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Coronavirus: Can B.C. high-school students leave school at lunch?

Last Updated Sep 16, 2020 at 1:50 pm PDT


Each district sets its own lunch policies with guidance from province

Langley schools have banned food delivery to schools

In Surrey and Vancouver, students can leave school grounds during staggered lunch breaks

NEWS 1130 is working hard to get you the information you need about education in B.C. during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are responding to your questions in a segment we call NEWS 1130 Gets Answers.


Sarb asked: “Will high-school students be permitted to leave school property for their lunch breaks as they have in the past?”


Most high schools won’t be able to enforce a policy that requires students to stay in school during breaks or lunch time, and they will not be able to physically prevent a student from leaving school property in order to get a bite.

But the rules around this for students will depend on each district.

In Langley, schools are asking students to bring food from home and eat it in the cafeteria. Ordering food through delivery services is banned.

In some cases, schools may offer students access to school-made lunches through limited cafeteria service or meal programs. Those students who must leave school grounds during lunch would be required to use designated entrances and exits.

Most students will face some big changes when it comes to enjoying their lunch breaks.

Usually high schools across the province have one designated lunch time enjoyed by all students, but because of the physical distancing measures suggested by the province and various school boards, the traditional timings of lunch will change.

For example, in both Vancouver and Surrey, lunch breaks will be staggered and students will be able to leave the school grounds during their designated time.

Schools are asking students to practice physical distancing when interacting with people outside their learning group and while walking to and from school, including during break times.

Some schools have made it possible for students to better follow physical distancing rules by opening up classrooms and other areas at lunch.

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