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Canberra Today 20°/22° | Monday, January 24, 2022 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

More cases, but schools will go back as planned

ACT schools are expected to begin the new school year as planned next month, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr confirmed today (January 13).

“The final decision will be made by government based on the latest health advice next week – to give adequate time for families and teachers to prepare,” he says.

“The government is currently engaged in planning with key stakeholders across the health, education and early childhood sectors. Schools and early childhood centres will have clear guidelines, and these will be published online.

“We will see more cases as school returns and we will manage exposure risk based on the health advice.”

He also says the government is exploring how essential workers, who are close contacts and not sick, can return to work.

“This will be based on health advice and the obligations employers have under the ACT work health and safety framework,” he says.

“Access to rapid antigen testing and appropriate personal protection equipment are a key consideration. We will work closely with unions and business groups to ensure exemptions work for employers and employees, with any arrangements to be voluntary.

“The guidance will outline the responsibilities of employers that exist under relevant work health and safety laws in their jurisdiction. Any testing done in the workplace must be done at no cost to the employee. This is also the case for the provision of other forms of PPE.”

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