High school students and staff in NSW won’t have to wear masks any longer as a swathe of COVID-19 restrictions eases in schools next week.
Premier Dominic Perrottet says the relaxation of measures is a sensible approach that will give students, staff and parents more freedom to enjoy school life while keeping the school community safe.
“It is time to afford our students and parents more normality.
“Everyone wants to get back to the school activities and events we all love,” Mr Perrottet said on Wednesday.
Education Minister Sarah Mitchell says the mask mandate for students and high school staff will be scrapped on Monday because transmission “is still very low in our school communities”.
Teachers and staff at primary schools and childcare centres will no longer have to mask up from March 7.
Parents will be allowed back on school campuses, year groups will be able to mix freely while assemblies and school camps are back.
“Schools will do this in a way that’s safe and sensible.
“It’s about getting that balance right, as we start to really open up some of these opportunities for our kids to enjoy that full school experience that so many of them have missed out on for too long.”
The government announced on Sunday that from next week staff and students won’t be required to undertake twice-weekly rapid antigen tests, unless they have symptoms.
The easing of restrictions was announced as Kemps Creek Public School in Sydney’s west closed for the rest of the week because of the high number of students and staff who had tested positive to COVID-19.
“In response to this we must revert temporarily to minimal supervision effective as of Wednesday 23 February 2022, until and including Friday 25 February,” the school’s Facebook page says.
NSW reported 8931 new COVID-19 cases and six more deaths on Wednesday.
Four women and two men died, three were in their 80s, and three were in their 90s, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in NSW since the beginning of the pandemic to 1861.
NSW Health reports there are 1246 COVID patients in hospital, 69 of them in intensive care and 29 are ventilated.
Restrictions are easing with QR check-ins dropped at most venues last week, and from Friday masks will no longer be mandatory at most indoor settings.
NSW Health reports 52.2 per cent of people have had three vaccine doses, while 79 per cent of people aged 12-15 are double-jabbed.
Nearly 47 per cent of children aged 5-11 have had one vaccine dose.