13 Nov 2020
Restrictions loosened to allow more attendees
The Chief Health Officer has announced a loosening of COVID-19 restrictions for end of year events across schools.
The eased restrictions mean that up to 500 parents and family members will be allowed to attend graduation ceremonies on school sites.
ACT schools will be able to invite two guests per graduating student, to a maximum of 500 guests, to attend their graduation.
For Year 10 and Year 12 graduations being held at school, the Chief Health Officer has advised that the standard density requirement (one person per four square metres) will not need to be adhered to.
These changes will mean that, in most instances, parents and carers will be able to attend their child’s graduation ceremony in person.
Please contact your school directly to discuss how these updated restrictions will be applied to your school’s graduation ceremonies.
Live streaming, filming and photography may also still be considered by schools to support parent and family engagement in graduations.
From 13 November, up to 500 people will also be able to attend school formals. As with graduations, students and staff will not count towards this number for on-site formals.
If a school is having an off-site formal, schools will also be able to have 500 people (including students and staff).
Schools will now also have the option of including students from other schools, for example invited guests or partners, to school formals as long as the 500-person gathering limit and density requirements of one person per four square metres indoors, or one person per two square metres outdoors, are adhered to.
When external guests are invited to formals (either on-site or off-site), the venue will need to be large enough to meet the one person per four square metre rule. Dancing and group photography are also permitted under the updated guidelines.
COVID-safe practices such as physical distancing between adults (not including household groups or students from the same school), density requirements (with the exception of on-site graduations), and increased hygiene measures are still required.
Schools will also be encouraged to collect RSVPs and issue tickets for events in order to manage attendee numbers. The school must keep contact information about all students, staff and other people who have attended the end of year events for contact tracing purposes.
End of year events are part of the fabric of school life. Social events like formals and graduation ceremonies are part of a rite of passage for students and families. While these end of year events will still feel different in 2020, it is welcome news that these celebrations will be able to go ahead in line with the Guide to COVID-safe End-of-Year Events for Schools.
For more information about the COVID restrictions in place across ACT schools, visit https://www.education.act.gov.au/public-school-life/covid-school-arrangements