Sydney students return to school for the first time in months

Sydney, Australia, Oct 18 (EFE).- Students in Sydney, the most populous Australian city, returned to face-to-face classrooms Monday after around 90 percent of teachers and other school staff were fully inoculated.

The city, which ended its more than 100 days of quarantine last week after vaccinating over 70 percent of the eligible population, continues with the reopening plan linked to the inoculation drive.

“It is a good day. It is wonderful that we have the students back in the classroom,” New South Wales Education Officer Sarah Mitchell told local Nine News.

According to the reopening plan, schools will start in-person classes in a phased manner.

Kindergarten, year 1, and year 12 students are back in the classroom full-time on Monday. The remaining year groups will follow next week.

The government is easing more restrictions for fully vaccinated adults.

Partially and non-inoculated people will have to complete the vaccination or wait until Dec.1, when relaxations will apply to all.

The authorities Monday also lifted the mandatory use of face masks at workplaces.

However, people will have to wear face covers while traveling on public transport and at shopping centers.

Sports venues are also open but with a capacity limit.

Sydney plans to begin its gradual reopening of international borders on Nov.1.

The plan includes allowing the entry of citizens and permanent residents and their close relatives without quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers.

The state of New South Wales, whose capital is Sydney and which was the epicenter of the third wave of Covid-19 in Australia, reported 265 new local infections and five deaths on Monday.

Authorities in Victoria reported 1,903 community infections and seven deaths.

The capital Melbourne will exit lockdown on Friday once it vaccinates more than 70 percent of the adult population,

Australia has accumulated more than 145,000 infections, including 1,515 deaths, since the start of the pandemic.

The authorities have fully inoculated more than 65 percent of adults, while around 85 percent have received their first vaccination doses. EFE


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