Update, 6 March 2020

Dear Parents, Staff, Guardians and Local Support People

I write to you to keep you informed about the latest developments regarding the Novel Coronavirus.

The safety, health and welfare of our students, staff and parents continues to be our highest priority.  Accordingly, Melbourne Grammar School’s response continues to be informed by the advice provided by the Australian Government Department of Health and the Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services. In the interests of your family, our school and the wider community we urge you to continue to follow such advice. This advice is regularly updated and can be viewed here and here to assist you in your understanding of the virus, how it is being handled, and where you can get further information. A summary of Government Health Departments advice as of today is as follows:

  • The current Australian Government advice is to not travel to China, Iran or Daegu province in the Republic of Korea
  • Foreign nationals (excluding permanent residents) who are in mainland China, will not be allowed to enter Australia until 14 days after they have left or transited through mainland China.
  • Foreign nationals (excluding permanent residents) who left Iran on or after 1 March, will not be allowed to enter Australia until 14 days after they have left or transited through Iran.
  • Foreign nationals (excluding permanent residents of Australia) who are in the Republic of Korea on or after 5 March 2020 will not be allowed to enter Australia for 14 days from the time they have left or transited through the Republic of Korea.
  • Australian citizens, permanent residents, and their immediate family (including spouses, dependants and legal guardians) will still be able to enter Australia but will be required to isolate themselves for 14 days after the date they left China, Iran or the Republic of Korea. 
  • If you have been in close contact with a proven case of Coronavirus you must isolate yourself for 14 days from the date of last contact with the confirmed case.
  • The Victorian Government is recommending that people who have travelled to China, Iran, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea or Thailand and become unwell seek medical advice and be tested for coronavirus. 
  • If you are arriving in Australia from Italy, you must present for health screening at the border as directed.
  • You do not need to isolate yourself if you have only travelled to Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan.
  • Further information can be found on Smart Traveller
  • At this stage the risk to children and babies, and the role children play in transmission of Coronavirus is not clear. However, there has so far been a low rate of Coronavirus cases among children relative to the broader population.
  • At the present time there is no evidence of transmission in the community in Victoria so you should continue to go about your business. You don’t need to take actions like limiting your movement in the community or staying at home.
  • Additional cases and outbreaks of Coronavirus are expected in Victoria as this illness continues to spread across the world.

We ask that you regularly revisit the Government Health departments websites and adhere to the advice provided.

People with Coronavirus may experience fever, flu like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and headaches and have difficult breathing. Should your children present with these symptoms, please seek medical advice and keep them at home until they have fully recovered from the illness. Similarly, if you experience these symptoms, we ask you to seek medical advice and not to visit the School or attend School events until you have recovered from the illness.

Please inform your most appropriate Head of School if your child will not be attending school because of this reason.

  • Grimwade House (Prep to Year 6) Royce Helm, rahelm@mgs.vic.edu.au
    • Wadhurst (Years 7 and 8) Greg Caldwell, gjcaldwell@mgs.vic.edu.au
    • Senior School (Years 9 to 12) Ben Hanisch, bphanisch@mgs.vic.edu.au
    • If your son is a boarder, please also inform the Director of Boarding, Geoff Guggenheimer, gjguggenheimer@mgs.vic.edu.au

We are closely monitoring the provision of overseas trips organised by the School. We will cancel or postpone any trip should we feel such a trip may compromise the safety, health or welfare of the students and staff. We will continue to liaise with our travel agents and insurers to assess each trip to minimise any financial impact for any delay or cancellation. We will advise our students, staff and parents as soon as practicable of a decision to cancel or postpone a trip.

The School will support any student who misses school due to the above requirements to minimise any impact on his or her education and progress.

Melbourne Grammar School will continue to keep you informed of any significant developments. Please do not hesitate to contact your Head of School should you wish to discuss this further. I thank you in anticipation of your ongoing understanding and support.

Yours sincerely

Philip Grutzner