However, primary six students who are preparing for secondary school entrance exams, as well as students of other grades preparing for public examinations may be allowed to go back to school if necessary.
The EDB says that the return to distance learning is necessary "as the situation of COVID-19 remains severe" in Hong Kong.
An EDB spokesman has also appealed to school staff and students to avoid going out, having crowd gatherings and social contacts as well as dining out.
To help alleviate the financial hardship arising from the ongoing suspension of face-to-face classes due to Covid-19, the EDB is awarding another round of grants from the Anti-epidemic Fund ranging from HKD 60,000 - 160,000. All private primary and secondary day schools (including schools under the English Schools Foundation will each receive $80,000.
Schools in Hong Kong have been closed for six months during 2020. Hong Kong was one of the first countries in the world to close its campuses due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Schools were closed from the end of January and did not reopen until four months later from May 20, with many international schools return with a 50/50 split between ‘in school’ and ‘online, at home’ learning.
The Education Bureau then suspended classes again from July 13 and brought forward the start of the summer holiday for all local schools in Hong Kong, following a rise in the number of Covid-19 cases. As the majority of international schools were already on their summer break, this did not affect them immediately. However, schools in Hong Kong remained closed for the start of the 2020-21 academic year and only reopened for half days from September 23. All campuses then closed early ahead of the Christmas break from December 2 for two weeks.