NSW students will return to schools one day a week as the state inches towards relaxing COVID-19 restrictions.
Students will return for one day of face-to-face learning per week from Monday, with attendance to increase over the course of the term.
The state government is working towards a target of a full-scale return by term three.
The Berejiklian government on Sunday announced the easing of a broad range of restrictions as the state continues to flatten the curve.
However, the return to classrooms has come with a warning, with Premier Gladys Berejiklian promising that any surge in numbers of confirmed cases could see a return to tighter measures.
“If there is evidence or if there is data that shows … a huge spike, then we’ll have to go backwards,” Berejiklian said.
“But similarly, if the data shows us that we’re doing better than expected, we can move forward and be faster.”
The government has urged parents to be vigilant about their children’s health and to keep them away from school if they exhibit any symptoms of coronavirus.
Social distancing guidelines will be maintained in classrooms and extra health measures will be in place, including additional cleaning and health equipment in sick bays.
Lunch breaks will also be staggered.
Ms Berejiklian said it is not compulsory to send children to school and parents would not be penalised for keeping them at home.
“It’s never been compulsory to force parents to do one thing or another, we’ve been very clear about that in New South Wales,” she said.
“But our strong recommendation is that face-to-face teaching needs to start.
“We want to get to full time face-to-face teaching as soon as we can. And the best health advice is that schools are safe environments.”
The Berejiklian on Sunday announced the winding back of restrictions from Friday, including allowing people to leave their homes for recreation.
The new relaxing of restrictions will allow up to five people to visit a home, including children.
Outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people will also be allowed, such as a physical training session or sitting down in a park.
Restaurants and cafes will also be allowed to have up to 10 patrons at a time, while ensuring they maintain social distancing of 1.5 metres between people and four square metres space per person.
A total of 10 guests will be allowed at weddings, and up to 20 people at indoor funerals and up to 30 at outdoor funerals.
Religious gatherings and places of worship can also welcome up to 10 worshippers.