Outdoor education and wind instruments prohibited while sport is allowed
Ms Modde said the loss of highly trained risk management staff would make it difficult to run the camps next year.
“We are concerned that we will not have an industry when we return to be able to meet the demand. There is a real risk that some of them will close forever,” she said.
Craig Roberts, chief executive of Anglican Youthworks, said government subsidies were dwindling for the school camp industry, which had put many jobs at risk.
The staff included trained chefs and caterers and animators including outdoor guides and educators trained for over two years.
“I have 125 permanent and 100 casual that I had to lay off,” he said.
“The problem is that over the summer we won’t have school camps, which will see the industry with almost no income from June 26 to February 1.”
Mr Roberts said the outdoor education industry generated $7.6 billion in New South Wales in 2018 and employs 77,000 full-time and contract staff.
A spokesperson for the NSW Department of Education said no public schools were allowed to run overnight camps or excursions in line with government health advice to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection .
Outdoor excursions were permitted, but limited to one day, and could only take place indoors if a school group had exclusive use of the venue.
Music programs, bands, ensembles, classes and tuition would only be allowed to continue without wind or brass instruments “as these present a higher risk of transmission”.
“Masks should be worn if playing instruments indoors, but not required if playing outdoors and physical distancing should be maintained at all times,” the spokesperson said. “Singing, chanting, group rehearsal and backing vocals are not permitted.”
The only exception concerns the preparation and evaluation of the HSC.
“We remain in constant discussions with NSW Health about school settings, and will continue to monitor this situation and further ease restrictions where possible,” the spokesperson said.
Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said public schools were in line with health advice.
“Students can still access outdoor education through day trips and COVID-safe excursions,” she said.
“We continue to review our school metrics regularly with NSW Health.”
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