Parents and caregivers in NSW have been asked to hold their children back from school if they have recently travelled to China amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Parents have been asked to keep their kids at home when school returns on Wednesday if their children have been in China within the past 14 days.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the measure – which is voluntary – was one of the toughest calls he has ever made in government.
The decision was made after some schools approached the government with concerns about allowing potentially-exposed children to return to class.
Some NSW private schools had earlier advised students who have travelled to China or been in contact with anyone who has been in China in the past fortnight to stay home.
“We are asking parents to support the community by holding their children back from school … this is very much a precautionary decision,” Mr Hazzard told reporters.
“Most of them (parents) would be considering it a reasonable extension of the steps to protect the community.”
A family of four and six others who were being tested for coronavirus in NSW were on Tuesday morning cleared but six new cases are under investigation.
Mr Hazzard earlier on Tuesday said 10 people under investigation on Monday had been cleared but six new potential cases were now being assessed.
There have been four confirmed cases of the potentially deadly coronavirus in NSW.
A 21-year-old UNSW student became the fourth case in NSW and fifth in Australia after she tested positive on Monday.
The woman flew into Sydney Airport on Thursday on the last Australian-bound direct flight out of the central Chinese city of Wuhan – the epicentre of the outbreak.
The student and three men who previously tested positive are being treated at Sydney’s Westmead Hospital.
All four people had either travelled to Wuhan or had contact with someone diagnosed with coronavirus in China.
A Melbourne man in his 50s was also diagnosed and is being treated at the Monash Medical Centre.
Symptoms of the virus include fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath.