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Schools confusion as states go it alone against PM advice

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Schools will resume classes after the Easter holidays based on the latest medical advice relating to the coronavirus, but Victoria and the ACT are bringing forward their school holidays.

Schools will resume classes after the Easter holidays based on the latest medical advice relating to the coronavirus, but Victoria and the ACT are bringing forward their school holidays.

A meeting between the prime minister and state and territory leaders yesterday evening ended with the leaders agreeing all schools should reopen on the other side of the Easter break, subject to further health advice.

Classes will also remain open until the end of term for parents who still wish to send their students to school.

But adding to confusion for parents, schools in Victoria will shut from tomorrow. 

The term one holidays were supposed to begin on Friday, however that date has now been brought forward.

And it is a similar story in the ACT. There will be pupil-free days from tomorrow and the school holidays expected to begin in two weeks. Both jurisdictions will prepare online learning frameworks.

In the ACT, some students will still receive one-on-one learning classes but how that is going to be delivered is yet to be seen.

Government schools are well placed for this shift, after the government invested significantly in devices for students and digital capability over recent years," Deputy Chief Minister Yvette Berry said in a statement.

"The ACT Education Directorate will provide options for school-age children whose parents and carers need to continue delivering essential services for Canberra during this period."

In Victoria, a decision will be revisited after the term one holidays following advice from health authorities.

Premier Daniel Andrews said a decision on whether to reopen schools would be made based on advice from the state's chief health officer.

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NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said schools will open today but she will announce further plans this morning.

The schools shutdown clashes with Prime Minister Scott Morrison's insistence that they should remain open.

But Mr Morrison warned it would not be school holidays as usual, and the actions taken by parents and children over the break would have broad impacts.

Coronavirus: Australia commences stage one of shutdown

"There will not be trips interstate ... there will not be congregating up at the trampoline venue or whatever it happens to be," he said.

"It won't be a holiday as anyone has ever known it."

Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said the risk to schoolchildren from the virus was very low.

"The consensus view of all of the chief health officers is schools should stay open," he said.

What is social distancing?

 Social distancing involved minimising contact with people and maintaining a distance of over one metre between you and others.

When practicing social distancing, you should avoid public transport, limit non-essential travel, work from home and skip large gatherings.

It is okay to go outdoors. However, when you do leave home, avoid touching your face and frequently wash your hands.

Do young and healthy have to practice social distancing?

Yes. While older people are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19, young people are not immune. People that show mild or no symptoms may still pass the virus to others, particularly in the early stages of the infection, before many patients realise that they are sick.

- Reported with AAP

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/schools-to-resume-after-easter-victoria-act-start-early-holidays/977b2e39-54a2-44ff-a49b-56c4870b6d60

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