Queensland schools will be closed from next week to all but the children of essential workers so teachers can prepare to teach remotely but the Premier warns it is not a holiday.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced schools will have student-free days next week but will remain open for essential workers during the coronavirus crisis.
"Next week Queensland schools will move to student free and of course though it is also really important to recognise that schools will remain open," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"It will allow children to remain at school and for teachers to prepare to learn from - prepare to move to learning from home." Ms Palaszczuk also said it was important that people who are over 60, with underlying conditions, can choose to work from home or limit contact with others.
Education Minister Grace Grace said essential workers included those who were "required in their workplace".
"The premier has outlined a couple of examples, such as those who are stacking the shelves of our supermarkets," Ms Grace said.
"It's important that we remain open for these workers because we do not want to put pressure on the economy and enable those workers to be able to continue to provide for the community at large."
Ms Palaszczuk warned it was not a school holiday for students and said parents had a responsibility to ensure their children remained at home and engaging in learning.
"They should not be out and about in shopping centres," she said.
"If you have a grandparent who is unwell, who has one of those chronic conditions, you must not take your children to visit those grandparents. These are very clear messages."
Ms Grace said the student-free days would also apply to kindergartens while long day-care centres will remain open.
"Kindies will follow the student-free days next week, like schools, so that those teachers also in community kindergartens can prepare for online learning for those children as well," she said.
"However, of course, long day-care centres - they will be open."
Ms Palaszczuk and Ms Grace said it was not yet known what would happen after the school break and the state government was taking "each day as It comes".
State coronavirus tally nears the 500-mark
The update came as Health Minister Steven Miles confirmed 50 more positive cases were recorded overnight, bringing the state's total to 493.
"They continue to be among people who have recently returned from overseas or people who have had contact with someone who has recently returned from overseas," Mr Miles said.
It followed the death of a 68-year-old Toowomba man overnight, who had been a passenger aboard the Ruby Princess cruise ship.
"My condolences go to that family who are currently grieving ... it should serve as a reminder to us all that this virus will kill," Mr Miles said.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/queensland-schools-go-student-free-from-next-week-amid-coronavirus-crisis/f5fd19fa-edc2-4ca0-812b-0d117db281bb