New South Wales will ease the testing requirements for school pupils, despite the fact that more than 12,000 young people in the state gave a positive result in the second week of the semester.
NSW Prime Minister Dominique Perrotet said testing of schoolchildren from Monday would go on demand.
Parents will receive eight rapid antigen tests per student, which will be distributed in two drops.
“Packages exist for families and employees who can use their own for their own peace of mind, for example, if a student feels unwell with a sore throat or cough, or if family members are sick,” said the prime minister.
Teachers will also receive free tests.
Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said that since the students returned this year, schools have not closed despite high publicity.
“Testing children twice a week has been a daunting task, and I would like to thank all the parents and guardians for their efforts during these critical first few weeks,” she said.
Preschoolers will also receive additional RAT kits to be used as needed.
On Sunday, NSW recorded another 21 deaths from Covid and 5,582 new cases.
NSW hospitals treat 1,280 patients with the virus, 77 of whom are in intensive care and 35 need mechanical ventilation.
Health officials say the latest deaths have killed 15 men and six women. Eleven were in their 80s, five in their 70s, three in their 60s and one each in their 50s and 90s.
Ten were triple vaccinated, eight were vaccinated twice and three were not immunized.
A study by the National Center for Immunization Research and Surveillance found that in the last 2021 years, 3 to 4% of people who had positive experiences at school and in early childhood became infected with Covid compared to about 70% in residential areas.
Last week, Victoria announced that it would extend the requirement for rapid testing twice a week until the end of the term.
On Sunday, Victoria recorded 4,867 new Covid infections and nine other virus-related deaths.
Opening of the international border
Vaccinated foreign tourists will be able to arrive in Australia on Monday for the first time in two years after they were blocked due to a coronavirus pandemic.
“We are moving from Covid cautious to Covid confident when it comes to travel,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters at Melbourne Airport on Sunday.
He said there are 1.2 million people worldwide who have “received visas” and can now come to Australia.
“In the next 24 hours, about 56 flights will land in Australia, and that number will only grow,” Morrison said.
“My message to tourists around the world is,‘ Pack your bags and come and get great experiences that you can imagine. And don’t forget to bring money with you, because you will find many places where you can spend it. “
Business also welcomes the restoration of borders.
“Recovery strengthens Australia’s credibility as an open economy and will make it easier for companies with international interests to do business,” said Steve Hughes, Head of Commercial Banking at HSBC.
“In particular, we expect medium-sized firms that have reached the limit of their domestic growth to regain confidence to consider expanding offshore.”
On Monday, Victoria opens a newly built $ 200 million quarantine center for those foreign travelers who are not vaccinated.
“The Omicron option has shown us that we must continue to be flexible in responding to the pandemic – and a specially built Victorian quarantine center will be vital to how we deal with pandemics today and in the future,” said Police Minister Lisa Neville. Saturday.
Queensland has its own quarantine center with 500 beds near Toowoomba, which is likely to house unvaccinated international newcomers.
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/feb/20/nsw-schools-to-switch-to-on-demand-covid-testing-of-students NSW schools are moving to testing students on-demand New South Wales