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NSW Covid lockdown: Gladys Berejiklian reveals why schools in Sydney won’t open

An extension of the Greater Sydney lockdown for another week will keep schools shut for the first four days of term 3. Parents in the Greater Sydney area have been delivered the frustrating news that schools won’t reopen to their kids from next week as planned.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed that the Greater Sydney lockdown would be extended for an additional week and not end at midnight on Friday.

Face-to-face learning will not resume until July 19 to limit the mobility of parents and carers in and around school communities, Ms. Berejiklian told reporters.

“About Greater Sydney, the reason why we took the decision around schools not resuming face-to-face learning next week is not that schools aren’t a safe place, they are a safe place, but what we really need to do in Greater Sydney is reduce mobility,” she said.

“We need to stop literally hundreds of thousands of adults moving around and interacting with each other inadvertently as they drop kids off, pick kids up at those usual times and while the virus is more contagious in children, or this strain is, than we have seen previous strains, our main concern is too many people being mobile at the same time and having those interactions.”

Schools outside of the Greater Sydney region will resume face-to-face learning from next week, “which is a great result”, Ms. Berejiklian said.

“I want to thank our regional communities for their patience. We have had a few false alarms or a few close calls in the regions, but the community has responded by coming out and getting tested.”

Ms. Berejiklian said schools would be open to students who were unable to learn online from their homes.

“Of course those parents who are doing essential work, who have no option, children are welcome on the school grounds so as we did last time, the children of essential workers, children who have no other option or parents who have no other option, of course, children will be welcomed onto the school grounds,” she said.

That is what we did last time.

“If year 12 students have practical examinations or need to be on campus for those rare occasions when that face-to-face is essential, the [education] department and NSW Health are working together on those issues.” “Home learning is difficult, but it is for four days, and let’s all pull together and do our best during those four days.”

NSW recorded 27 new cases of Covid-19 overnight.

The lockdown will now be in place until midnight on July 16 for Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong, and Shellharbour.

Who can send their kids to school during a lockdown?

The premier said schools would be open to children of parents who needed to work, whether they were considered essential workers or not. “We went through this the last time New South Wales had a lockdown, and no school turned any child away,” she said.

“But we also appreciate that parents have to make some serious decisions. Our strong preference is that parents keep children at home for homeschooling for four days.

“If they have no other option, the child is welcome on the school grounds. That

is what we had decided or what we did last time around, and it worked well.

“The school communities are aware of what needs to occur. Parents are aware of what needs to occur.”

Community fed up with lockdown.

Non-essential businesses will remain shut throughout the extended lockdown, sparking an angry reaction from an array of fed-up community members.  That is why the NSW government, based on the health advice, which is our key indicator, made the difficult decision to announce the extension of the lockdown and the existing restrictions in the regions for one week further,” Ms. Berejiklian said. Parents have made no secret of their frustration at schools once again being shut, with many taking to social media after hearing the news.

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