All Abu Dhabi private schools back to in-class teaching

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All private schools in Abu Dhabi will return to face-to-face learning next week.

That's according to the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), which said students must return to the classroom, although exemptions can be granted if pupils present an attested "high risk" medical report.

Schools will also be given the option to lift physical distancing requirements in classrooms, with students in grades 1-12 required to wear face masks.

Unvaccinated students aged 16 and above can now return to school upon providing a negative PCR test result every seven days, while all students must present a 96-hours negative COVID-19 test result on the first day of their return to school.

Free tests are available at SEHA drive-thru and private medical centres with parents advised to contact to confirm test availability. Students aged below 12 may opt for a free saliva test at dedicated centres detailed on ADEK website.

On return, all vaccinated students aged 16 plus, teachers and staff will need to undergo PCR tests every 14 days and show their green status on Al Hosn App to enter schools. PCR test validity remains 30 days for students aged under 16. 

Following the latest announcement, students, teachers and staff who come in close contact with a confirmed positive case will be required to test on day one and day seven or when they start showing symptoms. Earlier in March quarantine requirements were removed.

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 the closure period, close contact students must adhere to the testing schedule, while students who tested positive will continue distance learning until the completion of their isolation procedures.

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