School, childcare and COVID-19

Use this page to find out:

  • when to keep your child at home from school or childcare
  • when it's OK to send your child to school or childcare
  • when your child can return to school after being tested for COVID-19

If your child has symptoms

If your child has symptoms of COVID-19 they need to:

They do not to get tested unless they:

  • have a condition that puts them at higher risk
  • live with someone who has a weak immune system

Find out when your child may need a test for COVID-19

If your child is aged 3 months or less, phone your GP for advice

When to keep your child at home from school or childcare

Keep your child at home if they:

When it's OK to send your child to school or childcare

It is usually OK to send your child to school or childcare if they:

  • only have nasal symptoms, such as a runny nose or a sneeze, but otherwise feel well
  • have tested negative and have not had any new symptoms for 48 hours
  • have not had diarrhoea for 48 hours
If your child has a positive test result

If your child tests positive for COVID-19, they need to:

People your child lives with

People your child lives with who are at high risk of illness from COVID-19 should take extra care. There is a higher risk they could get the virus. If they develop symptoms, they should act fast and get a PCR test.

Returning to school or childcare after testing positive

Your child can return to school or childcare when both of these apply:

  • they have not had a high temperature (38 degrees Celsius or over) or other symptoms for 48 hours
  • it has been 7 days since they first developed symptoms

When they stop self-isolating after 7 days, they need to take extra care for another 3 days to reduce the risk of passing COVID-19 on.

To return to school or childcare your child:

  • does not need to do another test
  • does not need to show a negative test result
  • does not need a GP cert or a note from a GP

Children in special education or respite care

If your child is in a special needs school or respite care, a public health doctor will phone you if there is COVID-19 case or outbreak. They will tell you what you and your child need to do.

Related topics

Last updated: 30 June 2022 at 3.45pm