularly to work in Hong Kong, do I need to apply for leave while staying in the mainland during the period of work-from-home arrangement?

    To lower the risk of the spread of the disease through reducing cross-boundary people movement, you should be required to work from home until further notice. For the avoidance of doubt, this arrangement is only applicable if you have evidence showing a mainland address as your residence, i.e., you have no other residence in Hong Kong, before 4 February 2020.


  6. What should I do if someone from my family has recently returned from overseas and is under compulsory quarantine in the same place where I am living?

    With effect from 25 March 2020, staff members who share the same living premises with a person under compulsory quarantine should stay home and not come to campus, or visit any University premises or facilities, until the quarantine period of the person concerned has expired. You should report your status to the Committee on Health Promotion and Protection (CHPP) via the Information Coordinator at 3943 6436 during office hours or email to healtheducation.uhs@cuhk.edu.hk, and conduct medical self-surveillance for 14 days, counting from the day you started living with the person under compulsory quarantine under one roof, with the online form. You should also discuss with your supervisor(s) to make appropriate work-from-home arrangements during the said period.

    Heads of Departments/Units are advised to ensure that all their staff members are aware of the measures above, and to facilitate them to comply with the requirements.


Concerning Heads and Foremen

  1. I am doing and supervising some research work which is laboratory based. Could the research postgraduate students in my team be called upon to work in the laboratory?

    Heads of Departments/units and Principal Investigators (PI) should not request their research postgraduate students to attend to research or laboratory work for the time being. If physical attendance is considered critical and essential, prior approval from the relevant Head of Department/unit and Faculty Dean must be sought. Postgraduate students who are still in the mainland should not be asked to return to Hong Kong or campus.


  2. I am the head of a department/unit. What should I pay attention to when making work arrangement for staff members during this period?

    You should note the following:

    • Staff members who are not required to provide needed services on-site may be arranged to work from home.
    • In line with the Government’s call for continuous vigilance and social distancing, only essential or necessary services should be maintained.
    • Staff members who live with someone under compulsory quarantine at home are not required to undergo quarantine or self-isolation themselves. However, if practicable and upon mutual agreement, these staff members may be arranged to work from home for an appropriate period of time.
    • Communication should be made with staff members on their work schedule as soon as possible.
    • Notices on up-to-date service/work hours should be posted on website and relevant locations for information of the visitors/clients.
    • The risk mitigation measures recommended by the Committee on Health Promotion and Protection should be stringently maintained, and all staff members should be advised to observe the social distancing measures to prevent infection.

  3. Any advice or directives from the government authorities that I should be aware of?

    The Government has issued Red Outbound Travel Alert (OTA) on all overseas countries/territories and will issue quarantine orders to people (regardless of whether they are Hong Kong residents) arriving in Hong Kong who had been to any overseas country/territory in the past 14 days to arrange them to stay in a quarantine centre or for compulsory quarantine.

    Country/regions Arrival on or after Measure
    • Korea (Daegu, Gyeongsangbuk-do)
    • Iran
    • Italy (Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, Veneto)
      Quarantine at a quarantine centre
    All overseas countries/territories 19 March 2020 Compulsory quarantine

    If you learn of any staff member being under such quarantine measure you should ask the staff member concerned to inform the University's Committee on Health Promotion and Protection (CHPP) immediately via the CHPP Information Co-coordinator at 3943 6436 (office hours) or by email to healtheducation.uhs@cuhk.edu.hk


  4. A colleague is now in Wuhan and cannot come back to work. How should I handle his/her absence?

    If a staff member is stranded in Wuhan, leave is not required under such extraordinary circumstances, but the staff member concerned should maintain contact with your office. Proper leave of absence is required when outbound transportation is resumed.


  5. A colleague is now in Sichuan and does not want to travel back for a while.

    Staff travelling and staying in places other than Wuhan should take appropriate leave of absence.


  6. One member of my team is now in a place in China other than Hubei province. Should I ask him/her to stay there for a while?

    The member of staff concerned should make his/her own decision. If he/she does not want to travel back for the time being, please advise him/her to take appropriate leave of absence. Before he/she returns to work, he/she should have undergone the Government's 14-day compulsory quarantine. If the mainland trip began on or after 5 February 2020, the staff member concerned should take his/her own accrued leave for such a duration beyond the ‘work-from-home arrangements’ that allows him/her to undergo self-isolation or compulsory quarantine, as the case may be, for 14 days counting from the date of their return to Hong Kong.


  7. Who can I approach for more advice?

    For enquiries, please contact the CHPP Information Coordinator at 3943 6436 (office hours) or by email to healtheducation.uhs@cuhk.edu.hk.

    For medical conditions, please consult medical staffers of the University Health Service.


Concerning our Campus and Services and Activities thereon

  1. What measures on social gathering on campus has the University taken in view of the recent surge of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hong Kong?

    The University has decided to impose more stringent social distancing measures on campus from 30 March 2020 until further notice. Except for emergency and essential activities crucial to the operation of the University, all forms of activity and social gathering among students and staff on campus will be kept to a minimal to prevent infection. These measures include:

    • All restaurants and canteens on campus to perform body temperature screening on each customer before admission to the premises; to allow no more than four persons to sit together at one table; and to require all customers to wear face masks at any time except when consuming food or drinks.
    • Social distancing measures in all communal areas, study rooms and pantries in College hostels should be strictly observed to avoid gatherings of more than four people.
    • Research activities in laboratories should be maintained at a minimal level as far as is practicable. Staff and students should observe strict social distancing measures to avoid gatherings of over four people at any one time. Face masks should be worn at all times.

  2. Do I need to wear a mask on campus?

    All students and staff should wear a surgical mask, particularly in crowded areas such as public spaces, lecture halls and school buses.


  3. Anything done to maintain environmental hygiene on campus?

    Cleaning has been stepped up throughout the campus. School buses, washrooms, public areas and hostels are now cleaned more frequently. Frontline security staffers, school bus drivers and members of the Estates Management Office will wear masks while on duty. Hand sanitization is provided on various locations on campus.


  4. Are University facilities open and services available now?

    The University Health Service operates as usual. The on-campus shuttle bus service has resumed its running schedule (revised and effective from January 2020) from 4 March 2020 and staff members may refer to the announcement of the Transport Office at http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/transport_office/.

    To further reduce the risks of the novel coronavirus infection arising from social contacts, the University has decided to close all sports and communal facilities on campus starting from 27 March 2020 until further notice. This also applies to the leisure facilities and common rooms in the student hostels and staff quarters.

    From Monday 30 March 2020, all CUHK libraries, including the Learning Garden in the University Library and the Medical Library, will be temporarily closed for two weeks to reduce the risk from COVID-19. The Library’s electronic collection and remote support from Library staff will still be available to support learning, teaching and research of students and staff.


  5. Are the canteens on campus open?

    There is limited catering service during this period. For the opening hours of the canteens and restaurants, please click here.

    The Committee on Health Promotion and Protection recommends that students and staff should take appropriate precautionary measures when dining at restaurants and canteens on campus, maintain social distancing and avoid having meals face-to-face to reduce the risk of virus transmission.


  6. Our Department is planning to organize a conference. Would the University advise going ahead with it?

    The University advises all Departments/units/offices to postpone upcoming large-scale events including conferences and banquets until later this year or cancel them as the case may warrant.


What if I…?

  1. Finally, what should I do if I feel unwell?

    If you have respiratory symptoms, you should wear a surgical mask, refrain from work or attending class, avoid going to crowded places and seek medical advice promptly.




Last updated: 31 March 2020