major easing of COVID-19 restrictions from midnight and national cabinet meets

Parents have done an “excellent job” in dropping off and picking up children without lingering, while schools have been reporting nearly 80 per cent attendance rates, she says.

Ms Grace adds that social distancing is still required for students, but schools are using a number of strategies such as staggered start and lunch times to address this.

“We are encouraging parents to drop off and pick up outside the school gates so that we can maintain social distancing.”

While physical education will take place, contact sport will not return yet. “We will see how we go this term,” she says.

But Ms Grace also urges anyone feeling unwell to stay away from schools to avoid outbreaks and subsequent closures.

“If there is an outbreak, the school will be closed down, it will go through an intensive hygiene clean, and that could take … about three to four days,” she says.

“If anyone is sick, please, if there are any symptoms from the children, from adults, from the staff, from the teachers, please stay at home.”

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