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Dubai: Children at schools in the UAE are no longer required to wear masks, after the National Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) announced relaxations in COVID-19 restrictions earlier this week.

In a detailed announcement at a press conference on September 26, NCEMA announced new COVID-19 rules for various sectors in the UAE, including the education sector.

Here is all you need to know about the rules your children are required to follow as per the new protocol.

Face masks become optional

In the announcement, NCEMA highlighted three major updates to the COVID-19 protocol for the education sector:

1. Precautionary measures will be implemented in line with the national education protocol.
2. Wearing face masks in open and closed spaces is now optional.
3. The Green Pass system will be applied as previously announced.

The protocol came into effect from September 28.

What is the National Education Protocol?

The national protocol for operating educational establishments for the 2022-2023 academic year was announced by NCEMA on August 23, ahead of school opening.

As part of the national protocol, all students were allowed to attend classes, including those who are vaccinated for medical reasons or with medical exemption.

Other COVID-19 restrictions were also eased, including cancelling social distancing measures inside facilities, with schools and colleges allowed to implement measures as per their discretion.

What happens if a student tests positive?

The protocol for close contacts was also updated by NCEMA in the announcement on September 23, where those who have tested positive were required to isolate for a period of five days, whether at home or at an institution.

If someone in your family tests positive, and you were in close contact, the process now is to take a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test if symptoms appear.