Push to simplify COVID rules for boarders

·1-min read

The federal government wants nationally consistent rules for 23,000 boarding school students navigating coronavirus-induced border closures.

A draft plan to simplify arrangements for students, particularly those from remote Indigenous communities, will be referred to the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee.

It sets out principles for states and territories to consider when creating their respective border rules.

The plan has been spearheaded by Regional Education Minister Bridget McKenzie following distressing accounts of students being separated from their families.

"Stories have included a teenager left to suffer agonising mental health issues while their families were denied permission to travel across state borders to them," the minister said on Tuesday.

"I have heard of students who have, or are considering leaving school, even in years 10 or 12, because they feel they can no longer cope with the isolation and anxiety caused by being separated from their loved ones."

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