All pupils in Abu Dhabi private schools return to in-person classes next week

Physical distancing in indoor areas scrapped but masks remain, emirate's education authority says

All Abu Dhabi private school pupils will return to face-to-face learning next week, said the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge, the emirate’s education authority.

Distance learning will no longer be an option at the emirate's private schools, but pupils can be exempted if they have an attested "high risk" medical report that confirms their inability to attend school in person.

Children return to school next week after the spring break for the last term of the current academic year.

Physical distancing measures in indoor areas have also been removed and unvaccinated pupils aged 16 and above can now return to school but have to provide a negative PCR test result every week.

Pupils and teachers who are close contacts of a Covid-19 case will have to take tests on days one and seven.

Adek made the announcements in a circular sent to all private and charter schools.

The new announcement came just weeks after Adek removed physical distancing requirements in outdoor areas for the second term.

Most schools in the country have the spring break until April 8 and pupils will return for classes on April 11, the first working day of the week.

Pupils in grades 1-12 will be required to wear face masks in indoor areas.

PCR test result validity will be 14 days for vaccinated pupils above 16 years of age, teachers, and staff, and 30 days for children below 16 years old.

The full return to in-classroom education will exclude pupils exempted on medical grounds and those showing Covid-19 symptoms, or when the school shifts to distance learning owing to closure requirements.

All pupils must present a 96-hour negative PCR test result on the first day of their return to school.

Free tests are available at Seha drive-through centres and private medical centres, and parents have been advised to contact the centres to confirm the availability of a free test for children.

Pupils aged below 12 may opt for a free saliva test at dedicated centres detailed on the Adek website.

The updated protocols remove classroom and bubble closure requirements, with a three-day school-level closure occurring only if 15 per cent of the student body test positive at the same time.

On completion of the closure period, close contact children must adhere to the testing schedule, while pupils who test positive will continue distance learning until they have completed their isolation.

Updated: April 06, 2022, 1:31 PM