Students in NSW and Queensland are back in classes this morning.
Roads were busier than they have been for months, after students were told to try and avoid public transport.
Hundreds of extra transport staff, including security and marshalling officers, were on duty in Sydney this morning as some people also returned to work.
Under the new rules, a maximum of 12 passengers are allowed on a NSW bus at any one time, while trains are limited to 32 people per carriage and up to 45 people are allowed on ferries.
NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance said staff will be monitoring social distancing on public transport and warned stations could be closed if they become too busy.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 900,000 school students used the transport network to get to school and 110,000 of those caught public transport.
School students and the vulnerable were to be given priority.
However, there were no delays reported by Transport NSW.
Returning to the classroom full-time in NSW comes two months after COVID-19 restrictions forced around 800,000 children in the state to study remotely.
It is compulsory for NSW children to be back in classes.
Some schools were taking children’s temperatures at the gate and offering hand sanitiser.
Some independent and Catholic schools also went back today, while others are working towards a June 1 return date.
Mr Constance urged commuters not to become complacent when using public transport.
“I think that the risk at the moment is because everything’s going back to normal, I think there’s a lost complacency that could start to creep in here and we’re still in the middle of a global pandemic,” he told Today.
“We don’t want people sick and dying and transport networks are risky given the number of people.”
“Roads will be busy so please be patient, particularly in and around school zones.
“The 40km/h limit applies. But people will need to be extra vigilant because there’s going to be that many kids that will be driven to school.”
Meanwhile, students in grades two to 10 are also back at school in Queensland.
Parents were also urged to drive their children to school or accompany them by foot as they walk to the school gates.
Start times were staggered slightly to avoid too many parents and students lingering at the front fence.
And once the kids are inside, they will be asked to wash their hands several times throughout the day.
It is expected that some Queensland parents may choose to keep their children at home because of medical concerns, but they are warned they then need to take responsibility for their learning.
Help from the school will be provided if they need to stay home due to medical reasons.
Activities like assemblies, concerts, excursions and camps remain on hold across the nation.
OTHER STATES AND TERRITORIES
Tasmanian kindergarten to Year Six students, along with Year 11 and 12 students, also went back today, before students in Years 7 to 10 join them on June 9.
The ACT is continuing its staged return with students in Years 3, 4 and 10 getting back to school today, leaving only Years 5, 6, 8 and 9 to return on June 2.
Victorian kids are bracing for their return, with children in prep to Year 2 and Years 11 and 12 returning tomorrow, before the remaining cohort goes back from June 9.
Students are already back in school full time in South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
- Reported with AAP