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2 March, 2022

COVID-19 restriction changes

From the beginning of Friday, February 25, the following adjustments were made to the current COVID- 19 restrictions:

By Supplied

Photo via Unsplash

 • Masks will only be mandated on public transport, planes, and indoors at airports, hospitals, aged and disability care facilities, corrections facilities, and indoor music festivals with more than 1000 people;

• Masks are encouraged for indoor settings where you cannot maintain a safe distance from others and for customer-facing retail staff to protect vulnerable people who must access these premises and services;

• Each state government agency will review where it may be appropriate for public-facing staff to wear masks and will implement as necessary; and

• The 20,000 person cap on music festivals will be removed, with singing and dancing permitted. Vaccination requirements will remain for indoor music festivals over 1000 people, with attendees required to have at least two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

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School changes

Testing

As of Monday, February 28, schools will align with community settings of ‘symptomatic testing’ and the department will provide:

• Eight tests per student and staff in schools

• 20 tests per student and staff in SSPs (schools for specific purposes) or support classes. Students and staff can use their allocation of RATs at their discretion, such as if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

• If your child has even mild COVID-19 symptoms, get them tested with a RAT or PCR (nose and throat swab) test.

• They must isolate until they receive a negative test result, in line with health protocols.

• If symptoms continue, they should stay at home and take another RAT in 24 hours or have a PCR test. If the second RAT or initial PCR test result is negative, or another diagnosis is confirmed such as hay fever, they can return to school. It is recommended that staff and students that return to school after recovering from COVID-19 do not participate in rapid antigen test surveillance for 28 days (four weeks after recovery) following release from self-isolation. This is due to NSW Health advice that people who have recovered from COVID-19 have a low risk of contracting it again in the following 28 days. After 28 days (from week five after recovery), staff and students may resume participation in RAT surveillance. Students and staff may receive a nasal or saliva rapid antigen testing kit from their school. All RAT kits contain instructions on how to use the tests, check results and dispose of the tests safely.

 •••

Visitors

From Monday, February 28, schools and early childhood education can invite visitors – including parents, carers and families – to their sites regardless of their vaccination status, in line with settings in the broader community. Workers and volunteers must meet mandatory double vaccination requirements including:

• Volunteers or staff operating uniform shops and canteens,

• Visitors supporting school operations and curriculum delivery,

• Allied health partners for the wellbeing of students, and

• University and TAFE students coming on school sites to complete their practicum or teacher training.

•••

Cohorting

From Monday, February 28, schools will no longer need to keep students in their class or year group cohorts. This means schools can remove staggered start and finish times and reintroduce cross-year group activities and events such as assemblies

•••

Masks

From Monday, February 28, masks will no longer be mandatory for staff and students in high schools. Staff in K-12 schools should continue to wear masks indoors in the primary settings


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