Not again! How Schoolies is set to be off-limits for thousands of students after events were canned last year
- Schoolies to go ahead on Gold Coast this year despite being cancelled in 2020
- However Queensland border is likely to remain shut to Victoria and NSW
- This means thousands of students will be barred from going to the event
- Some who have paid deposits have been offered credit vouchers for the event
Schoolies is set to be off-limits for thousands of NSW and Victorian graduating students who have endured months of home learning.
The Queensland government gave the green light for festivities this year after they were cancelled in 2020 – but the Sunshine State’s border rules remain in place.
Victoria and NSW are designated ‘Red Zones’ by Queensland requiring 14-days of quarantine upon entering the state – about the same duration as the Gold Coast event lasts.
Students from NSW and Victoria will be unable to attend Schoolies on the Gold Coast this year (pictured: attendees in 2019)
Schoolies.com is offering credit vouchers on deposits that some students paid for their trips
Interstate teens who have already booked trips to Schoolies could lose significant amounts of cash, with hundreds of dollars worth of accommodation and flights up-in-the-air.
Major booking site Schoolies.com is giving credit vouchers instead of refunds for deposits on booked trips that have had to be cancelled because of border closures, reports 9News.
The refunds last for three years though – but there are questions about whether graduating students could get in to events in following years with security hired to keep out non-school leavers.
On top of this, NSW has pushed back the HSC exam period to finish on December 3, which directly overlaps with Schoolies schedule to begin on November 20 and wind up on December 11.
One Sydney Dad, Ian, said his 17-year-old daughter booked a Schoolies trip in March this year – before the delta strain hit Australia’s shores.
The teen and her five friends had to cancel the trip last week and have each lost their $150 ‘non-refundable’ deposit despite not having control over border closures.
The company issued a $150 voucher which can be redeemed until 2022 but some students have already begun trying to sell their vouchers online.
‘This company is acting unfairly towards young people, it’s unconscionable,’ Ian said.
‘What use is a credit voucher – they aren’t going to go to schoolies in 2022 a year after they left school.’
Schoolies.com told 9 News their Covid cancellation terms are clearly viewable and were an improvement on standard terms.
The terms state students in lockdown would receive their money back minus the deposit and those who cancelled before October 2 would also receive a credit voucher for the deposit.
Those from states which aren’t locked down will be able to attend the Gold Coast event (pictured: Schoolies attendees in 2019)
On the other side of the country, in closed-off Western Australia, a Schoolies event is expected to go ahead in Dunsborough from November 22 to 26.
However, any student who wishes to attend must have had at least one vaccine dose by November 22, the chief health officer said.
This is despite Pfizer – recommended for this age group – needing at least two weeks to provide protection.
‘This is another sensible step to protect our young people at a big event but also the volunteers, workers and local community as well,’ Health Minister Roger Cook said.
‘There is plenty of time for everyone wishing to attend the event to get vaccinated. Don’t wait before it’s too late.’