Abu Dhabi pupils and teachers must present negative Covid-19 tests before January school return

Children aged 12 and over and school staff are required to take Covid-19 tests ahead of the new term

Private school pupils aged 12 and above must present negative Covid-19 tests before being allowed to return to classrooms in Abu Dhabi on January 3.

School staff and teachers must also prove they are free of the virus ahead of the resumption of in-person lessons following the Christmas break.

Children with special needs who will return to classes are exempt from taking the test.

The safety measures were announced by Abu Dhabi's Department of Knowledge, the emirate's private schools regulator, on Monday.

Covid-19 PCR tests will be provided free of charge on a specific date for each school, from December 21 to December 31, at certain screening centres operated by Abu Dhabi's public health operator, Seha.

Adek sent private and charter schools across the emirate PCR testing schedules to ensure pupils, teachers and staff can get the free test done on time.

To get the free test, a valid Emirates ID and a dedicated school code must be presented at the testing centre.

Parents can contact schools to get the code, location, time and date details.

Adek is testing pupils before the new term to ensure a safe return to school.

Pupils, teachers and staff who decide to take the PCR test at an alternative date or location may do so at a private or public healthcare facility at their own expense, in which case the test must be taken from December 21 onwards.

Adek said periodic testing will continue for teachers and school staff.

Schools across Abu Dhabi closed their doors for several months in March as part of efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus.

A staggered return to in-person lessons was implemented for the start of the new academic year in late August.

Most pupils aged between four and 11 returned to schools on August 30.

In November, authorities announced pupils in all other age groups would be allowed to go back to classrooms for the start of the new term in January.