Abu Dhabi issues revised safety rules for private school students

Abu Dhabi issues revised safety rules for private school students

Abu Dhabi authorities have updated COVID-19 safety protocols for unvaccinated students aged 12 and above attending in-person classes in private schools across the emirate. As per the updated protocols, a routine seven-day negative PCR test result in mandatory for unvaccinated students to attend on-site classes across schools.

Furthermore, for fully vaccinated pupils, the authorities have mandated a negative PCR test every after 30 days to allow them to attend in-person lessons. Parents have been informed about the revised protocols that came into effect this month.

According to the rules, all students aged 16 and above are required to be fully vaccinated in order to attend in-person learning in schools, while unvaccinated pupils without a medical exemption certificate will not be allowed at the campuses.

In addition, students aged 11 and below are also required to submit a negative PCR result valid for 30 days for attending on-site classes. Fully vaccinated employees at the schools who have taken both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine along with a booster dose are also required to present a negative PCR test result every 30 days.

Earlier, the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) had stated that pupils aged 3-15 years do not require vaccination to attend in-person teaching in classrooms. However, students aged 16 and above are mandated to be vaccinated with both doses. They must attend in-classroom teaching at least 28 days after receiving the second dose of a UAE-approved vaccine.

Meanwhile, students with vaccination exemption are allowed to attend in-person classes by showing verified certificates on their Al Hosn app or an official letter from a Department of Health-Abu Dhabi (DoH)-authorised vaccination provider such as SEHA or Mubadala Health.

Speaking about the development, Anna Pagdiwalla, Principal of Mayoor School in Abu Dhabi, clarified that all parents have been informed about the updated rules for the month of October. Adek has also organised special medical teams to visit schools every two weeks to conduct PCR tests for pupils for free.

“All our students above the age of 16 have been vaccinated. A reasonable number of the rest of the students who are eligible for the vaccine have also been administered the jab,” she said.

An official from Al Basma British School confirmed that students aged 16 and above have received the vaccination and over 55 percent of the rest of the age groups have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Earlier, the department had announced the provision of free COVID-19 PCR tests to students above 12 years old as well as school staff at designated testing centres on a specific date for every school in the emirate. Private school pupils resumed in-person classes on campuses for the new academic year from August 29. As per the protocols, all schools are mandated to submit daily compliance self-check reports to education authorities in the emirate for students attending physical classes at campuses. Any school failing to comply with the protocols will be fined up to Dh250,000.

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