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Students at the COVID test centre in the Mughaider area of Sharjah. Students all across the UAE went back to schools for in-classroom learning from Sunday. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Sending children back to school after the summer has always involved a certain degree of preparation, what with uniforms, books and stationery to take care of. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, however, there are a lot more things that parents have to look at before physically sending children to school. While some of them are one-time tasks, others could be a daily affair.

The following checklist is a quick guide on the many COVID-19 aspects parents should consider.

One-time requirements:

COVID-19 vaccination: Schools across the UAE, except Dubai’s private schools, require children aged 16 years and older to be fully vaccinated before entering the school premises. Are your children accordingly vaccinated, and does the Al Hosn app confirm this status?

PCR test results: Students must present negative PCR-test results to enter all schools except Dubai’s private institutions. In Abu Dhabi, this requirement applies to students of all ages, whereas it applies to students aged at least 12 years in Sharjah. What does your child’s school require, and if you are sending your child back to school, have you received the results and shared them with their school?

Reopening model: Some schools will choose reopening models that do not involve children physically attending school every day. What is your child’s school offering and what have you opted for? Based on this, which are the days that your child will be attending classes in school? Remember, Dubai private schools will require all students to attend school in person from October 3 onwards.

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Parents and students check out stationery at a store in Dubai. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Post-travel requirements: If you have returned from abroad, ensure that you have completed all quarantine and test requirements mandated for children in your emirate of residence and submitted all required forms to your child’s school.

Medical risk undertaking: If your child has special needs or certain conditions, but you still want him/her to return to school, then make sure you have submitted the medical risk undertaking form, physician’s letters and other risk assessment forms.

Students and parents check out school uniforms at a store in Dubai. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Daily check list:

Check your children every morning for COVID-related symptoms and keep them home if they are unwell. Watch out for symptoms such as fever, cough, bodyache, fatigue, shortness of breath, runny nose, sore throat, diarrhoea, nausea, headache and loss of taste or smell.

Ensure that your child is wearing a mask before leaving the house and is carrying more than one spare mask.

Ensure that your child is carrying a personal hand sanitiser.

Make sure to send a filled water bottle with your child and pack some healthy meals because they will not be getting a meal from the school canteen.

Make sure your child has packed all the required stationery and books for their personal use, including items that should not be shared. Schools may offer fewer shared resources during this time.

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— If your child had PE classes on the day, make sure that they are wearing the right uniform and carrying any required gear.

— If one or more of your children test positive for COVID-19, inform the school as soon as possible to ensure effective contact tracing.

— If your children have directly come into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, please follow the isolation guidelines mandated by the health authorities.