Tension continues to rise in Victorian families who have students attending NSW schools with the ongoing uncertainty around border restrictions as the coronavirus crisis escalates south of the Murray River.
Albury's Xavier High School is among the NSW-based schools sweating on the response by the NSW government to Victoria introducing stay at home directions for regional Victoria from midnight Wednesday.
On the first day of changes students and teachers were still able to travel into NSW under existing permit conditions, but Xavier principal Gavin Dykes said there was growing anxiety about what the next move from the NSW government would be.
"We're getting lots of questions from parents, students and staff about how they are going to be impacted," he said.
"Whether it is going to be a border closure or how big the bubble is going to be are things playing into peoples' minds.
"We've got no direction yet as to what is occurring."
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The school has 20 staff members who live in Victoria, including HSC subject teachers, in addition to 18 students, who reside in Wodonga and other places.
Cross-border commissioner James McTavish clarified the present rules relating to the tougher restrictions coming into effect in Victoria.
"Under the Victorian stage three, stay at home directions you cannot leave home to go to school unless you can't learn from home," he said.
"But Victorian agencies and Victoria police are the ones responsible for compliance around that public health order.
"When people arrive at the NSW border checkpoint, police are checking for compliance with NSW public health orders, not Victorian.
"NSW police are not legally able to enforce those Victorian stay at home directions.
"In NSW we are awaiting the new public health order, but provisions to access services in NSW are likely to remain unchanged.
"If you are Victorian-based essential services worker your child will still be able to get across the border to attend school.
"But for NSW residents who are sending their children into Victoria, all Victorian schools have gone to remote learning and they should check with their principal about arrangements for their child."
NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell told parliament yesterday she was concerned about Victoria's high daily case numbers.
"The health advice and the public health order can change at any time, but we are focused on working with health to make sure we maintain continuity of learning for students who live in Victoria, but come into NSW," she said.
"We're particularly focused on our year 12 students given we are getting close to trial exams and the HSC."
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