Message from the MOE
February 15, 2021
Alert Level 2 - All of New Zealand excluding Auckland region
- Schools are open to everyone, and all children must attend. At Alert Level 2 the disease is contained but there is still risk of community transmission. It is safe for children and staff to attend school.
- Learning will be onsite with distance learning offered in some circumstances. Distance learning should be provided for those required to self-isolate, those individuals who health authorities have asked to stay away while waiting for a test result, or those choosing to remain at home because they are vulnerable to illness.
- Schools are not classified as gatherings and a range of events and activities can go ahead.
For most day to day activities at schools, the rules for gatherings do not apply. Under the COVID-19 Public Health Response Order, schools are exempted from physical distancing requirements when people are there to receive, provide, or support education services.
However as soon as your event or activity brings people onsite who are not there for education purposes, including students, parents and caregivers, then the rules for gatherings do apply. This would include performances such as school plays, cultural events and sporting activities.
- Schools will close for cleaning and contact tracing if there is a confirmed case who was infectious when at school. Your Director of Education will work closely with you and health authorities should this occur. Please contact your Ministry regional office if you hear of a confirmed case in your school community but haven’t been advised about it by health officials.
- Face coverings are not required at school or on any school transport. This includes charter buses hired by the school to transport students and staff. Anyone who chooses to wear a face covering in any setting should be supported to do so.
- Sick people must stay at home. They should seek medical advice if they have COVID-like symptoms and get tested if advised to do so. If that person displays relevant symptoms of COVID-19, tests positive for COVID-19, or has been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, they must self-isolate.
- You must have a contact tracing system in place. This includes displaying QR code posters at your entrances, your timetable, attendance register and visitor register.
- Fundamental public health measures continue to apply at every alert level:
- Physical distancing (not touching and not breathing on each other at Alert Level 2)
- Hand hygiene
- Cough and sneeze etiquette
- Regularly cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces.