The Hong Kong Education Bureau (EDB) announced that all students can attend graduation ceremonies, irrespective of their vaccination status. In a statement issued on May 19, the EDB also laid out the conditions under which schools can conduct large-scale half-day events, musical and school teams training.
The guidelines regarding graduation ceremonies were issued after the Hong Kong Committee on Children’s Rights urged the government to revise its policies about unvaccinated students not being able to attend such events.
“Since the vaccination requirements for children have been changed only recently, some schools have over one-third of the students without the two vaccinations required to attend the graduation ceremony. This is obviously not a good sign and would leave a deep scar on their memories of school life,” said the committee in a statement on its Facebook page.
The EDB now says that all students can participate in graduation ceremonies as long as the event is kept as short as possible and students wear masks and sit side-by-side while facing the same direction. All children can also attend events such as parents’ days, open days and campus visits. However, only vaccinated students can participate in mask-off performances.
Guidelines for extra-curricular activities
According to the revised policy, all students at kindergartens, primary and secondary schools can join extra-curricular activities such as musical and school teams training, as long as they wear masks. Students in higher forms can also attend half-day supplementary classes on Saturdays.
However, children who want to participate in mask-off, full-day activities, sports days and swimming galas at primary and secondary schools must be fully vaccinated.
Previously, only students who received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccination could attend music, sports activities and school team training. These students could also participate in mask-off activities such as playing woodwind instruments and contact sports such as football and basketball.
All students and teaching staff must currently conduct daily rapid antigen tests (RATs) and can only enter school premises if they test negative for Covid-19. The Hong Kong government said that this mandatory testing will remain in place till late June, after which it will review the measure.
The EDB’s new guidelines on the daily RAT requirement also state that siblings of students who test positive for the virus must not attend school.
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