All private school pupils in Abu Dhabi to take Covid tests for school return

Pupils under 12 will have the choice of taking saliva test instead of PCR

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All private and charter school pupils in Abu Dhabi must get tested for Covid-19 to be able to return to school, the Department of Education and Knowledge announced on Wednesday.

Vaccinated and unvaccinated pupils as well as disabled children will need to show a negative nasal PCR or saliva test result taken within 96 hours before they can return to in-person classes on Sunday.

Pupils will have to be tested every 14 days in the first month of term.

The same protocols will apply to teachers, administrative staff and third-party contractors.

Pupils 12 and older as well as school staff will be tested free at designated centres on a specific date for each school.

Parents can contact the schools to obtain their school code, testing centre location and date as per the schedule provided by Adek, the regulator for private schools in the emirate.

Pupils under 12 and disabled children can get a free pre-entry PCR test at any private or public testing centre in Abu Dhabi.

They have the option of taking a saliva test as an alternative to a PCR test.

Private school pupils in Abu Dhabi who are 12 and above must take a PCR test every two weeks to return to school, the Department of Education and Knowledge said this month.

Adek will later announce the routine Covid-19 testing schedule and frequency for staff and pupils.

On Sunday, authorities said pupils in the UAE will have a 30-day grace period to be inoculated against Covid-19 when schools reopen before weekly PCR testing becomes mandatory for unvaccinated children over 12.

After the grace period, vaccinated pupils over 12 will be tested every month, as will schoolchildren between 3 and 12 who have not been inoculated.

It is part of amended Covid-19 regulations designed to ensure that wherever possible, pupils can have in-person lessons when the school year begins on August 29.

Dubai's private schools, which have their own school regulator, are not thought to be affected by the decision.

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Updated: August 31, 2021, 4:50 AM