COVID-Smart settings in NSW schools have been eased, giving students the first taste of normal school life since the pandemic began two years ago.
Core measures, including enhanced cleaning and maximising natural and mechanical ventilation in line with health advice, will remain in place.
But from next Monday – February 28:
- Mask requirements will be lifted for high school students and staff.
- Cohorting requirements and activity restrictions will be relaxed – enabling students to engage and interact more freely across classes and year groups.
- Schools will be able to welcome more visitors, including parents, onto school grounds, and activities such as assemblies and school camps will resume.
From the following Monday, March 7:
- Mask requirements will be lifted for primary school and early education staff.
Staff in Schools for Specific Purposes will continue to be required to wear masks based on health advice.
Nationals Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said this was the first time since the pandemic started two years ago that students have enjoyed this level of normality.
“We know transmission in schools is extremely low, and not a single school has closed since school returned despite the levels of community transmission,” Ms Mitchell said.
“Relaxing cohorting and restrictions on visitors will let more parents engage with their child’s school and allow students to participate in cross-year group activities, which is welcome news for both students and parents everywhere.
“The return to school, and now the return to school life, is successful because of the tremendous efforts and teamwork from all parents, staff and students. I thank all of our school communities for their support.”
COVID Smart settings will continue to be reviewed and updated, as necessary on health advice.