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COVID restrictions or special arrangements

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​​​​​​​​​​​Current operational status

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COVID normal​

Queensland state schools will be operating under COVID normal conditions. However, in some circumstances, schools may be required to implement restrictions. More

Important notices:

  • Guidelines for close contacts in Queensland have changed. Stay up-to-date with the latest requirements. More​
  • ​Close contacts of a confirmed case of COVID-19 must wear a face mask in schools or early childhood services​. 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 or special arrangements

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

COVID-19 management
Face masks Required as per Chief Health Officer directions (conditions apply).
Health and hygiene procedures COVID-19 level personal protective equipment (PPE). See creating a COVID safe environment for more information.
School cleaning regimes
Additional cleaning based on responsible officer decision. See creating a COVID safe environment – cleaning for more information.

In detail – COVID restrictions or special arrangements

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 because they are following Queensland Health isolation or close contact guidelines are not expected to do schoolwork. However, schools may choose to provide access to learning resources (such as learning@home) to help students to continue their learning. The school's approach to learning should consider the expected duration of absence, a student's learning needs, available tools and resources, and the school's established approach to supporting continuity of learning.

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. Any student over 16 years of age is not required to be vaccinated in order to attend school. Schools and students need to follow the heath directions for work placements and/or traineeships.

If a parent/carer chooses to keep their child at home due to their concerns about COVID-19, where necessary, schools will engage with parents/carers and offer support to ensure their child returns to school as soon as possible.

Roll marking

For teachers only

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

If a student is absent from school because they are following Queensland Health requirements for close contacts, schools will record the student’s absence as Code B: Attendance not required.

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.

If a parent/carer chooses to keep their child at home due to their concerns about COVID-19, schools will record the student’s absence as Code O: Other and indicate ‘COVID’ in the comments field.

In the event a school is closed (i.e. due to COVID-19) student attendance will be recorded as a non-school day in the OneSchool school calendar and rolls are not required to be marked. When special arrangements are in place and children of essential workers and vulnerable children attend school for supervision, schools must maintain a record of all students who are on site. Students learning@home will be recorded as Code F: off campus activity.

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.

Principals and leadership teams will support and manage arrangements for vulnerable employees ( departmental employees only), including those who wish to voluntarily return to work, as well as staff in isolation. 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 or those in isolation 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)

Face-to-face staff meetings and professional development should be limited.

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. Schools may choose to use the Check In Qld app to verify the vaccination status of non-Department of Education staff.

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. If vaccination is a Queensland Health requirement to attend the venue, adult chaperones (including staff, parents, carers and volunteers) will be asked to verify their vaccination status. Venues may choose to use the Check In Qld app for this purpose.

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.

Parent teacher interviews

Face-to-face parent-teacher interviews should be limited. Interviews must be approved by the principal and adhere to COVID-19 Chief Health Officer directions, e.g. wearing face masks. Where possible, options for teleconference or online platforms must be made 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

Unless restrictions or special arrangements are in place that limit visitors to school sites, 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.

Parents who are working or volunteering at a school site must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Schools may choose to use the Check In Qld app to verify vaccination status.

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.

All workers attending a school site must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Schools may choose to use the Check In Qld app to verify vaccination status.

All contractors, suppliers and external workers must 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. The Check In Qld app may be used for this purpose.

Other visitors

Unless restrictions or special arrangements to limit visitors are in place, other visitors are permitted on school sites. Principal or responsible officer approval is required.

Visitors attending a school site to work or volunteer must be fully vaccinated. Schools may choose to use the Check In Qld app to verify vaccination status.

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

Where restrictions or special arrangements are in place, excursions and camps should be limited.

Commencement of excursions or camps or continuation of those already underway, should be reviewed in light of current Chief Health Officer directions and in consultation with the respective regional office.

Assemblies and large gatherings

Onsite

When restrictions or special arrangements are in place, activities should be limited.

Offsite

When restrictions or special arrangements are in place, activities should be limited.

At other times, activities can be held at an external venue with a completed COVID safe checklist for restricted businesses.

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

Schools must retain details of the students attending the external venue.

School activities

Curriculum and learning-based activities include:

  • instrumental music programs, ensembles and choirs
  • incursions
  • dancing
  • PE classes.

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

Onsite

Unless restrictions or special arrangements precent an activity from occurring, curriculum-based activities held on school sites will be permitted.

Offsite

Unless restrictions or special arrangements prevent an activity from occurring, activities are permitted at an external venue with a completed COVID safe checklist for restricted businesses.

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

Schools must retain details of the students attending the external venue.

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

During restrictions or special arrangements, some school sport programs may be limited.

Offsite

Unless restrictions or special arrangements prevent an activity from occurring, school sports are permitted at venues with a completed COVID safe checklist for restricted businesses.

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

Schools must retain details of the students attending the external venue.

Events and functions

School functions

Onsite

When restrictions or special arrangements are in place, school functions should be limited.

When events are permitted, schools must retain details of the students in attendance.

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

Offsite

When restrictions or special arrangements are in place, school functions should be limited.

Offsite premises must have a completed COVID safe checklist for restricted businesses and adhere to Queensland’s COVID Safe Future roadmap (PDF, 281KB) and Chief Health Officer directions, e.g. wearing face masks.

Schools must retain details of the students attending the external venue.

Ticketed or seated events

When restrictions or special arrangements are in place, ticketed or seated events may be 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. Services may choose to use the Check In Qld app to verify vaccination status.

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, such as wearing face masks.

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 that are not part of school operations, 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 staff and students in their capacity as an employee or student of 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. Schools or services may choose to use the Check In Qld app to verify vaccination status.

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

Essential health and wellbeing services (non-departmental employees)

When restrictions or special arrangements are in place, essential health and wellbeing services may be limited. Standard sign-in procedures apply.

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

When restrictions or special arrangements are in place, Emergency Response Plan (ERP) evacuation drills may be limited. Any drills that do occur must adhere 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 26 April 2022