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School term pushed back as Queensland deals with COVID-19 outbreak

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The start of the 2022 school year in Queensland will move from Monday January 24 to Monday February 7 to avoid opening schools during the predicted peak of the Omicron wave and to allow more time for children to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations.

Coronavirus cases have surged in Queensland, with another 18,000 cases reported on Sunday, including 4,320 self-reported Rapid Antigen Tests.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says modelling showed the likely peak of Omicron cases would be in the last week of January and the first week of February.

“This is a common sense move to avoid students heading back to primary or secondary school just as the rapidly rising number of Omicron cases in Queensland hits its peak,” the Premier says.

“As the Chief Health Officer has said, there is no way to completely stop this virus from spreading.

“But we can take steps to protect the community – including our children – as much as possible.

“I know parents are concerned about sending children back to school at a time like this, so I want to assure them that delaying the start of the school year by just two weeks is a sensible solution.

“This is especially important to give more time to vaccinate 5-11 year olds, who only become eligible to be vaccinated tomorrow, Monday 10 January.”

The new term start date of February 7 will apply to all Queensland primary schools, secondary schools, including Catholic and independent, and state delivered and sessional kindies.

Long day care will stay open subject to workforce capacity.