Preparation is underway for schools outside Auckland to reopen on Thursday at ‘Delta Level 2’, with face coverings for over 12s not mandated but ‘strongly recommended’.
With Aotearoa New Zealand moving to Alert Level 2 at 11:59pm on Tuesday, outside of Auckland, schools are readying for the return of staff and pupils and all that this entails under the new ‘Delta Level 2’ restrictions and guidelines.
Under the new alert level settings, face coverings for children aged 12 and over are recommended but not mandatory. The New Zealand Post Primary Teachers’ Association / Te Wehengarua says, “The PPTA strongly recommends that you wear a mask and that there is training in the correct use of masks for staff and students. We also recommend that schools provide disposable masks for use by staff and students.
“Your school can direct you to wear a face covering if they have reasonable grounds to do so, such as someone in the school community who is at higher risk. In this case they must supply you with an appropriate face covering or mask.”
After Monday’s announcement by Prime Minister Ardern at the daily Covid briefing, Secretary for Education Iona Holsted told schools that cleaners, contractors and some staff would be allowed on site from Tuesday to prepare.
She said, “While many people will be delighted to return to school, some students will be apprehensive and over the next few days we will provide advice and template letters for you to share with whānau if you wish.”
Adding, “It is important at this time to remember that the Government makes its decisions with a health-first lens and it makes its decisions very cautiously. This decision is a reflection of the success of our collective approaches to date.”
Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland will remain at alert level 4 until September 14, with an announcement on any changes to this alert level due on the 13th.
Holsted said this week, “To all of you in Auckland, I know that the decision to stay in Level 4 was not a surprise. I also know that it brings with it many challenges.”
For the latest on Delta Level 2 and what it means for schools and kura, go to the Ministry of Education website: www.education.govt.nz/news/covid-19-alert-levels-2/