Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Education said university students and school students over the age of 12 will not be considered absent in the first two weeks of school if they have not yet received both COVID-19 vaccine doses, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported Sunday.
The ministry called on students to complete both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, in order to “achieve a safe in-person return to educational facilities, leading to community immunity and a return to normal life,” as the new school year started on Sunday in the Kingdom.
Last week, the Ministry of Education published general guidelines for schools operating in the upcoming academic year in the Kingdom.
The education ministry, in coordination with the Ministry of Health, announced earlier this month that all students and school staff members must be fully vaccinated before the school year starts.
The ministry had also announced anyone over the age of 12 who was not vaccinated by the first day of school would be marked absent for the first two weeks.
The guidelines state that schools must adhere to rules and protocols put in place by the Saudi Ministry of Health, and that students and staff members should continue to practice and apply COVID-19 precautionary measures.