Covid-19: Nurseries to close from 1st March

Nurseries in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah will be closed from tomorrow, March 1st in an effort to contain the spread of Covid-19. The move comes as Dubai and Abu Dhabi requested schools stop holding large 'gatherings' of students.
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This article is part of an editorial series on Covid-19

The Ministry of Education, ADEK (in Abu Dhabi) and the Sharjah Private Education Authority have announced that nurseries must closed from Sunday 1st March.  It is not yet clear when they will reopen.

The move comes as Dubai and Abu Dhabi schools were requested by the KHDA to stop holding large 'gatherings' of students, another measure designed to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The announcement of nursery closures has been met with a mixed response from Nursery Managers.  Speaking to, one Dubai Nursery Manager had this to say;

"We do understand the severity of the current situation and we want to be part of the overall preventive measures put in place in relation to Coronavirus disease. 

We are however concerned that only closing nurseries seems to be very unfair.  By limiting the measure to nurseries only, we give the message to parents that schools are safer for small children despite the fact that in schools they will mix with greater numbers of staff, children and visitors.  I believe this measure stigmatises the services we offer".

The decision will also affect nurseries operating within schools that have a license to operate from the Ministry of Education, as opposed to the KHDA.

Nurseries in schools that only accept children older than 18 months can obtain a license to operate from Dubai's education regulator. Those with children younger than eighteen months need a license from the Ministry of Education (MoE).

Schools in Dubai with a nursery license from the Ministry of Education include Kent College (whose nursery was due to launch tomorrow), Foremarke (Dovecote), Sunmarke and Regent International School. Kings' Nad Al Sheba has also announced its nursery will be closed from March 1st.  

Early Learning Centres are not believed to be affected by the MoE ruling.

Nursery closures are one in a series of measures taken by the UAE government to prevent further spread of Covid-19.  There are 19 confirmed cases of the virus in the UAE.

The closure programme does not currently effect Primary schools, secondary schools or universities.

The move comes as the Abu Dhabi Department Health announced it was enforcing quarantine at two hotels, to ensure the safety and health of guests had potentially come in contact with two Italian participants of the UAE Cycling Tour, who had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Covid-19. It has also imposed home quarantine for others until the completion of the screening and examination in accordance with the medical procedures followed.

Earlier on Friday, the Abu Dhabi Sports Council has cancelled the remaining rounds of the 2020 UAE Tour after the two cases tested positive for coronavirus.

On Friday the Department of Health in Abu Dhabi said all test results back from those quarantined were free of the virus.

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