Parents and visitors

What are the current protocols for unvaccinated visitors?

Schools can determine their own policy for allowing unvaccinated visitors to attend the school site.

Where a school’s policy allows unvaccinated visitors on site, then COVID safe planning based on the school’s own risk assessment should be undertaken to mitigate risk.

Are all visitors still required to check in using QR codes?

No – according to the current Public Health Order, visitors to schools are not now required to check-in upon arrival using QR codes.

QR code COVID-19 Safe Check-ins are now only required for certain premises including hospitality venues such as retail premises, nightclubs, residential care facilities, and hospitals.

No QR code check-in required for schools but schools may choose to use QR codes.

What about pick-ups and drop-offs?

Schools would be wise to think about how to minimise contact at school drop-offs and pickups, particularly within the next 4 to 5 weeks during the anticipated peak period of Omicron cases in the community.

Schools should have a clearly communicated COVID-Safe Plan in place outlining protocols and risk mitigation strategies for these congested times of the school day.

For example, a number of schools last term introduced staggered start and finish time for different parts of the school for example or put in place systems whereby parents and carers stayed in their car rather than getting out and mixing with students and staff.

Are Orientation Days permitted?

Yes, Orientation Days and similar activities are permitted but again schools would be wise to think about how to minimise contact during activities like these, particularly within the next 4 to 5 weeks during the anticipated peak period of Omicron cases in the community.

Visitors to the site should know what is expected of them in terms of your school’s own COVIDSafe plan as a way of minimising transmission and also as a way of managing expectations ahead of time.

For example, many schools encourage visits to individual classrooms as part of their Orientation Days so that families new to the school can see the school in action. Depending on the context of each school, those classroom visits may be considered too high risk or may be managed in a different way to usual to mitigate any risk of transmission.

Can uniform shops/canteens/parent reading groups etc operate?

Yes, uniform shops, canteens and parent reading groups can operate. As with other potentially higher-risk activities, schools should undertake their own risk assessment process to identify risk mitigation strategies for uniform shops, canteens.

For example:

  • are there ways in which contactless pick ups can be arranged from uniform shops?
  • can canteens operate differently to minimise risk or perhaps individually wrapped food items and no sharing of serving utensils?
Are schools allowed to have external organisations onsite to run activities?

Yes – external organisations can come onsite to run activities such as sport or music.

Where schools engage external organisations to run activities on-site, those organisations should undertake their own COVID safe risk assessments and share these with the school.

Similarly, if the school has any specific requirements on visitors then those processes should be followed by representatives from external organisations.