Kids are returning to schools, playgrounds are reopening and community sports are restarting as Australia starts to lift coronavirus lockdown* rules this week.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week laid out a three-step plan for relaxing* restrictions, but left it to each state to decide when to make the changes.
Step one includes allowing groups of up to 10 people to gather outside, homes to have up to five visitors, primary and secondary schools to start opening, shops to open, cafes and restaurants to open for 10 customers at a time, playgrounds and skate parks to open for up to 10 people at a time, and outdoor sports to run with up to 10 players.
The federal and state governments agreed on the plan to carefully ease* restrictions after Australia successfully slowed the spread of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
But even when restrictions are eased, we will still have to keep a safe distance of 1.5m apart from people we don’t live with when we are out in the community.
Regularly washing our hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and sneezing and coughing into the inside of our elbow or into a tissue, which is then thrown away, are also key hygiene* practices we will need to continue as restrictions are wound back.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Students who have been learning at home will begin returning to classrooms from May 26, with prep, Grades 1, 2, Year 11 and Year 12 students the first to go back to school. Up to five guests will be able to visit homes from May 13, opening the way for Victorians to visit relatives and friends for the first time in six weeks. Up to 10 people will also be allowed to gather outside, including for outdoor recreation,* such as going for a walk or kicking the football.
Students returned to school for one day a week from May 11. Work and family visits are also now allowed, while outdoor pools, playgrounds and gym equipment will open from May 15. Cafes and restaurants will also open for up to 10 people from May 15. Indoor gatherings of five people and outdoor gatherings of 10 people can take place from May 15.
Kindergarten, prep and years 1, 11 and 12 returned to school from May 11. Years 2 to 10 are planned to return from May 25. From May 15, up to 10 people can take part in exercise and community sports, visit playgrounds, skate parks and libraries, and dine in restaurants and cafes. Five people can gather indoors.
Schools, pools and community centres are open, and gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed indoors and outdoors, including outdoor dining at cafes and restaurants. Outdoor sports training can be run for up to 20 people.
Schools are open. From May 18, up to 20 people will be able to take part in exercise and community sport and gather outdoors and indoors, including in cafes, restaurants and homes.
Schools will open for kindergarten to year 6 students, as well as years 11 and 12, from May 25. Years 7 to 10 students are scheduled to return from June 9. National Parks are now open and people can travel up to 30km from home to exercise. From May 18, up to 10 people can gather inside and outside, including at cafes, restaurants, libraries, playgrounds and pools.
Schools are open, with gyms, exercise classes and sports training to follow suit from May 15. Libraries, toy libraries, indoor playgrounds, zoos and wildlife centres will also open from May 15. Visits to cafes and restaurants will be limited to two hours from this date.
Preschool, kindergarten and years 1, 2 and 7 students return to school from May 18. Up to 10 people can join in exercise classes and indoor and outdoor gatherings.
- lockdown: keeping people in their homes
- relaxing/ease: making less strict
- hygiene: practices that help maintain health and prevent the spread of disease
- recreation: an activity done for enjoyment
- How many steps are there in the plan to ease coronavirus restrictions?
- Why are the federal and state governments easing restrictions?
- How many people can gather outside under step one of the relaxed restrictions?
- What is the safe distance for people to remain apart in the community?
- Name one hygiene practice you can take to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
LISTEN TO THIS STORY
1. Create an information leaflet
As television and print news outlets report on the changes to restrictions for all states and territories, it is easy to get confused about what is allowed in each area. It is important that you and your family and friends are aware of what you are allowed to do where you live, so you don’t break the rules.
Create a leaflet that highlights how the restrictions are changing in your state. Make sure it is clear on where (which state you are in), what is changing and when the change is coming into effect. You can also include the things that are still restricted.
Set your leaflet out so that it is clear and easy to read. Include bold headings and subheadings.
You may like to create your leaflet using word processing tools on a computer, tablet or another device. Or you can do it by hand.
Time: allow 40 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, The Arts – Visual Arts
It has been a long eight or so weeks of “lockdown”. It is welcoming news that the restrictions are beginning to lift, even though we may still have many more months of some restrictions to lift.
What are you most looking forward to? It may be something that is being lifted in this stage of restriction easing or it may be something you have to wait a bit longer for.
Write a paragraph detailing what you are most looking forward to. Explain why that is something you are eager to do, somewhere you are eager to go or someone you are eager to see. What has it been like not being able to do, go or see what you want?
For example, you might have a parent in another state of Australia for work and you haven’t seen them for two months, so you are looking forward to state/territory borders being lifted. Or you might be eager to get back to the skate park to practice those skate tricks you haven’t been able to do for a while.
Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Personal and Social Capability
Back In the Classroom
The government has announced that across Australia students will be heading back to the classroom before the end of term. Can you believe it! Some of you may be rejoicing, others may be disappointed. How do you feel? Write a personal journal entry including your feelings and opinions about how you feel. How will your parents or carers feel? Do you think your teachers will be excited.
HAVE YOUR SAY: What are you most looking forward to doing when restrictions are eased?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will be published until approved by editors.