Poll: Redlands schools still open but attendance down amid coronavirus fears

SCHOOLS OPEN, FOR NOW: Students are still attending school in Queensland but some parents are choosing to keep their children home.
SCHOOLS OPEN, FOR NOW: Students are still attending school in Queensland but some parents are choosing to keep their children home.

REDLANDS schools remain open but attendance is down as parents keep their children home amid coronavirus fears.

Victoria Point State High School principal Scot Steinhardt said absences were at 20 to 30 per cent, with those staying home mainly between years 7 and 10.

"Our numbers are down," he said.

"(Years) 11 and 12 are in the middle of exams which is keeping them here, which is good."

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Monday morning that expert advice was that school was currently the best place for children.

Parents of state school students could elect to keep their children home during this time.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said if parents chose to keep their children home, they must ensure they adhered to social distancing measures.

In the last couple of weeks, schools have upped hygiene measures in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus, including quarantining library books for a period after they were returned.

NAPLAN testing for 2020 was canned on Friday.

The Queensland Teachers' Union said it beggared belief that schools and TAFE remained open while businesses like pubs and clubs were told to close.

QTU said it had lost confidence in government decision-making around the issue.

"There is no reference to the safety of teachers, school leaders, and other school employees in discussion of this issue, nor any apparent understanding of the practicality of operating in these education settings (e.g. social distancing)," a statement read.

"Schools continue to operate without promised hygiene and cleaning products."

QTU called for all schools to be closed from Wednesday.

Prime Minister announces strict new social distancing rules 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has brought in new social distancing rules that will stop people from going to the gym, eating at a cafe or seeing a movie.

He expressed disappointment at some members of the community disregarding social distancing measures.

"Premiers and Chief Ministers agreed to implement, through state and territory laws, new Stage 1 restrictions on social gatherings, to be reviewed on a monthly basis.

"Australians should expect these measures to be in place for at least six months."

From midday on Monday, venues will be restricted from opening, including:

  • Pubs, registered and licenced clubs (excluding bottle shops attached to these venues), hotels (excluding accommodation)
  • Gyms and indoor sporting venues
  • Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, and night clubs
  • Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery
  • Religious gatherings, places of worship or funerals (in enclosed spaces and other than very small groups and where the one person per four square metre rule applies).

It comes as an addition to existing regulations including:

  • No non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people outside or more than 100 people inside.
  • All non-essential indoor gatherings of less than 100 people must have no more than one person per 4sqm. All Australians should expect their local businesses to be following this rule.
  • Where possible, keep 1.5 metres between yourself and others
  • Avoid non essential travel
  • Restrictions on entering aged care homes to protect older Australians