Abu Dhabi: Covid tests mandatory for all private and charter school students
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Abu Dhabi: Covid tests mandatory for all private and charter school students

Abu Dhabi: Covid tests mandatory for all private and charter school students

Students below 12 can avail free Covid-19 PCR tests at any private or public testing center across Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi schools

Officials in Abu Dhabi have confirmed that regardless of age or vaccination status, all private and charter school students, including students of determination, must produce a negative nasal PCR or saliva test not older than 14 days before they return to their campus.

The announcement was made by the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) on Wednesday following the back-to-school protocols that were released recently by the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA UAE)

ADEK confirmed that free Covid-19 PCR tests will be provided to students above 12 years old and school staff at designated testing centers on a specific date for each school.

The education regulator in Abu Dhabi has already sent all private and charter Schools a PCR testing schedule to ensure students, teachers and staff receive their Covid-19 PCR test on time. Parents have been instructed to contact their child’s schools to obtain their school code, testing center location and testing date as per the schedule provided by ADEK.

Alternatively, students aged 12 and over, as well as school staff, can opt to get a PCR test at any private testing center of their choice and at their own cost.

Meanwhile, students below 12 and students of determination can avail a free Covid-19 pre-entry PCR test at any private or public testing center across Abu Dhabi, with a choice of a saliva test as an alternative to the nasal PCR test. These students must present their valid Emirates ID and specify to the medical staff that they are getting the back-to-school pre-entry test at the testing center.

ADEK also noted that as student’s may have varying school start dates, depending on their school’s reopening model – alternating days or alternating weeks – they must ensure they have a valid 14-day negative PCR test result prior to their first day of physically attending school. The 14-day test result must remain valid throughout the first month of their return to school, it added.

ADEK also confirmed that they are working with authorities in the emirate and will announce routine PCR testing schedule and frequency for staff and students in due course.

According to the NCEMA protocol published earlier this week, unvaccinated students from the age of 12 and over must undergo weekly PCR tests if they attend classes on their campuses. Vaccinated students over 12, must undergo a PCR test every month.

Read: UAE: Weekly PCR tests for unvaccinated children aged above 12, distance learning to remain optional

Dubai’s education regulator, the Knowledge and Education Authority (KHDA) has meanwhile confirmed that students who are returning to campus across private schools in Dubai and are above the age of 16 are not mandated to take the Covid-19 vaccine. Students who do not wish to receive the jab are not obliged to submit a negative Covid-19 PCR test as well, added the KHDA. Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management has said that all private schools in the emirate must end their distance learning programmes by October 3.

Read: Covid-19: Dubai’s KHDA issues updated protocols for students returning to campus

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