Dubai: Several Dubai schools have asked students and staff to declare their travel history in the last 14 days and their health status as part of the COVID-19 control measures.
Schools have emailed parents a link asking them to complete a ‘Travel & Health Declaration Form’ on Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA) website.
“Dear Parent/Staff, in order to ensure the continuous wellbeing of School community (Students/Staff/Parents), as per the current prevention and control policy of COVID-19, Dubai Health Authority requires you to provide information regarding history of travel in the last 14 days and health status. Please report and update regularly in case of travel,” the form says.
On behalf of students, parents must answer yes or no to any history of travel in the last 14 days; any history of contact with confirmed COVID-19 patient in the last 14 days; any current fever or flu-like symptoms; any PCR [polymerase chain reaction] test done.
The declaration comes as schools reopened on Sunday for the new academic year after they were closed in March because of the pandemic.
Do students have to get tested?
In Dubai, “COVID-19 PCR testing is not mandatory for students without travel history. Only those who show symptoms of COVID-19 are required to take the PCR test”, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) recently updated on its webpage.
KHDA’s latest advisory says: “Students under the age of 12 with a travel history will have to undergo mandatory 14 days’ distance learning from their date of arrival, or provide a negative PCR test result to resume learning on campus.
“However, we recommend the PCR test option is only offered to students whose parents do not have child-care support at home.
“Students above the age of 12 with a travel history will need to present their COVID-19 PCR test results before resuming in-person learning.”
What about school staff?
However, “all school staff members are required to undergo mandatory COVID-19 PCR testing prior to the re-opening of the school for the new academic year/term”.
Around 300,000 students attend more than 200 private schools in Dubai. Many students have chosen to continue with full distance learning for the current term.