Covid in UAE: Outdoor masking, social distancing rules dropped for Abu Dhabi students

Several other pandemic restrictions have been eased for pupils in the capital


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Published: Wed 9 Mar 2022, 2:24 PM

Last updated: Wed 9 Mar 2022, 6:43 PM

Pupils in Abu Dhabi schools are now allowed to take off the face masks when they go outside to play or do other activities, according to new changes in the Covid-19 protocols for schools.

In a recent circular issued to private schools on Wednesday, the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) said physical distancing was also optional for pupils in outdoor spaces.

The new rules have been implemented following the approval by the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee.

Previously, face masks were mandatory in all areas of the school and pupils had to maintain social distancing as a precautionary measure to control the spread of Covid-19.

Under the new measures, pupils in grade-2 and above must still wear face masks while indoors, but they can remove them while outside in the school compound.

Here is the list of relaxed measures at schools. These are also applicable at nurseries:

- Physical distancing now optional in outdoor spaces.

- Wearing of masks is optional in outdoor spaces.

- All field trips have resumed, but schools have to follow precautionary measures of the place they are visiting.

- All school sports activities and competitions can resume for students of all ages (schools to follow the reduced risk mitigation controls).

-In-school events and activities can resume with a capacity not exceeding 90 per cent (current entry requirements apply).

- School buses can now operate at 100 per cent capacity.

As for quarantine for close contacts, Adek had previously informed schools of the removal of quarantine requirements, while the below testing requirements still apply:

- Close contact students below 18 years old: No quarantine; students must test on days 1 and 4

- Close contact students aged 18 and above as well as teachers and staff: No quarantine, must test every day for the first five days following close contact with a confirmed case.


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