Pupils and parents flocked for PCR tests in Abu Dhabi at the weekend after the government said in-person classes would resume in phases from Monday.
Long queues were reported at Biogenix testing centre in Masdar City after the announcement on Wednesday.
Pupils in government-run schools nationwide will return to in-person learning in phases, with the start date dependent on their year group.
First to return on January 24 will be kindergarten/foundation stage, grades 1-5/years 2-6 and grade 12/year 13, university students and anyone preparing for international exams.
Remote learning for grades 6-11/years 7-12 to continue until January 31, when all years return.
Private schools in Abu Dhabi will also begin a return to in-person lessons from January 24.
All pupils will require a PCR test, taken in the past 96 hours, to enter school buildings. Additional tests will be needed every two weeks.
Thousands of pupils in Sharjah have been studying from home since the start of the spring term.
The emirate’s private education regulator allowed schools to choose whether to resume in-person classes.
Several schools, such as Al Shola Schools Group, which includes Rosary Private School, Pace British School and Sharjah American International School, opted for distance learning in the third week of January after offering a hybrid model of in-person and online teaching for the first two weeks of term.
Many schools are now expected to resume face-to-face lessons for pupils.
In Dubai, many schools opened for in-person classes at the beginning of the second term.