AHN COVID-19 Safety Policy

AHN COVID-19 Safety Policy

Note: Due to the nature of this Disease and the everchanging status in Australia, this policy may be updated at any time.  Please check back regularly for new information.

What Is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a newly-discovered virus that emerged in late 2019.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring hospitalisation. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems, are more likely to develop serious illness.


Most common symptoms:

  • fever
  • coughing
  • sore throat
  • shortness of breath

Other symptoms include:

  • runny nose
  • headache
  • muscle or joint pains
  • loss of sense of smell
  • altered sense of taste
  • loss of appetite
  • fatigue

How it spreads

The virus can spread through:

  • close contact with an infectious person
  • contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze
  • touching objects or surfaces that have droplets from an infected person, and then touching your mouth or face.

Protecting the community through vaccination

Several safe and effective vaccines have been developed to prevent people from getting seriously ill from COVID-19.

Vaccination is an important step for people to protect themselves and the community against the virus. The Australian Homestay Network (AHN) encourages all homestay participants to receive an approved COVID-19 vaccination if it is considered safe for you to do so on the advice of a health practitioner.

All hosts (including residents aged 12 years and over who are eligible to receive the vaccine) and guests should update their COVID-19 vaccination information on their AHN profile as soon as possible so we can appropriately match participants for upcoming placements.

What happens if a Guest or Host is unwell prior to a placement commencing?

If a guest is unwell and/or has been exposed to COVID-19 (through close contact or being in a hotspot), they will be required to postpone their arrival for the placement. They will need to complete the Government mandated quarantine if ordered and provide a negative COVID test prior to arriving in the home.

If a host is unwell and/or has been exposed to COVID-19 (through close contact or being in a hotspot) prior to a guest arriving at their home, the placement will need to be cancelled and the guest placed with an alternative host to avoid putting the guest at risk of contracting the virus.

International Students arriving In Australia

International students travelling to Australia will need to follow Australian Government health and border requirements, as well as guidelines from the state/territory government in which they will be studying.

As a general rule, anyone entering Australia must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination/exemption and evidence of a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test done within 3 days before the day of the flight’s scheduled departure time, or a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) done within 24 hours of the flight’s scheduled departure time . NOTE – the requirement to present a negative pre-departure test will end on 18 April 2022. Please refer to the resources below for more information:

What Do I Need To Do To Stay Safe?

Check local advice where you live, study and work. Do it all!

There are ways that we can all help stop the spread of viruses:

  1. Wash your hands often.
  2. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. If you do not have a tissue, cough, or sneeze into your bent elbow.
  3. Try not to touch your face.
  4. Do not shake hands.
  5. Stay home if you’re unwell.
  6. Social distance. This means 2 big steps away.

Household cleaning is important.

  • Ensure appropriate cleaning and disinfecting of the guest’s room and communal areas is carried out prior to the commencement of each placement (Safe Work Australiahas some handy tips around cleaning during the COVID-19 pandemic)
  • Frequently clean and disinfect surfaces that are used often such as benchtops, desks and doorknobs
  • Frequently clean and disinfect objects that are used often such as dishes, cutlery, remote controls, mobile phones, keys, wallets and work passes
  • Increase the amount of fresh air by opening windows or changing air conditioning filters
  • Regular cleaning of the entire home is important to reduce the spread of germs

There is limited evidence that alcohol-free hand rubs are effective against COVID-19. Experts recommend the use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers.

You can call the National Coronavirus Helpline at any time for advice and support on 1800 020 080.

When you or someone in your home is sick during a placement

As we move towards living COVID Safe, it is important that anyone who is unwell stays at home. All residents should also continue to practise good hygiene. This applies to guests in placements as well.

If any residents or guests have cold or flu like symptoms seek medical advice and test for COVID-19. Anyone should get tested, even if your symptoms are mild.

If any residents (including guests) in an AHN placement test positive to COVID-19 you all must isolate and follow the directions of your local Public Health Unit. Please ensure you contact AHN as soon as possible to advise of your situation if you are in an active placement. We will act as quickly as possible in line with the State requirements around isolation.

Information for People who Test Positive for COVID-19 or are Close Contacts.

Pre-Arrival cancellations or changes due To COVID-19

We understand there may be concern about booking and pre-paying for homestay due to continued uncertainty around travel and border restrictions.

AHN is being flexible with regards to our standard policies in order to provide peace of mind to guests so they can be confident in securing a homestay placement in advance.

The following flexibility will apply to our Refund Policy:

  • If a guest with a confirmed placement needs to delay their arrival, they should notify AHN immediately so that the necessary amendments can be made. AHN will not charge any fees to amend a placement start date or to make a new placement if the original host is no longer available for the new dates.
  • If a guest cannot enter Australia because of a Government directive or border closure and it is not possible for the guest to delay their arrival due to matters outside of their control, AHN will process a full refund in accordance with standard processing times.

We believe homestay is the best option for a new student arriving in Australia regardless of their age, providing much-needed support and home comforts as they settle in during their crucial first few weeks in Australia.

To secure a placement, guests simply pay a Matching Fee and Weekly Fees for their first 4 weeks in homestay. There is no lock-in contract.

Guests over the age of 18 are encouraged to book homestay for their arrival to develop a local support system and gain the confidence to move on to alternative accommodation after they have settled in.

Important Notice

All participants must commit to COVID-safe practices to help safeguard the health and wellbeing of everyone in the homestay.

AHN will provide the necessary facility for host families and guests to register their COVID-19 vaccination status on their AHN profile, which will be referred to during the placement process.

As the transmission of COVID-19 may occur in a variety of ways and circumstances, and despite the best efforts and precautions taken, AHN cannot be held responsible if a guest or member of a host family is exposed to COVID-19 during a placement.


Reviewed: March 2022