The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Syed Shayaan Bakht, Staff Reporter
A huge rush for PCR tests for children have been reported in several centres in the country ahead of school reopening on Sunday.
The UAE health ministry mandates that a PCR test is must for all school students, if not exempted by the authorities.
Parents have been requesting for more facilities to conduct the tests most neighborhoods of the country.
A call for schools to organise PCR tests for its students have also been heard among the parents community.
The authorities said that regardless of the age group or vaccination status, the updated procedures require all students, including students of determination, to submit a negative test result with a validity period of no more than 14 days to be able to enter school on the first day of the new school year.
The excluded students from vaccination based on official medical report will be allowed to attend with the need to present a COVID-19 PCR test weekly, otherwise, they can benefit from the distance learning option.
The government announced that all students of all educational levels would be required to obtain a negative PCR test result of no more than 96 hours when they start studying in educational facilities at the beginning of the academic year.
The same procedures apply to teachers, administrators and third-party contractors.
The PCR test rules for students:
—The authorities explained that the age group 4-12 years must conduct (PCR) test or saliva examination monthly, whether they are vaccinated or not.
—Distance learning is available to them as well.
—The unvaccinated students from 12-18 years will be given a period of 30 days, starting from the first school day to take the vaccine. During this period, all vaccinated and unvaccinated students of this age group must present a PCR test every two weeks.
—After 30 days, all students aged 12 years and above who received two doses of the vaccine and completed 14 days from the second dose, will have to conduct a PCR test monthly, Al Dhaheri added.
—As for the unvaccinated students 12-18 years and those who are excluded from vaccination, must conduct PCR test weekly.
—The distance learning option will be available to them and to all age groups, whether they are vaccinated or not.
—The academic and administrative staff and service providers must receive at least two doses of the vaccine, as they can start duty in educational facilities after 14 days from the second dose with the application of the green passage protocol to enter the facility.
—With regard to organizing events in educational facilities, they will be allowed with a commitment to applying all precautionary and preventive measures, applying the green passage protocol to join the event, and presenting a negative PCR test result by each attendee.
—A free COVID-19 test will be provided to students in Abu Dhabi who are aged 12 and over and school staff at specific centers and dates for each school.
—The Department of Education and Knowledge in Abu Dhabi had sent to private schools and charter schools in various regions of Abu Dhabi a timetable for Covid-19 examinations to ensure that students, teachers and school staff benefit from free examinations in a timely manner.
The health authorities said, “Strict measures are being considered to restrict the movement of unvaccinated individuals and to implement preventive measures such as restricting entry to some places and having access to some services, to ensure the health and safety of everyone."
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