Saturday, October 23, 2021

‘Friends Bubble’ of three children allowed during school holidays

Children and teenagers aged 18 years and under will be able to create a ‘friends bubble’ to allow home visits provided the adults in their homes are fully vaccinated, under an easing of restrictions for school holidays.

From 12 noon today, 21 September, people aged 18 years and under who live in stay-at-home areas and areas of concern across NSW will be able to create a bubble of three friends and visit each other’s homes for play and activity, subject to the following conditions:

  • Each child is allowed to have two designated friends come to their house. These two friends must always be the same, creating a three-person “friends bubble”;
  • All people older than 18 years in all the households must be fully vaccinated;
  • The friends must reside within 5km of each other or in the same LGA; and
  • If parents/carers are dropping children off, they must not stay to interact with other parents or carers.
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Premier Gladys Berejiklian said our strong vaccination rate has allowed us to make this change to support the wellbeing of young people.

“Parents and children have had a difficult few months, trying to balance both work, often from home, as well as home schooling,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“This change will hopefully make a big difference for families during the school holidays and allow young children and teenagers to catch up and reconnect with their friends.”

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said at all times, the government has tried to strike a balance between the best possible health outcomes, whilst easing the pressures on families and individuals living in lockdown.

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“These latest changes are aimed at giving children more opportunities to be together and balances COVID safety with their mental health and wellbeing,” Mr Hazzard said.

Minister for Education and Early Childhood Sarah Mitchell said this change would also benefit older students, allowing them to create a study bubble ahead of the HSC.

“Year 12 students have had a stressful few months, and with the HSC approaching, a study bubble is a great idea to help students maintain motivation, receive support from a classmate and continue their preparation for the upcoming exams,” Ms Mitchell said.

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