NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has encouraged parents to keep their children home from school if possible, as the spread of COVID-19 increases in the state.
On Monday morning, Berejiklian said schools will remain open to ensure families with limited alternative childcare options can continue working.
“The health advice has not changed, however for practical reasons in NSW we will be encouraging parents to keep their children at home,” the NSW Premier said at a press conference on Monday morning.
“Already last week we had up to 30 per cent of parents who chose to keep their children at home, and we appreciate and anticipate that number will increase.”
“However, I want to stress, for parents that are workers and have no option, the school is safe for children to attend schools.”
“And for those children who have no option, whose parents have option, no child will be turned away from school.”
The decision comes as NSW recorded an increase of 136 novel COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours. As of 8pm Sunday, the state’s total count of confirmed cases now sits at 669.
All NSW school will provide online learning alternatives for the rest of term one, which ends Thursday April 9.
According to Berejiklian, there will be a single unit of teaching for children at home and at school.
No decisions have been made regarding what will happen after the school holidays.
The announcement from the NSW Premier comes less than 24 hours after Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said school holidays in Victoria will be brought forward to Tuesday.
The ACT is going pupil-free from Tuesday, facilitating classes online.
On Sunday night, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced all non-essential services will be shutdown from midday on Monday.
Pubs, clubs, cinemas, casinos, nightclubs, places of worship, gyms and indoor sporting venues are considered non-essential services and will be closed. Restaurants and cafes are restricted to take-away and home delivery only.