The Education Department is auditing windows in all Tasmanian public schools to make sure they work properly and has ordered a "stockpile" of air purifiers in preparation for the start of the next school year in a COVID environment.
Other preparations include cleaning all air conditioner filters, upgrading them where necessary and adding shade sails and "nature-based play" areas outdoors, based on a recently-completed school infrastructure audit.
Education Minister Sarah Courtney announced the measures in Parliament on Wednesday, but did not say how much money the government intends to spend on ensuring adequate ventilation in schools.
A working group has also been established for independent and Catholic schools to identify ventilation improvements.
Ms Courtney said the aim was to have works completed before school returned next year, with borders to open on December 15 for vaccinated travellers - after the end of the current school year.
"With regards to work that will be undertaken, wherever possible this will be completed before the return to school in February 2022, and where it's going to longer, alternative strategies will be put in place," she said.
"We know there'll be some circumstances where additional support from air purifiers or other means is required.
"To support this ... the department will be ordering a stockpile of air purifiers with the type and amount to be determined based on the assessment of need."
An audit would identify whether windows ease and adjust correctly, which drew criticism from Labor who had asked the government to take a more proactive approach.
"You've had 18 months and you're checking to see if windows open? We are outraged at your lack of urgency," leader Rebecca White said during Question Time.
The Victorian Government has ordered 51,000 air purifiers for government and low-fee Catholic schools, which Labor hoped Tasmania could proportionately seek to emulate.
Labor education spokesperson Josh Willie said the government was acting too slowly.
"Ms Courtney has now confirmed however that very few upgrades have been undertaken and her further claims that air purity and ventilation will be investigated and shade structures will be installed are far too late," he said.
Children aged under 12 are not yet eligible for a COVID vaccination, although some countries have started approving vaccines for younger children.
What do you think? Send us a letter to the editor:
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: