A leading infectious disease expert has called for mask rules for school students in the classroom to be eased, as states look to ease indoor mandates.
Many jurisdictions have moved to relax indoor mask rules, with the exception of some high-risk settings such as hospitals, aged care and public transport.
However, some Victorian primary school students will still be required to wear masks while in the classroom after the mandates ease, while masks will still have to be worn by ACT high school students.
Professor Robert Booy said the mask rules being dropped should also extend to school students.
"Why should children have to bear the brunt of public health control of the virus? They have already missed weeks, and even months of school," he told the Nine Network on Thursday.
"Take the masks off. If you are taking them off at workplaces, take them off in schools."
It comes as parents will have more options to get their child vaccinated against COVID-19, with the rollout of the Moderna vaccine for six to 11-year-olds beginning from Thursday.
Australia is the first country in the world to approve Moderna for the age group, with health officials indicating the second brand of vaccine would help boost immunisation rates among children.
Each vaccine will be half the adult dose and children will need two doses spaced eight weeks apart.
A second dose can be given as early as four weeks from the first in certain circumstances, such as if a child is immunocompromised.
The Pfizer vaccine is already available to children aged five to 11 and nearly half of the age group has already had one dose since January when they became eligible.
Prof Booy said safety trials had shown the vaccine to be effective.
"We've already got at least 55 per cent uptake (of the COVID-19 vaccine in children), so if we can keep pushing it up, it will protect the vulnerable in families," he said.
"It's important to know that mRNA vaccines have been used in over 10 million children, and safely and effectively, and that provides some reassurance to parents."
Meanwhile, Aged Care Services Minister Richard Colbeck has urged more visitors to return to aged care facilities, following COVID-19 restrictions limiting visits.
Senator Colbeck has echoed calls from leading peak bodies.
"Personal contact is vital to maintaining the social, emotional and mental wellbeing of residents, reducing their social isolation and loneliness," he said.
"We are also aware of the significant stress on a resident's loved ones due to the extended restrictions over the last two years and new guidance means that visits can become more frequent and supported."
There have been 28 deaths reported on Thursday due to the virus, with 16 in Victoria and 12 in NSW.
Almost 15,000 new infections have already been detected in the past reporting period.
Australian Associated Press
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.