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COVID restrictions

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Current operational status

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COVID-19 restrictions​

In effect for all Queensland state schools and sessional kindergartens. More

Important notices:

  • ​The formal start of Term 1 for Queensland state schools and sessional kindergartens has been delayed to 7 February 2022, except for Years 11 and 12 who will learn from home for 1 week from 31 January. ​ More
  • Requirements for isolation, testing and quarantine of confirmed cases and close contacts have changed. More
  • Masks must be worn indoors across​ Queensland, unless exempt. More
  • COVID-19 vaccinations are mandatory for all workers or volunteers delivering a service at a school or early childhood education and care setting. More


The following applies to all Queensland state schools and provides guidance to inform decision-making where restrictions are in place, such as mandatory face masks, but there is no lockdown or school closure.

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At a glance – COVID restrictions

View a quick summary of requirements below, or read the detailed information.

In detail – COVID restrictions

Attendance

Student attendance

Same day student absence notification ( departmental employees only) requirements apply when students are learning onsite or learning at home. Schools must notify parents or carers of an unexplained absence of their child as soon as practicable on the day of absence.

While students are learning onsite, schools are not required to provide home-based learning options unless there are specific circumstances justifying the student's absence.

Students unable to attend school or participate in the learning program due to medical reasons should be supported by their school, just as they would be in the case of any extended student medical absence. The school's approach to learning for the student should consider the expected duration of absence, the student's learning needs, available tools and resources, and the school's established approach to supporting continuity of learning.

The learning@home website will remain live.

At all times, including where a student is learning@home, any concerns of risk of harm to the student must be addressed in line with the department's student protection procedures. All student protection measures and training for staff and visitors must be maintained at all times.

Students of all ages are still able to attend school regardless of their vaccination status. Schools and students need to follow the heath directions for work placements and /or traineeships.

Roll marking

For teachers only

For students attending school, students will be marked present on the roll. For students learning@home, schools will record the student’s participation as Code F: off campus activity.

If a student is sick and unable to participate in their learning program, schools record the student’s absence as Code I: illness and medical appointments.

Where medical advice supports the need for a student to remain at home and still access their learning program, schools record the student’s absence as Code F: off campus activity.

Any days where schools are closed (i.e. due to COVID-19) will be recorded as a non-school day in the OneSchool school calendar and rolls are not required to be marked. For children of essential workers and vulnerable children who attend school for supervision on non-school days (e.g. where a school is closed), schools must maintain a record of all students who are on site.

For more information, refer to OneSchool – COVID-19 Operating Guidelines – FAQs for Student Attendance Management ( departmental employees only).

Staff attendance (including preservice teachers)

Staff, including preservice teachers, are expected to be on school sites, adhering to any Chief Health Officer directions, e.g. mandatory wearing of face masks. Vulnerable person ( departmental employees only) considerations apply.

Principals and leadership teams will support and manage arrangements for vulnerable employees ( departmental employees only), including those who wish to voluntarily return to work. In consultation with their supervisor, staff working from home will determine responsibilities and duties to be completed. Staff hours of work will be consistent with the school's local arrangements and industrial agreements.

Schools will make alternative arrangements and/or engage additional staff using school funds to support teaching and learning across the school, including the classes of vulnerable workers who are not able to attend work.

Preservice teachers are to be considered in the same way as staff and welcomed on all school sites. It is important that preservice teachers continue their practical placements unless advised otherwise by Queensland Health.

All workers must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. This applies to all school workers attending an alternative site.

Staff meetings (including preservice teachers)

Staff meetings are permitted onsite, ensuring physical distancing is maintained and any Chief Health Officer directions, e.g. face masks, are adhered to.

Boarding schools

Students

On site learning for all students, regardless of their vaccination status.

Schools and students need to follow the heath directions for work placements and/or traineeships.

Staff

Staff permitted on site. Vulnerable person ( departmental employees only) considerations apply.

All workers, volunteers and contractors must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

Further information regarding the operation of state-school-operated boarding facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic is available in the guidelines for state-school-operated boarding facilities (PDF, 464KB) ( departmental employees only).

Information regarding the operation of non-state boarding schools should be obtained from the individual boarding school.

Distance education students attending a facility

Students of Distance Education are permitted to attend facilities for educational purposes. If the facility is not a state school, the venue must have a completed COVID safe checklist for restricted businesses. Any Chief Health Officer directions, e.g. face masks, must be adhered to.

Home education student gatherings

Students undertaking home education are permitted to gather, adhering to Chief Health Officer directions, e.g. wearing face masks.

Offsite premises must adhere to Queensland’s COVID Safe Future roadmap (PDF, 281KB).

Parent teacher interviews

Parent-teacher interviews approved by the principal are permitted, adhering to COVID-19 control measures and Chief Health Officer directions, e.g. wearing face masks. Where possible, options for teleconference or online platforms will be available.

Visitors on school sites

Visitors attending a school site to work or volunteer must be fully vaccinated.

Visitors are kindly reminded to not visit a school if you are sick.

Parents and carers

Parents and carers are welcome on school sites and are not required to be vaccinated. Parents and carers must adhere to Chief Health Officer directions, e.g. face masks. You may be asked to check in via the Check In Qld app when attending events for contact tracing purposes.

Parents who are working or volunteering at a school site must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

Adults are kindly reminded to maintain physical distancing at all times, especially at drop-off and pick-up time, in the car park, outside classrooms and at the school gate.

Contractors and external workers

Unless the school is closed, construction and maintenance activities can continue in areas of the school that are unoccupied by students and staff, adhering to Chief Health Officer directions and restrictions, e.g. face masks.

All workers attending a school site must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

All contractors, suppliers and external workers must to adhere to school visitor sign-in arrangements and schools must maintain a record of their contact details to enable contact tracing if required. This must include each visitor's full name, email address, contact telephone number, and date and time of visit. Schools may choose to use the Check In Qld app for this purpose.

Other visitors

Visitors are permitted on site with principal or responsible officer approval, adhering to Chief Health Officer directions and restrictions, e.g. face masks.

Visitors attending a school site to work or volunteer must be fully vaccinated.

All visitors must adhere to school visitor sign-in arrangements and schools must maintain a record of visitors, including volunteers and visiting departmental staff, to enable contact tracing if required. This must include each visitor's full name, email address, contact telephone number, and date and time of visit. Schools may choose to use the Check In Qld app for this purpose.

Curriculum-based activities

Excursions and camps

Excursions and camps are permitted, adhering to Chief Health Officer directions, e.g. wearing face masks.

An activity consent form (DOCX, 313KB) must be completed for any student attending an excursion or camp. The form enables information to be shared in compliance with Chief Health Officer directions.

If consent has not been provided via the activity consent form, or by other written means that will allow the school and venue to comply with Chief Health Officer directions, the student will be unable to participate.

Excursion/camp risk assessments must be undertaken prior to approval and must take into account approved COVID-19 control measures and quarantine requirements if restrictions are imposed on an area visited, e.g. the area is declared a hotspot, either during or shortly after the excursion or camp.

If a school decides to continue with school camps, the school should ensure there are records of which students shared accommodation

Cohorting of students should occur where possible. If a student becomes symptomatic at the school camp, the student should be isolated away from other students to undergo a COVID-19 test.

If the student receives a positive result for COVID-19, other students who have shared accommodation or an enclosed communal space (e.g. dining hall) for more than 4 hours will be required to quarantine as a household-like contact.

At a Department of Education facility

Principals must ensure that a COVID Safe Event Checklist has been completed for any excursions or camps, including those held at Department of Education Outdoor and Environmental Education Centres (O&EEC) with residential facilities.

All workers and volunteers attending a school site must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

At a non-departmental facility

Excursions and camps are permitted at venues with a completed COVID safe checklist for restricted businesses, adhering to Chief Health Officer directions, e.g. wearing face masks.

Offsite premises must adhere to Queensland’s COVID Safe Future roadmap (PDF, 281KB).

School activities

Curriculum and learning-based activities include:

  • instrumental music programs, ensembles, performances and choirs
  • incursions
  • dancing
  • PE classes
  • whole school assemblies.

Please note: schools are to follow the instrumental music program guidelines for managing hazards associated with COVID-19.

Onsite

Activities are permitted to be held on school sites, adhering to Chief Health Officer directions, e.g. wearing face masks and with COVID-19 cleaning of equipment.

All workers and volunteers attending a school site must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

Parents, carers and visitors are welcome to attend these events, adhering to any Chief Health Officer directions, e.g. wearing face masks.

Offsite

Activities are permitted to be held at an external venue with a completed COVID safe checklist for restricted businesses, adhering to Chief Health Officer directions, e.g. wearing face masks, including:

  • instrumental music programs, ensembles, performances and choirs
  • excursions
  • dancing
  • PE classes
  • whole school assemblies.

Offsite premises must adhere to Queensland’s COVID Safe Future roadmap (PDF, 281KB).

When attending events at external venues, a school group is not required to check in school-aged children. Adult chaperones (including staff, parents, carers and volunteers) must check in to the venue using the Check In Qld app.

Schools must retain details of the students attending and, if requested, provide relevant information for contact tracing purposes.

School sports (intra-school, inter-school and representative school sport programs)

Schools are able to conduct intra-school, inter-school and representative school sport programs for both indoor and outdoor sports (including contact sports), adhering to Chief Health Officer directions, e.g. face masks and with COVID-19 cleaning of equipment.

Further information regarding Queensland School Sport, including FAQs, planning documents and a calendar of state championship events, is available to support schools and sports organisers to train and compete in a safe, responsible and low risk manner that complies with the latest health advice.

Onsite

All workers and volunteers attending a school site must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

Parents, carers and visitors are welcome to attend these events on school sites, adhering to Chief Health Officer directions, e.g wearing face masks. Schools may ask visitors, including parents and carers, to check in using the Check In Qld app.

Offsite

School sports are permitted at venues with a completed COVID safe checklist for restricted businesses, adhering to Chief Health Officer directions, e.g. wearing face masks.

Offsite premises must adhere to Queensland’s COVID Safe Future roadmap (PDF, 281KB).

When attending events at exte.rnal venues, a school group is not required to check in school-aged children. Adult chaperones (including staff and volunteers) must check in to the venue using the Check In Qld app.

Schools must retain details of the students attending and, if requested, provide relevant information for contact tracing purposes.

Events and functions

School functions

Onsite

Schools can hold functions as long as any Chief Health Officer directions, e.g. face masks and restrictions on dancing are adhered to, along with COVID-19 cleaning of equipment.

All workers and volunteers attending a school site must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

Schools must retain details of the students attending and, if requested, provide relevant information for contact tracing purposes.

At onsite events, schools may choose to record the details of parents and carers for contact tracing purposes. All other visitors must to adhere to school visitor sign-in arrangements.

Offsite

School functions are permitted at venues with a completed COVID safe checklist for restricted businesses, adhering to Chief Health Officer directions, e.g. wearing face masks.

Offsite premises must adhere to Queensland’s COVID Safe Future roadmap (PDF, 281KB).

A school group attending a venue as part of a school function is not required to check in school-aged children. Adult chaperones (including staff, parents, carers and volunteers) must check in to the venue using the Check In Qld app.

Ticketed or seated events

Ticketed or seated events are permitted with restricted capacities as per Chief Health Officer directions.

Facilities, amenities and services

Outside school hours care and vacation care

All workers, volunteers and contractors must be fully vaccinated.

Outside school hours care services (OSHC) and vacation care programs will continue to operate as normal, unless advised otherwise by Queensland Health.

Parents should contact their OSHC service regarding drop-off and pick-up arrangements for their children.

Physical distancing protocols continue to apply to all adults. Parents can help by not gathering inside or outside schools and adopting new ways of interacting with others in and around the school.

School transport

Dedicated school transport services for students will continue to operate, adhering to Chief Health Officer directions. When wearing face masks is mandatory, anyone travelling on dedicated school transport services, including high school students, parents, volunteers or drivers must wear a face mask in line with any Chief Health Officer directions.

These services are exclusively for students travelling to and from school, or activities related to outside school hours care and to attend school sport, excursions and camps. This includes specialist school transport for students with disability in minibus and taxi services.

Physical distancing should be maintained at bus interchange locations, at pick-up and drop-off, and on other shared transport services.

Use of school facilities and amenities (playgroups facilitated by external organisations, community users, holiday programs)

Activities, such as holiday programs and playgroups facilitated by external organisations, or community users of school facilities, are permitted on school sites with principal or responsible officer approval, adhering to Chief Health Officer directions, e.g. face masks.

Workers and visitors accessing school facilities and amenities outside of school operations are not subject to mandatory vaccination requirements if the school is not occupied by employees and students of school sites in their capacity as an employee or student at the school.

Principals must ensure these organisations are operating in line with the requirements of Queensland Government COVID Safe Businesses, including use of the Check In Qld app.

Playgrounds

Use of playgrounds by students is permitted. COVID-19 cleaning procedures should be followed.

Provision of food/tuckshops

Buffets or sharing of implements is not permitted.

All workers and volunteers must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

Essential health and wellbeing services (non-departmental employees)

Essential health and wellbeing services are permitted to continue as normal, with standard sign-in procedures, adhering to Chief Health Officer directions, e.g. face masks.

These services include: dental services, School Immunisation providers, Prep Vision Screening providers, Chaplains/Student Welfare Workers, school-based Police Officers, school-based Youth Health Nurses, Youth Support Coordinators and school-based General Practitioners.

All workers and volunteers attending a school site must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

Emergency management

Emergency Response Plan (ERP) evacuation drills to occur adhering to Chief Health Officer directions, e.g. face masks.

Alternative assembly points must be considered when planning for emergencies that may occur.

All emergency drills must be entered into MyHR Workplace Health and Safety ( departmental employees only).​

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Last updated 28 January 2022