New Ministerial Directive on Reopening of Schools

26 February 2021 539
As Gazetted on the 12th of February, new directives have been issued on measures that has to be taken by schools reopening under Covid-19 adjusted lockdown level three.

The directives concerning the reopening of schools has been updated with the following new directives-

School attendance:
Direction 6, sub-direction (8) confirms that a parent, caregiver or a designated family member of a learner who has already applied in 2020 for the full or partial exemption from compulsory school attendance for any of the following reasons and whose application was successful, is not required to re-apply for exemption.

Measures to be taken during sport and extra-curricular activities:
Non-contact sport training and matches, non-contact sport related activities and all arts and culture school-based activities in schools, may resume without any spectators provided that safety measures such as the social distancing requirements and not more than 50% capacity in change rooms, training areas and sporting venues are adhered to at any given time. Face masks must be worn at all times, except when participating in training or matches. Hand sanitizers with at least 70% alcohol content must be available for use by all officials, coaching staff, learners and participants. In addition, there must be facilities for washing of hands with soap and water; all windows and doors must remain open where possible for adequate ventilation; and the sharing of water bottles, energy drinks and other drinks is not allowed.

Under Adjusted Alert Level 3 national championships and tournaments for non-contact sport require learners to travel to other schools or provinces are suspended.

Contact sport may also resume provided that all social distancing, hygiene and safety measures are observed and that there is no physical contact between participants during training. Schools must also then ensure that sporting venues, tools and equipment are cleaned and sanitized before and after any sporting activities.

Enrichment programmes such as oral history, spelling bee, moot court, speech contests, debates and school clubs, may resume activities and competitive engagements subject to strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocols but it must take place on virtual platforms as travel to other schools and provinces are suspended. 

Solo vocal rehearsals practise are now permitted subject to strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocols.

However, choir practise or rehearsals, choir competitions, choir performances and interschool choir events are suspended under Adjusted Alert Level 3.