The Tasmanian premier has backtracked on his words that there could be a delay to the start of the school year for 2022 due to unvaccinated kids, saying that schools will reopen on February 9.
In State Parliament yesterday Premier Peter Gutwein said he had spoken with education department heads, indicating that there might be a delay to the start of the school year in relation to the vaccinations of children aged 5 to 11 year cohorts.
Today Mr Gutwein repeatedly said schools will reopen on that date.
"The one thing, the one constant that we are absolutely clear on is that we will act on Public Health advice, and the advice is that schools will reopen on February 9," Mr Gutwein said.
"Dr Veitch has said that the best protection for those kids under 12 is to ensure that their siblings and family unit is vaccinated, and I would encourage people to turn up and get vaccinated."
Education minister Sarah Courtney said a range of measures were currently being implemented in schools in preparation for when COVID-19 is in the school community.
Ms Courtney said Public Health advice is that schools are the best place for children to be.
She said measures included natural ventilation improvements, window maintenance and repairs, air conditioning maintenance including filter replacements, and air purifiers, of which 1500 "are on order".
"Planning is well advanced based on Public Health advice for when we do face covid in our schools, which will be next year. We will continue to engage with our school communities. We have dynamic plans which they need to be, to ensure we can respond to covid as we see it emerge in our state," Ms Courtney said.
"Our measures are consistent with those being implemented in other states, and we are seeing other people return to school, so we are taking those learnings from other places ... it is important [children] are able to learn, but we need to make sure they are learning safely, which is why we have been taking action."
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