All school students across Abu Dhabi are required to return to in-classroom learning for the new term. According to protocols issued by authorities, students are required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result issued within 96 hours on the first day they return to school.
Furthermore, students will be exempted from attending in-person classes if they present an attested ‘high risk’ medical report confirming their inability to participate in physical classes. Also, students with COVID-19 symptoms are exempted from attending the school for in-person learning.
The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) added routine COVID-19 PCR tests would be required for unvaccinated and vaccinated students and staff.
Unvaccinated students: Students and staff aged 16 and above are allowed to return to school, but must present a negative PCR test result every seven days.
Vaccinated students: Those aged 16 and above are required to undergo PCR tests every 14 days. They will be asked to show their green status on Al Hosn App to enter schools. People with medical exemption validated on Al Hosn app are also required to undergo the same testing routine and green status system.
Students aged below 16 will be required to conduct PCR test every 30 days.
SEHA is providing free PCR tests at its drive-through and private medical centres. The Adek has advised parents to contact the centres to confirm the testing availability in order to get a free test for students. Adek has also noted that students aged below 12 can opt for a free saliva test provided by a number of dedicated centres. List of centres providing PCR testing and saliva tests across Abu Dhabi is available on the Adek website.
School visitors including parents are also required to present green pass on their Al Hosn app and unvaccinated visitors are needed to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result issued within 48 hours.
COVID-19 rules eased
The authorities has also eased COVID-19 rules, including lifting of physical distancing requirements inside classrooms when the new term will begin. Earlier, physical distancing rules were removed for students in outdoor open areas. At the same time, students are required to wear face masks inside classrooms. However, it is optional to wear a face masks in outdoor areas.
As per the updated protocols, classroom and bubble closure requirements have also been removed. Subsequently, a three-day school-level closure will take place if 15 percent of its student body test positive for COVID-19 at the same time. After completing the closure period, close contact students are required to comply with the testing schedule while students who tested positive will continue with remote learning till the isolation procedures are complete.
Students, teachers and staff coming in close contact with a confirmed infected person are required to conduct PCR test on days one and seven and if they experience any symptoms.
Inspection visits to continue
Meanwhile, Adek has confirmed that it will continue to send inspection and compliance teams to private and charter schools across the emirate to ensure that schools are adhering to protocols to maintain the health and safety of all students.
SOURCE: Khaleej Times