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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Government announces further easing of restrictions

More families can attend community sports, music ensembles and school camps can proceed, and a modest increase to dancing at weddings is allowed under new COVID-19 safety rules.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard and Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the latest easing of restrictions around school and community life is due to lower case numbers.

“While we are by no means out of the woods, low case numbers give health authorities the confidence to allow mums and dads back onto the sideline,” Mr Hazzard said.

“NSW Health has also given the green light for up to 20 people in the official wedding party to take to the dance floor, where previously only the happy couple were permitted.”

Ms Mitchell said the updated health advice comes as NSW schools prepare for a two-week break before returning for the final term of 2020.

“Everyone is committed to providing a safe environment for children, students and staff, and these changes will ensure COVID-safe celebrations can happen,” she said.

“Schools have done an incredible job, and it’s exciting to see things returning closer to normal. However, we need to stay vigilant.”

Changes to Term 4 school guidelines include a return to community language programs, interschool activities, singing and playing of instruments, Year 6 formals and graduations, high school formals, and camps and excursions.

Musical ensembles can also resume, as long as players keep a 1.5 metre distance from one another, or three metres for players of non-reeded woodwind instruments.

Acting Minister for Sport Geoff Lee said the changes to community sport would be a welcome relief for parents.

“From this weekend, more than one parent may now attend community sporting activities if physical distancing of at least 1.5 metres can be maintained between people that are not from the same household,” Mr Lee said.

“We know the last few months have been hard on families who want to see their kids score a try or kick a goal on the weekend.

“I would like to thank all the parents and volunteers in community sport for their commitment to following the guidelines to help keep our community safe.”

Accommodation facilities and overnight event organisers should develop and implement a COVID-19 Safety Plan. All carpooling should continue to be avoided.

There is no restriction on school holiday travel within NSW for people who live within the state, however, anyone who is unwell should defer travel plans and get tested.

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