By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Amid the alarming rise in coronavirus cases as a result of the emergence of the Omicron variant, UCLA joined several other University of California schools Tuesday in announcing that it will return to online learning for at least the first two weeks of the winter quarter.

Students on the UCLA campus on Nov. 17, 2021. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images).

The school said that when classes begin Jan. 3, they will be held remotely for the first two weeks. In-person instruction is expected to resume on Jan. 18.

UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz and UC San Diego also announced Tuesday they would switch to remote classes for the first two weeks of the winter quarter. UC Davis announced it would switch to remote learning for just the first week of the quarter.

This all comes after UC system president Michael Drake sent a letter to all school chancellors earlier Tuesday stating that all eligible students and staff will be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot in order to return to UC campuses.

UCLA said that all students returning to campus will have to provide proof of a booster by Jan. 18, and its faculty and staff by Jan. 31.

UCLA also said that its students will have to participate in a “robust” coronavirus testing program beginning no later than Jan. 9.

Drake also advised chancellors to put together “a plan for a January return to campus that mitigates public health impacts, responds to the unique circumstances facing your campus and maintains our teaching and research operations.”

The UC system has 10 campuses.