Kids start returning to school.
Students in NSW and Queensland will start heading back to school today.
In Queensland, children enrolled in kindy, prep, and years one, 11 and 12 will be the first cohorts to return to school.
It is proposed students from years two to 10 will return to school from May 25, but the state government will reassess this on Friday.
NSW students will return for one day of face-to-face learning per week from today, with attendance to increase over the course of the term.
The government has urged parents to be vigilant about their children’s health and to keep them away from school if they exhibit any symptoms of coronavirus.
Social distancing guidelines will be maintained in classrooms and extra health measures will be in place, including additional cleaning and health equipment in sick bays.
Lunch breaks will also be staggered.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said it is not compulsory to send children to school and parents would not be penalised for keeping them at home.
Mamamia’s daily podcast The Quicky explores ‘re-entry anxiety’. Post continues after podcast.
Businesses urged to stagger work start times.
Businesses are being urged to stagger the times employees start and finish work, ahead of a planned easing of COVID-19 restrictions over the coming months.
Authorities have begun planning for the resumption of normal trading, with the Commonwealth and state governments readying for the associated influx of people on public transport.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday mapped out the National Cabinet’s planned three-step easing of restrictions, and set an aspirational July target for the return of most employees to their workplaces.
National Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy says authorities will convene a meeting on Monday to discuss the gradual return of commuters to public transport.
He said increased numbers on buses and trains would create challenges around maintaining social distancing.
“One of the most important things is to reduce the density,” Professor Murphy said on Sunday.
“Social distancing is not possible when you are crowded. We are very keen, for those who are working from home to continue working from home for the time being.”
Public transport agencies have already introduced COVID-19 safety measures, including increased cleaning of carriages, and Prof Murphy said hand sanitiser would need to be supplied for commuters.
He said the government was looking at ways to spread out passengers.
“But we are also keen for employers and employees to look at staggered start and finish times,” he said.
“I think we have to think about a very different way of people may be starting at work, some starting at seven o’clock, some starting at 10 o’clock and people finishing at different times.
“We have to think differently about that so there is a lot of planning going on in the meantime.