The Education Bureau (EDB) announced that all students and teaching staff must continue to undergo daily rapid antigen tests (RATs) until the end of the 2021-2022 academic year. This development comes after the recent uptick in Covid-19 local cases in Hong Kong, including among schools in the city.
According to a government press release issued on June 17, the decision was made because, “The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases of students, teachers, and school staff has had a significant increasing trend since early this month. The EDB, after seeking advice from the Centre for Health Protection, decided to maintain the daily RAT arrangements until the end of this school year (i.e. 2021/22 school year).”
When schools reopened starting April 19, authorities announced that students and teaching staff must undergo RATs every day and could only enter campuses if they tested negative for the virus. They later stated that daily compulsory testing would only be in place until the end of June.
The EDB also reiterated the conditions under which schools can conduct on-campus half-day mass events, such as graduation ceremonies, parents’ days, open days and campus visits. These events must be as short as possible and students must wear masks and sit side-by-side while facing the same direction. However, only vaccinated students can take part in mask-off performances and kindergarteners cannot participate in mask-off activities.
In addition, only teaching staff who have a valid vaccine pass can enter school premises. While vaccinations are not mandatory for children to attend school, those who have not received Covid-19 jabs cannot join non-masked activities, such as sports and playing musical instruments.
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