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covid19-restriction-checker: COVID-19 Restriction Checker

Education, schools and childcare – New South Wales

Updated on 6 April 2021, at 15:00 AET

Face masks

It’s currently not mandatory to wear a mask in any setting. However, the NSW Government strongly recommends that you wear a mask on public transport or when you can’t stay 1.5m from others.


NSW public schools are open for full-time, face-to-face learning.

All students should be at school unless:

  • they're unwell
  • they have a medical certificate saying they can’t return to school because they have a medical condition

Students and staff with flu-like symptoms will need to provide a copy of a negative COVID-19 test result before being allowed to return to school.

All NSW public schools must use the Service NSW COVID Safe Check in. When you enter your child’s school, look for the COVID Safe QR code posters. All visitors to a school site must comply with sign-in arrangements. This includes the requirement to sign the school sign-in sheet to acknowledge that they will comply with the COVID-19 requirements for visitors, contractors and service providers during their visit.

Schools are not required to conduct widespread temperature screening or mandate the wearing of a mask.

School students don’t need to follow the same strict physical-distancing guidelines as adults. But they should follow good hygiene practices, including:

  • regularly washing hands
  • avoiding sharing drinks or food
  • coughing or sneezing into the elbow or a tissue — which should be thrown away immediately
  • filling water bottles from bubblers rather than using the bubbler directly
  • maintaining physical distancing from teachers and school staff where possible

Where possible, students should stay within their cohort group — for example, their class, year group, or stage — for all learning activities within their school. This will help limit close contacts to the student cohort.

All teachers, support staff and parents must maintain 1.5 metres from each other.

Parents should ensure they physically distance from one another and staff at school pick ups and drop offs.

Interschool activities and competitions if the school has a COVID-19 Safety Plan.

External providers delivering educational services can continue with a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place.

Activities involving musical instruments can continue.

There are no limits on the number of performers in singing groups, including for in-class educational activities such as group repetition, chanting, recitation, or singing activities.

During solo and group singing, chanting and rapping events, people should stay 5 metres from any person they are facing. This includes staff, students and audience members.

Dancing activities, including dance classes, balls and social events, can take place in a COVID-safe manner.

Kindergarten orientation, Year 7 transition, excursions and camps can resume with strict guidelines.

The Community Languages Schools Program can take place onsite.

Parents and caretakers can enter school grounds to drop off and pick up students if COVID Safe measures are in place.

Parents and carers can attend school sporting events and activities, indoors or outdoors, in line with the requirements in place for other community sporting competitions and training activities in NSW.

The number of people at school formals, dances and graduation events must not exceed the greater of 1 person per 2 square metres or 25 people.

Gatherings with parents, caretakers and community members at school events — including P&C meetings — can continue with a COVID-Safety Plan in place.

Students can mix with other year groups or other cohorts for all school-related activities.

Field trips, excursions and camps to Victoria, Queensland and ACT can continue if interstate border requirements permit.

Schools in border regions can keep engaging in swimming and other activities using venues in other states or territories where border requirements permit.

The following events must remain on hold:

  • international excursions
  • certain large arts and sports events — because they require feeder activities and have long lead-time organisational arrangements. Please speak to your schools if you would like to know more

School events

School performances, productions, plays, concerts and other events can continue. These events must comply with the COVID Safe guidelines and NSW Health requirements for COVID safe events.

The following considerations apply:

  • Ensure that all attendees, including students, staff and visitors, parents and carers, are well and free of any flu-like symptoms.
  • Catering arrangements will comply with the COVID-19 Safety Plan requirements where appropriate.
  • Special guests such as the Local Member of Parliament and videographer or photographer may attend events.
  • Events held on school sites will need to limit guests based on the physical distancing requirements as per the relevant square metre rules.
  • All visitors to a school site must comply with sign-in arrangements.
  • The school is required to maintain a record of names and contact details for all attendees including school staff and visitors for at least 28 days after the event.
  • When holding events at external venues, all external venues and providers must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan.

Boarding schools

  • Students residing at a boarding school can socialise with other students without restriction in their school’s residential area.
  • Boarding students can attend local gyms, water polo and other events in the community after school hours.
  • Parents or carers can take students off school grounds for activities to spend time with them.
  • Orientation for boarders may continue as arranged by the school.

Residential areas remain closed to those who do not reside or work at the boarding school, unless by appointment with the school.

For more information and a full list of what activities can go ahead, go to the NSW Government Department of Education website at and select ‘Advice for families’.

Find more information about NSW restrictions at and select ‘Start’.

Childcare and other education

Childcare facilities continue to operate.

Universities, colleges and TAFEs remain open. While you can travel to attend an educational institution, most have introduced online studies where possible and modified face-to-face learning where students need to attend in person.

International students who have been impacted by COVID-19 should contact their education institution for more information.

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