The Western Australia government will stop formal school classes from April 3, to try and halt the spread of COVID-19.
Until then, the government is keeping school gates open but it is encouraging parents to keep their children at home.
“Children of people who need their children to attend school, to enable them to maintain employment and those children in vulnerable families, like children living with grandparents, are encouraged to attend school, ” WA Premier Mark McGowan said.
Formal classes will finish at the end of next Friday, Mr McGowan added.
He said the decision had been “formed on the basis of the best national health advice”.
As of Thursday 2pm (AEDT), WA has 205 cases of the coronavirus. There are 2,793 cases in Australia, with 12 deaths.
“I know many people throughout the community are very scared,” Mr McGowan said.
“These are unprecedented times in our state.”
WA public schools will remain open until April 9, when term one holidays begin.
WA Education Minister Sue Ellery said schools would only provide “supervision” and not teach students who turned up between April 6 to 9.
“We are encouraging everyone who can keep their children at home next week,” Ms Ellery said.
Teachers, education assistants and other school staff are now preparing online lessons for term two distance learning.
Child care will continue as normal, Ms Ellery confirmed.
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