Coronavirus: Dubai schools set to open in September, but unknown how, says regulator

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Schools in Dubai are set to open in September, but it is unknown how this will take place, or if plans for reopening will change, the emirate’s private school regulator KHDA said in an update on its website Sunday.

UAE schools were initially closed for four weeks starting from March 8, but authorities later extended the closure until the end of the 2019-2020 academic year. In its place, the UAE has implemented distance learning initiatives for all government and private schools.

“Schools are currently scheduled to open in September, though it‘s still unknown what form this will take or whether that will change,” the KHDA said on its website.

In a separate update, the regulator warned that early learning centers, schools, universities and training institutes are not allowed to provide or exchange any type of paper material with their students, except for textbooks for the remainder of this term. Research has previously suggested that the coronavirus can exist on surfaces for several hours to days after contaminated, depending on the material.

Students can receive new textbooks via an adult, the KHDA said, but both the delivery driver and adult must be wearing masks and gloves during the exchange.

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Dubai easing lockdown

Since the start of the holy month of Ramadan, Dubai has begun easing some of its lockdown procedures. Last week, authorities announced that hotels would be allowed to reopen their private beaches to guests, and that refunds, return of goods and use of fitting rooms in shops would be allowed.

Last month, the emirate announced a shortening of the 24-hour National Sterilisation Program, with individuals across Dubai allowed to leave their homes between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. without a permit. The public are required to strictly follow precautionary measures, which include maintaining social distancing from others while wearing a face mask. Those who do not wear a mask will be fined 1,000 dirhams.

Individuals are also allowed to go outside to exercise for one to two hours each time, with a maximum of three people in one group.

Visiting of relatives is allowed, but restricted to no more than five people per gathering, while high-risk individuals above the age of 60, and those with underlying medical conditions, should continue to be isolated.

Restaurants and shops in malls will open with a 30 percent capacity between 12 p.m. and 10 p.m. Malls are operating with 25 percent of parking spaces available to limit the possibility of overcrowding.

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