Washington, D.C., Public Schools will require a negative COVID-19 test for all students and staff before they will be allowed to return to schools after the holiday break.

Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) and D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Lewis Ferebee announced on Wednesday that to ensure safety amid the ongoing COVID-19 surge, DCPS will require all students and staff to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result before they return to school on Jan. 5.

DCPS added that it will make free rapid antigen tests available on Monday, Jan. 3, and Tuesday, Jan. 4.

Previously, school officials said testing to return was “highly encouraged” but not required.

Officials are asking parents to keep children at home regardless of their test results if they are showing any symptoms or if they are required to quarantine because they are unvaccinated and have been identified as a close contact of an individual who tested positive for COVID-19.