Stock School classroom students
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Abu Dhabi: Schools in Abu Dhabi will soon be able to relax measures, including reduced social distancing and mask-wearing protocols, based on their overall vaccination rates, the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee announced on Tuesday.

The relaxation of measures for COVID-19 will take place under the ‘Blue Schools Initiative’, which will rank schools based on vaccination rates. The programme will be implemented from the next school term, and recognises COVID-19 vaccination as the path to recovery and the enhancement of students’ learning and social experiences.

What can change?

Higher vaccinated schools will be able to gradually relax measures, including reduced social distancing requirements, relaxed mask-wearing protocols, increased classroom and school transport capacity, and a return to extra-curricular activities, in-school events and field trips.

How it works

Schools with less than 50 per cent of students vaccinated will be classified as Orange, whereas those with 50 to 60 per cent of students being vaccinated classified as Yellow. Green schools are those that have 65 to 84 per cent of students vaccinated. Finally, in Blue schools, more than 85 per cent of students will have been vaccinated.

Children’s jabs

Free vaccines are available for children at various vaccination centres across Abu Dhabi, including the dedicated children’s vaccination centre at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. Children aged 12 years or more can get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, whereas the Sinopharm jabs are available for children aged three years or more.

The Blue School initiative follows a mandated COVID-19 testing protocol at schools in the emirate this term, with unvaccinated children aged more than 12 years having to undergo COVID-19 screening weekly, in contrast to the monthly tests for other students. In addition, vaccination is currently mandatory at Abu Dhabi schools for children aged 16 years or more who wish to attend classes in person.