Dubai: Unvaccinated school students aged 12 to 18 will need to do a PCR test on weekly basis in order to attend schools, a senior official confirmed on Thursday.
Dr Saif Al Dhaheri, Official Spokesperson of the National Crisis and Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA), affirmed that a distance learning option, however, will also be available for all age groups, whether vaccinated or not.
Speaking during the weekly government media briefing, Al Dhaheri made it clear that parents are required to download the Al Hosn app for their children to provide proof of their vaccination status and PCR testing records.
Al Dhaheri added that after 30 days of starting the new academic year starts, unvaccinated students under the age of 12 and vaccinated students above the age of 12 will have to take one PCR test a month. Unvaccinated students ages 12 and over will have to undergo a PCR test once a week.
As for the age group from 4 to 12 years, they must do a PCR or saliva test every month, whether vaccinated or not, and distance learning will be made available to them.
He emphasised that all students at all levels are required to provide a negative PCR test valid for 96 hours when starting their school across educational facilities.
“Teaching and administrative staff as well as service providers will only be allowed to resume work across educational facilities after 14 days of taking the second dose of the vaccine while also adhering to the green pass system to enter the facility. Parents will also be subject to the green pass system in order to enter educational facilities,” Al Dhaheri said.
He advised parents of students who are among people of determination to opt for remote learning until each case is medically and separately evaluated by their doctor to know what tests or vaccines are best for them.
Al Dhaheri revealed that organizing events across educational facilities will be allowed, while adhering to all precautionary measures, applying the green pass system, and obligating attendees and participants to obtain a negative PCR test result.
He stated that these protocols may be subject to updates or changes according to the situation in the country, and health authorities are considering adding new age groups that may be required to be vaccinated in the coming period.
As for university, colleges and institutes, only fully vaccinated students will be allowed to attend physically provided that they have spent 14 days at home after taking the second dose. However, excluded categories will be allowed to attend in person provided that they have to do a weekly PCR test, although they are advised to go for distance learning system.
He highlighted the importance of using personal protective equipment and not to exchange them with colleagues, in addition to avoid handshakes.
As for prayer rooms, all Muslim employees and students are required to bring their own prayer rug, while committing to wearing masks during prayer. Prayer rooms will also be cleaned and sterilised after each use.
Each educational facility must allocate an isolation room in accordance with the requirements set by the Ministry of Health and Prevention, and follow the procedures for dealing with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases. They should also follow preventive measures approved by the concerned authorities in the country including physical distancing and wearing masks, in addition to regulating entry and exit of people.