School, sport and music restrictions relaxed

Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning, Sarah Mitchell. Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

More families can attend community sports, music ensembles and school camps can proceed, and a modest increase dancing at weddings is allowed under new COVID-19 safety rules.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard and Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the latest easing of restrictions around school and community life is due to lower case numbers.

“While we are by no means out of the woods, low case numbers give health authorities the confidence to allow mums and dads back onto the sideline,” Mr Hazzard said.

“NSW Health has also given the green light for up to 20 people in the official Wedding Party to take to the dance floor, where previously only the happy couple were permitted.”

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the updated health advice comes as NSW schools prepare for a two-week break before returning for the final term of 2020.

“Everyone is committed to providing a safe environment for children, students and staff and these changes will ensure COVID-safe celebrations can happen,” she said.

“Schools have done an incredible job, and it’s exciting to see things returning closer to normal. However, we need to stay vigilant.”

Changes to Term 4 school guidelines include:

  • Community Languages Schools Program will recommence face to face learning;
  • Interschool activities can recommence on September 26 where there is a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place;
  • Playing wind instruments, singing and chanting is permitted with strict restrictions;
  • Year 6 formals and graduations are permitted;
  • High school formals are permitted from 12 November to limit any HSC disruption; and
  • Kindergarten orientation, Year 7 transition, excursions and camps can resume with strict guidelines.

Musical ensembles can also resume, as long as players keep a 1.5 metre distance from one another, or three metres for players of non-reeded woodwind instruments.

Acting Minister for Sport Geoff Lee said the changes to community sport will be a welcome relief for parents.

“From this weekend, more than one parent may now attend community sporting activities if physical distancing of at least 1.5 metres can be maintained between people that are not from the same household,” Mr Lee said.

“We know the last few months has been hard on families who want to see their kids score a try or kick a goal on the weekend.

“I would like to thank all the parents and volunteers in community sport for their commitment to following the guidelines to help keep our community safe.”

Accommodation facilities and overnight event organisers should develop and implement a COVID-19 Safety Plan. All carpooling should continue to be avoided.

There is no restriction on school holiday travel within NSW for people who live within the State however, anyone who is unwell should defer travel plans and get tested.

Updated school guidelines are available here and the full health advice is here.