Children and teenagers aged 18 years and under will be able to create a friends bubble to allow home visits provided the adults in their homes are fully vaccinated, as part of an easing of restrictions for the school holidays.
From noon Tuesday, September 21, people aged 18 years and under in stay-at-home areas of concern in NSW, including Orange, will be able to create a bubble of three friends.
They will be able to visit each other's homes for play, activities or to hang out.
Each child is allowed to have two designated friends come to their house however, they have to be the same two friends, which will create a three-person friends bubble.
All people older than 18 years in all three households must be fully vaccinated and the friends must reside within five kilometres of each other or in the same Local Government Area.
If parents/carers are dropping children off, they must not stay to interact with other parents or carers.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the state's strong vaccination rate allowed the government to make the change.
"Parents and children have had a difficult few months, trying to balance both work, often from home, as well as home schooling," Ms Berejiklian said.
"This change will hopefully make a big difference for families during the school holidays and allow young children and teenagers to catch up and reconnect with their friends."
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the latest changes are aimed at giving children more opportunities to be together and balances COVID safety with their mental health and wellbeing.
Minister for Education and Early Childhood Sarah Mitchell said this change would also benefit older students, allowing them to create a study bubble ahead of the HSC.
"Year 12 students have had a stressful few months, and with the HSC approaching, a study bubble is a great idea to help students maintain motivation, receive support from a classmate and continue their preparation for the upcoming exams," Ms Mitchell said.
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