Back to school: Abu Dhabi issues guidelines for school bus safety

Strict safety measures were laid down for drivers and operators

Abu Dhabi transport chiefs have set out a series of strict measures governing school transportation.

They detail the rules that must be followed by drivers, schools and operators.

The rules were published by the Department of Municipalities and Transport and the Integrated Transport Centre, the entity responsible for operating public transport in the emirate.

The rules include ensuring all drivers undergo a Covid-19 test every 14 days, while face masks and gloves must be worn. Physical distancing must be practised on buses – every other seat must be empty with a distance of 2 metres.

Buses can operate at 50 per cent capacity, screens are to be placed between drivers and pupils, and the vehicles must be regularly sterilised.

Al pupils over 6 must wear a face mask and stick to designed seats.

Schools, meanwhile, must ensure drivers and supervisors are free of Covid-19 and ask parents to sign a pledge agreeing to inform children about the virus and safety measures.

Drivers and supervisors must download Al Hosn smartphone app and prevent pupils who show any Covid-19 symptoms from boarding the bus.

Other measures such as checking temperatures, sanitisation and awareness campaigns are also detailed in the rules.

Schools have been closed since March to curb the spread of Covid-19 and safeguard public health.

Hundreds of thousands of pupils across the UAE returned to school on Sunday.

It followed a huge Covid-19 testing drive for teachers, staff and drivers to limit the spread of infection. The authorities have not yet said how often teachers will be tested for the virus.

Abu Dhabi and Sharjah are to stagger the return to classes, while in Dubai all schools can open from Sunday.