Return to School Term 3 – Covid Normal

During July, children across Australia will be returning to School for Term 3.

Unfortunately this coincides with an increasing number of Covid cases due to the Omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5. Many hospitals have a record number of patients, due to the large number of influenza and covid cases.

Let’s hope that Schools remain open as governments implement their Covid Normal plans.

There are similarities across the states.

Al states require:

  • Covid positive people to isolate for at least 7 days and until they return a negative covid test result.
  • People who have Covid symptoms are not permitted in Schools.
  • Close contacts are required to test for Covid – except in the NT.
  • Close contacts (above a certain age) of covid positive. people are required to wear masks in School. They are allowed in Schools as long as they have no symptoms.
  • In Special Schools different rules apply than for regular schools. In many cases close contacts working in Special Schools are required to isolate.
  • Outdoor education is encouraged.
  • Vaccinations while not mandatory (unless working in Special Schools or Special Purpose classes) are highly encouraged.
  • Students, teachers and visitors are required to follow Covid hygiene measures such as hand sanitation, and social distancing where possible

There are variations between the States.

South Australia requires all students and teachers to wear masks when transmission reaches certain outbreak thresholds.

In Western Australia outdoor assemblies are permitted for single year groups only. Seventy-five capacity is the maximum allowable for performances.

In Tasmania non-essential visitors are limited. The Tasmanian Department of Education has released a useful Operational Plan which includes six clearly laid out principles.

School Cocurricular Activities

Mostly cocurricular activities such as camps, incursions and camps are permitted, as long as Covid Normal rules apply.

This is wonderful for students. Hopefully they will no longer miss out on the rites of passage functions as a school graduation ceremonies and school formals.

Camps, sporting activities, incursions and excursions are important and integral aspects of school education.

To Find Out More

Each State has guidelines – some States have developed these specifically for Term 3 while other States require Schools to following existing guidelines.

Whatever happens during Semester 2, let’s hope that Schools across Australia remain open.

Below are the links to guidelines for School for each State and Territory in Australia.

Australian Capital Territory

COVID Smart public schools

New South Wales

COVID-19 advice for parents, students and children

Last updated 28 June 2022

Northern Territory

Back to school 2022

COVID-19 information for parents and carers

3 March 2022


COVID-safe back to school plan

And Schools are expected to follow Public Health Directions

South Australia

COVID safe measures and requirements

last updated 24 May


COVID-19 planning

published 5 July 2022


Health and Safety Advice for all Victorian Schools

updated June/July 2022

Western Australia

COVID-19 School is open for learning.

last updated June 2022

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