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Advice as at 26 August 2020: From Department for Education

Celebratory events such as graduation ceremonies, presentation nights, formals and discos, and end-of-year assemblies and concerts are important events on our school and preschool calendars.

Based on current advice and provided that government health advice is strictly followed, these school and preschool events can go ahead.

Please note that circumstances regarding the presence of COVID-19 within South Australia can change quickly. Please be mindful that any planned events may be subject to sudden change or cancellation in accordance with the latest health advice.

Step 3 physical distancing and density requirements

  • Adults must continue physical distancing of 1.5 metres whenever and wherever possible. This requirement does not apply to people who live together.
  • Physical distancing requirements do not apply to children. However, they are still strongly encouraged to maintain good hand hygiene and use non-contact forms of greeting.
  • The maximum number of people who can gather in an enclosed space (capacity) is subject to change. Room density can be calculated online if required.

Once you know the capacity of your event space, you will be able to determine how many guests can attend with each child/student (or, conversely, the size of the space you will need for your expected guest numbers).

In order to control attendee numbers, we strongly recommend that you ask guests to RSVP to your event. A full attendee list (with contact details) is also required to easily allow for contact tracing, if necessary.

Choosing an event space or venue

  • If your event is being held at the school or preschool, this falls outside of the public activity requirement and does not require a COVID-Safe plan. However, there is a voluntary COVID Safe Plan that outlines important considerations to host an event safely on site, and may help with your planning.
  •  If you are holding an off-site event, ask the venue to confirm their capacity and seek their support to plan and manage your event in line with the current health advice and restrictions.
  • All venues which hold public activities will be required to have a COVID-Safe Plan, and depending on the venue sites may require a COVID Management Plan, both of which outline details to manage risks. You should get a copy of the plan/s to ensure risks are being managed for patrons. The venue will also be required to maintain records of attendance, for contact tracing purposes.
  • Holding an event outdoors can further reduce risks associated with large gatherings. However, you also need to ensure that there is an inclement weather option which will accommodate your guests within the current density requirements. Remind attendees that the need to socially distance and maintain good hand hygiene is the same even when attending outdoor celebrations.
  • Ensure student committees responsible for arranging any end of year events receive guidance from a staff member to plan within the current restrictions, and update plans as necessary in response to any changing government health advice.

Event information for attendees

We recommend you include the following details in your event information:

  • A reminder that any person (child/student, staff member, or family member) who is unwell or symptomatic (even mildly) must not attend the school or preschool site or any associated event.
  • The measures you (and if applicable, your venue) are taking to reduce the risks of COVID-19, e.g. adhering to SA Health social distancing requirements, limiting attendee numbers, provision of hand sanitiser and/or handwashing facilities at entrances.
  • What children/students and guests can continue doing to help reduce these risks e.g. not sharing food and drinks, maintaining good hand hygiene, and using non-contact greetings
  •  Total additional guests required for each child / student in order to comply with capacity requirements, pick-up and drop-off arrangements, and RSVP information.

Catering

Communal food and beverage service is not permitted. This includes buffets, salad bars, communal serving platters, roaming cocktail food, and drink dispensers.

  • At events where you might usually provide self-serve refreshments such as a tea and coffee station, consider asking attendees to BYO beverages and snacks.
  •  Individually served or plated meals would be recommended for school formals and dinners. Share platters and cocktail food can be served to tables of people who are part of the same group. Ask your chosen venue for more details about their food service.
  • BBQs and sausage sizzles are only permitted if all adults cooking, serving and/or lining up to be served can practice strict social distancing and hand hygiene at all times. Cooked food must be protected from contamination and stored away from the area that orders are taken, and there is no self-service of condiments (i.e. the person serving the food must apply the condiments). Gloves and tongs should be used by those preparing food.
  • We acknowledge that catering within these requirements is challenging to undertake in schools, and if social distancing cannot be adhered to in school settings this should not occur.

Livestreaming and technology

You might like to consider livestreaming as an alternative to the physical attendance of guests, or to include additional guests (e.g. extended family members) who will not be able to attend due to capacity restrictions.

Alternatively, you may prefer to film the event for an audience to view at their own leisure or consider other creative ways to hold a celebration. For example, filming video messages or a performance by children / students to thank volunteers.

  • Your device will need a strong network/WiFi connection to stream a large live event.
  • You will also need to consider the connection of audio visual (AV) equipment to the device being used to stream the event e.g. video camera and/or microphone.
  • Consider the available privacy settings when choosing a platform to livestream or share footage of your event.

Further information

Please continue to monitor the South Australian Government website www.sa.gov.au/covid-19 and the Eduction Department’s COVID-19 intranet page (if relevant for you) for the most up to date advice for schools and preschools.

Parents and carers with questions about your event will need to contact your school or preschool in the first instance. Families can access more information about COVID-19 arrangements in South Australian government schools and preschools on the Department for Education’s public website at: https://www.education.sa.gov.au/supporting-students/health-e-safety-and-wellbeing/covid-19-coronavirus .

Members of the public can also telephone the SA COVID-19 Information Line on 1800 253 787 between 8.00 am and 5.00 pm, seven days per week for local information and advice about general COVID-19 information for South Australians.