School formals and graduation ceremonies banned under new NSW COVID rules

School formals, graduation ceremonies banned under new COVID rules

School formals, dances and graduation ceremonies are off the cards for the rest of the term, following an announcement about new rules which will come into force across at public schools across the state on Wednesday.

The changes, which are aimed at stopping the outbreak of COVID-19 in public and non-government schools, will especially affect Year 12 students, who finish up the year at the end of this term.

In her morning media update on Monday, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced schools had been issued with updated guidelines about what activities were allowed.

From Wednesday, all students at NSW public schools will have to remain within their class or year group during the school day to limit mixing, and schools are not permitted to travel outside their regional area for inter-school activities, like sport.

Interschool sport and zone carnivals are restricted to 100 people a venue and spectators, including parents and carers, are not permitted within school grounds or at sporting events held during school hours.

School social events will also no longer be permitted, meaning school formals, dances, dinners and graduations cannot go ahead, and overnight events are also banned.

However, schools may hold a year 12 assembly at school, without parents, to recognise the completion of school, or consider delaying events until later in the year.

And, as flagged last week, singing, chanting and group playing of wind instruments will not be allowed due to the way the activities have been found to spread droplets which could carry the virus.

Explaining the rules, NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said she had written to government and non-government schools to provide clarification about certain activities which need to cease for the next six weeks.

She said NSW Health would reassess this advice at the end of the term.

"We are trying to limit the movement of people across our regions and metropolitan area," Dr Chant said.

"This is done with the spirit of trying to allow our schools to maintain their face-to-face learning."

This story School formals, graduation ceremonies banned under new COVID rules first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.