This article is part of an editorial series on Covid-19
By Susan Roberts
Monday 26 September, 2022
26th Sep 2022
The UAE’s National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) announced yesterday on Twitter that a UAE Government media briefing regarding Covid-19 updates will be held today at 5:30pm.
The most recent NCEMA Covid-19 media briefing took place on 23rd August, and detailed back to school protocols, including the continued requirement for students, staff and visitors to wear masks while indoors in educational establishments. NCEMA directives apply to establishments and individuals in all seven emirates across the UAE.
Current School Protocols
NCEMA’s most recent school protocol directives included the following requirements:
- Wearing face masks is mandatory inside closed areas, while students and personnel who have contracted COVID-19 or those suffering from respiratory symptoms are allowed to choose the e-learning and remote work options.
- Students aged 12 and over, as well as teaching and administration staff and services providers, are required to provide a negative PCR test result taken within 96 hours on the first day of school, but without the need for regular testing.
- All students are allowed to attend classes including those who are unvaccinated due to medical reasons or with medical exemption, a PCR test and adhering to the Green Pass system will suffice.
- Social distancing inside facilities has been cancelled and is left to the discretion of each facility, including on buses.
- Temperature checks to screen for Covid-19 of students and employees has been cancelled, providing that anyone with a high temperature must refrain from attending classes, obtain sick leave and provide a negative PCR test result.
Covid-19 Rates in the UAE
Following a spike in Covid-19 infection rates in June and July (hitting 1,000 cases in a day), cases have significantly dropped, with Sunday’s total of 355 being the lowest since May. After the initial few days of the academic year in August, daily rates have remained below 500 throughout September.
Will the requirement to wear masks in school be removed?
Many parents, students and school staff members are awaiting news on the status of mask requirements in schools, with the hashtags #nomoremasks and #removethemasks appearing across social media channels in the UAE in recent weeks. NCEMA has not indicated whether this requirement will be featured in today's briefing.