PCR tests mandatory for first day in school

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Students aged 12 and above, and school staff must obtain a negative PCR test with a 96-hour validity before the first day of school.

At a media briefing on Tuesday, the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) listed out COVID-19 health and safety protocols as more than 1 million students and over 65,000 staff return to schools next week. 

They added that there's no need for "periodic PCR checks" unless they show symptoms.

Face-masks will continue to be mandatory for all those in "closed spaces" with the option of remote learning offered to students or staff infected with COVID-19, or those with respiratory symptoms until they get an all-clear medical record.

Social distancing rules in classrooms and buses have be scrapped and will be left to the discretion of each institution.

Thermal checks at schools will no longer be required, but anyone with high temperature must refrain from attending class and provide a sick note if they get a negative PCR test to reenter the campus.

All staff enrolled for the school bus transportation must follow COVID-19 safety protocols, and wear masks and sanitize hands regularly.

All public school students, who are exempted from vaccination due to health reasons, can also return to their classrooms.

Those who are unvaccinated for health reasons can enter university campuses only if they present the Al Hosn green pass.

These guidelines are part of efforts by the authorities to protect the health and safety of the community.

The rules will also apply to schools in Abu Dhabi. The emirate's Department of Education & Knowledge outlined the details in a post on Instagram.

Meanwhile, Dubai's private education regulator, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), is yet to announce its guidelines for the new academic year.

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