COVID safe for education


Information for parents and carers, schools and early childhood education and care services (early childhood services) about creating and maintaining a COVID safe environment and maintaining health and hygiene.


Managing illness

Children or staff showing signs of illness or feeling unwell should stay at home.

Anyone who has been suffering from illness should only return to their school or early childhood service once they are no longer showing signs of illness.

If a child develops symptoms whilst at school, their parent or carer will be contacted and asked to collect them as soon as possible.

Standard hygiene measures

It is important that schools and early childhood services continue to implement a high level of health and hygiene measures, including:

  • regular handwashing and hand sanitising in line with the 5 moments of hand hygiene, particularly before and after eating, and after going to the toilet. Watch the instructional video (transcript) for guidance
  • covering the mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing, or coughing into the elbow, disposing of tissues in the bin and washing hands thoroughly afterwards
  • ensuring sufficient soap, water and hand sanitiser stations, as well as tissues, are available
  • regular cleaning of facilities, particularly high-frequency touchpoints such as door handles, light switches, desks and water fountains or bubblers
  • regular cleaning of playground equipment and play materials
  • display Queensland Health’s stop the spread of germs poster (PDF, 109KB)
  • open windows to promote air flow where environmental conditions, such as cold weather, allow.

Additional hygiene measures

Food handling

Food handlers, such as school tuckshop workers, must follow effective hygiene measures at all times.

In early childhood services, food handlers should practise hygiene as per NHMRC guidance in staying healthy: preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services.

Cash handling

It is strongly recommended that payments for services and activities (such as excursions, tuckshops, uniform shops or fundraisers) are made electronically.

Shared equipment at school

Standard cleaning and hygiene management is required for shared equipment, such as practical workshop resources, Industrial Technology and Design (ITD) resources, musical instruments, computer devices and accessories, as well as sports equipment used within the school, or equipment loaned to students to take home.

Health support procedures for state schools

All state schools, including special schools, must implement student health plans and ensure student health support procedures are performed as required.

Employees must use gloves at all times when providing student health supports. Other personal protective equipment (PPE) may be required for certain health procedures.

For advice regarding the type of PPE required for a specific health support procedure, including correct use, please consult with your State School's registered nurse. More information is available on the personal protective equipment for health support procedure fact sheet (PDF, 120KB) available in the managing students' health support needs at school procedure.


State schools have high standards of well-established hygiene protocols and cleaning of their facilities​​. Cleaning prioritises frequently used areas and high-touch point surfaces, such as door handles, light switches, desks, toilets, taps and sinks. This also includes sick rooms and student or child service areas.

Please note the increased cleaning allocations implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, ceased on 9 December 2022.

Ventilation and managing air quality

Effective ventilation is an important measure in minimising transmission of infection.

The department has carefully considered expert advice from health authorities, Safe Work Australia, the World Health Organisation, the Doherty Institute and other stakeholders to inform advice to schools regarding managing air quality.

Ventilation of learning spaces and other indoor settings can be provided naturally (through opening of windows and doors when safe to do so) or mechanically, via ventilation and air conditioning systems that introduce fresh air from outside. Ceiling fans can be used to increase air circulation.

Further information regarding managing air quality is available in the health and safety section of the Education website.

Last updated 12 July 2023