All students, teachers and school staff returning to school premises in Abu Dhabi from Sunday, August 19 onwards must present a negative PCR-test result. Photo for illustrative purpose only. Image Credit:

Abu Dhabi: All students, teachers and school staff returning to school premises in Abu Dhabi from Sunday onwards must present a negative PCR-test result, the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) announced on Wednesday.

The PCR tests can be taken by providing a nasal swab or saliva sample, the Adek said, and apply to students regardless of age or vaccination status. These requirements for private and charter schools are in keeping with the recent announcement by the Abu Dhabi National Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA).

12 years and older

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. Adek has already sent all private and charter schools a PCR testing schedule to ensure that students, teachers and staff receive their COVID-19 PCR tests on time. Parents may contact schools to obtain their school code, testing centre location and testing date. Alternatively, students and staff can choose to get a PCR test at any private testing centre of their choice, but must bear the cost of the test.

Below 12 years

Students below 12 years of age, as well as Students of Determination, can avail a free COVID-19 pre-entry PCR test at any private or public testing Centre across Abu Dhabi, with a choice of a saliva test as an alternative to the nasal PCR test. 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 centre.

Test every 14 days

As students may have varying school start dates, depending on their school’s reopening model — whether alternating day, alternating week or full return — they must ensure they have a valid 14-day negative PCR test result prior to their first day of physically attending school. Following this, students must take a PCR test every 14 days throughout the first month of their return to school.

A routine PCR testing schedule and frequency for staff and students will also be announced shortly by the Adek.