Premier Peter Gutwein announces Tasmania's return to school plan

Masks will be mandatory indoors in secondary schools, but not in primary schools in Tasmania.
Masks will be mandatory indoors in secondary schools, but not in primary schools in Tasmania.

Students at all schools in Tasmania will receive a COVID Care Package before school starts.

It will include two rapid antigen tests that must be used by children when symptomatic or a close contact.

The package forms part of the state's return to school COVID-19 plan, announced by Premier Peter Gutwein today after National Cabinet.

As part of the plan teachers and other school staff will need to wear masks while indoors, and masks will be mandatory for secondary school students, but not primary students.

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Students in a classroom where a positive case has been identified will still be able to attend school, but parents and carers will be informed and told to monitor and test for symptoms.

If an outbreak results in at least five students in a learning group testing positive over a seven-day period, it will be defined as an "outbreak" and managed under Public Health protocols.

Extra RAT kits will be supplied to state, Catholic and independent schools to be given to students for home-testing on an as-need basis, such as when a student is a close contact or is symptomatic.

Surgical face masks will also be supplied to schools and will be mandatory for all secondary school students, and while mask wearing will not be mandatory for primary school students, children can wear masks if this is desired by parents.

Premier Peter Gutwein said the initial COVID safety measure would continue for the first five weeks of Term 1, and changes to this plan would occur if needed for the remaining five weeks of the term.

Mr Gutwein said all schools will have an outbreak management plan in place, which will be supported by Public Health, and this will include a virtual learning plan for students who are positive and in isolation, or those who are close contacts and in quarantine.

He said when a school experiences an outbreak and teaching staff are impacted, a list of 1700 available relief teachers will be contacted, and critical worker close contact exemptions will apply to teachers.

A further 400 school-based staff who have recently retired could also be drawn upon.

This story Students from this state will get a COVID care pack before school starts first appeared on The Examiner.