QLD Students Are Heading Back To School – What Are The COVID-19 Mask Requirements?

By Lily Nothling – ABC News – https://www.abc.net.au/news

ONE LINE SUMMARY: Queensland school students are NOT required to wear a face mask while at school – ONLY on Queensland public transport if aged 12 years or over.

The rules around wearing a mandatory face mask differ between students, parents and teachers across parts of Queensland.

After some spent part of their school holidays in lockdown, Queensland students return to the classroom this week, but restrictions remain in place.

School communities in south-east Queensland, Townsville, Magnetic Island and Palm Island have been reminded to follow COVID-19 mask protocols until this Friday.

So what are the rules inside and outside classrooms or the school gate?

Who has to wear a face mask?

All adults MUST wear a face mask if they cannot socially distance from each other while on school grounds, and this includes: teachers, parents, carers, family members and volunteers.

Queensland students DO NOT need to wear a face mask while at school.

However, students aged 12 years or over MUST wear a face mask on public transport unless they have an exemption.

Teachers and other school staff are not required to wear masks when working with children at school.

Education Minister Grace Grace said Term 3 was essentially “business as usual” for schools.

“I think parents can be very confident that this decision has been taken and it will not put anybody at risk,” Ms Grace said.

Queensland Health has warned $206 on the spot fines can apply to anyone who fails to wear a mask without an exemption.

Do students need to check in?

Students are NOT required to use Queensland’s Check-In App when entering school grounds.

However, schools may choose to use the app for school functions and events to collect contact information from attendees.

The Education Department said there was no need for schools to obtain parents’ and carers’ details if the information is already on record and can be provided to Queensland Health if required for contact tracing.

What about school drop-offs and pick-ups?

Parents and carers have been told to avoid congregating around school grounds during pick-up and drop-off times.

P&C’s Queensland Chief Executive Scott Wiseman urged parents to have their masks handy.

“Obviously there’s a lot of congestion around school drop-off and pick-up times, so it’s about trying to manage that effectively,” Mr Wiseman said.

“Try to avoid those large groups or gatherings, especially around the gate, because it just creates a bottleneck and forces everybody to wear masks because you can’t social distance.

“Let’s lead by example for the children.”

Mask requirements are set to lift for affected regions THIS Friday 16 July 2021.

(So let’s stay safe this week everybody!)