Put safety first as schools return: Labor

·2-min read

All eyes will be on NSW as its 100-day COVID-19 lockdown comes to an end on Monday, and as other jurisdictions under stay-at-home orders gear up to follow suit.

Parents in particular will be happy to get their children back to school in the coming weeks after months of having to learn at home.

"We are super keen to get kids back in the classroom, but we want to make sure they will be healthy," Labor's education spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek told Sky News' Sunday Agenda program.

Ms Plibersek - a NSW parent - believes mask wearing for primary school where possible is important, as is classrooms being properly ventilated.

"We see that the Victorian government has invested big time in high quality air filters," she said, noting NSW has also reviewed ventilation in its classrooms,

"It is very important priority for us to get kids back into class room, but it has to be done safely."

She also believes provisions should be made for children to not only catch up on their schooling, but also additional counselling to get them back on track with mental health.

NSW announced 477 new cases on its final lockdown day, but also an additional six deaths - all men aged between 50 and 70 and none fully vaccinated.

Having surpassed the 70 per cent double-dose vaccination milestone early last week, stay-at-home orders will cease for NSW's fully-vaccinated population from Monday.

"It is a big day for our state and for everyone across New South Wales," NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet told reporters in Sydney.

"It has been a very difficult time for the people of our state, over 100 days of people making enormous sacrifices."

Victoria saw a further 1890 infections, slightly smaller than the record 1965 announced on Saturday.

There were also a further five deaths.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said it was an incredibly difficult time for the state, but it remains on track to reach a 70 per cent double-dose rate on October 26, or perhaps a little earlier, when restrictions will begin to ease.

"The virus will spread, especially among those who are not vaccinated and if you are one of those unvaccinated people, then you are at a much much greater risk," Mr Andrews told reporters in Melbourne.

"I'm not pleased to have to say this but it is the science of it, the data, the facts."

The ACT recorded 30 new cases on Sunday with its lockdown due to end on Friday.

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