30 August, 2020
Covid cancels 'high risk' Schoolies Week
Queensland's Schoolies Week events will not proceed this year.
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young has designated mass gatherings of young people over multiple days ‘high risk’.
That means organised events including beachfront concerts will not be staged.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the decision is unfortunate but inescapable.
“The pandemic means we cannot have mass gatherings,” the Premier said.
“Parents need to know their children’s safety comes first.
“We do not want them contracting or spreading COVID-19.”
The Premier said school-leavers should still celebrate their achievements and take advantage of being able to travel throughout the state.
“Schoolies Week doesn’t have to be just one week,” the Premier said.
“We are Good to Go across Queensland to some of the most beautiful places in the world right here in our own backyard.”
Accommodation providers will be required to register guests as part of their COVID-safe plans.
Gatherings in residences including holiday units will be limited to no more than 10 people state-wide from November 21 to December 11.
Rules for restaurants, pubs and clubs are unchanged.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Health Steven Miles said those heading for end-of-year celebrations will need to make sure they are following the rules.
“No one is saying you can’t celebrate the end of the school year,” the Deputy Premier said.
“Go away with your mates by all means but, sadly, we all have to keep COVID in mind.”
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said Schoolies celebrations would be raised at the national meeting of health officers.
“This is not something that is unique to Queensland,” Dr Young said.
“I feel terribly for this year’s school leavers who have already been through so much.
“But that is the reality of keeping every family safe from this horrible disease.”