Back to school in UAE: Dubai students do not need PCR tests to return, says KHDA

Other emirates announce Covid safety rules for kids returning to classes


Nandini Sircar

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Published: Fri 26 Aug 2022, 5:53 PM

Last updated: Fri 26 Aug 2022, 10:43 PM

Students in Dubai do not require producing a PCR negative test upon their return to school after the two-month long summer break.

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), in its latest guideline, has stated that there is no Covid-19 testing requirement this year.

The circular sent to schools also stipulates that Covid-19 patients (students) must be isolated for 10 days while social distancing rules and face masks in indoor areas continue to be mandatory.


Nargish Khambatta, Principal GEMS Modern Academy, Dubai and Vice President, Education GEMS Education, says, “Schools in Dubai are no longer required to make PCR testing mandatory for staff and students above the age of 12, nor to have their vaccination certificates ready as proof of vaccination. PCR tests are not even required for parents and guests, and neither are temperature checks. Our staff have been in school for almost a week now and are in good health.”

She adds, “Masks will continue to be part of our school’s first line of defence. While they are mandated indoors, they are not necessary to be worn outdoors – this will be useful, especially for days when the heat index will be conducive for outdoor play. Regular sanitisation, especially for high-touch, high-traffic areas, will continue. Social distancing is recommended but not mandated, and as educators, we particularly like this recommendation - schools will take sensible precautions to keep their communities safe without the worry of a ‘fine’ culture.”

But rules in other emirates are different, with students having to undergo a PCR test to return to class on the first day of the academic year/term.

Abu Dhabi

Abhilasha Singh, Principal, Shining Star International, Abu Dhabi, says, “We are super excited to welcome our students back to school. The new PCR mandate by ADEK is the requirement of 96 hours PCR negative for all staff and students above 12 years. The Al Hosn app should be green for parents and other visitors to enter the school premises.”



Dr Arogya Reddy Ambassador School Sharjah says, “SPEA mandates that children who are 12 and above need to produce a negative PCR test valid for up to a maximum period of 96 hours. Quarantine rules for Covid positive patients are more or less the same. Asymptomatic close contacts will remain in quarantine for three days. Parents must show the green pass if they wish to enter the school.”

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