UAE: Routine Covid PCR tests must for students as 100% in-person schooling resumes in Abu Dhabi

Physical distancing requirements will be lifted inside classrooms as more rules are eased



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By A Staff Reporter

Published: Wed 6 Apr 2022, 4:19 PM

Last updated: Wed 6 Apr 2022, 10:27 PM

All students must return to in-classroom learning in Abu Dhabi schools from the new term. They must present a negative Covid-19 PCR test result issued within 96 hours on the first day of their return to school.

Students can be exempted if they present an attested ‘high risk’ medical report that confirms their inability to attend school in person. Students showing Covid-19 symptoms are exempted as well.

According to the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek), routine Covid PCR tests would apply to unvaccinated and vaccinated students and staff:

Unvaccinated students: Those aged 16 and above can return to school, but must produce a negative PCR test result every seven days.

Vaccinated students: Those aged 16 and above must undergo PCR tests every 14 days, and show their green status on Al Hosn App to enter schools. The same testing routine and requirements apply for those with medical exemption validated on Al Hosn App.

Students aged below 16: PCR test validity remains 30 days.

Free tests are available at Seha drive-through and private medical centres. Parents have been advised to contact the centres to confirm the availability of a free test for students. Students aged below 12 may opt for a free saliva test at dedicated centres, a list of which is available on the Adek website.

Al Hosn Green Pass requirements will apply to all school visitors, while unvaccinated visitors will be required to present a negative PCR test result issued within 48 hours.

Covid rules eased

Physical distancing requirements will be lifted inside classrooms in time for the new term. This comes weeks after the requirement was lifted in outdoor open areas.

Students in grades 1-12 are required to wear face masks inside. Wearing one is optional in outdoor areas.

The updated protocols also remove classroom and bubble closure requirements, with a three-day school-level closure only taking place if 15 per cent of its student body test positive at the same time. Following the completion of closure period, close contact students must adhere to the testing schedule, while students who tested positive continue distance learning till the completion of their isolation procedures.

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Close contacts

Students, teachers and staff who come in close contact with a confirmed positive case will be required to test on days one and seven or when they start showing symptoms. Earlier in March, quarantine requirements were removed for the same categories.

Inspection visits to continue

Adek confirmed its inspection and compliance teams will continue regular visits to private and charter schools across the emirate to ensure the health and safety of all students.

sahim@khaleejtimes.com


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