Schools and Kitas

This page provides parents and children with essential information on how the coronavirus will impact schools and childcare facilities.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

  1. Kitas/Daycare
  2. Schools
  3. Day structures
  4. Post-compulsory schools

My child has a slight cold. Can she/he  go to a daycare centre?

Children under 12 years of age with mild symptoms such as a cold and/or sore throat with or without a slight cough without fever may attend the daycare centre. Children may not be admitted to the daycare centre if they have a fever or are visibly ill and/or if they have mild symptoms and an adult or child over 12 years of age in the same household is ill.

The Department of Health has drawn up a flow chart to help parents and caregivers to determine when a child may attend a daycare centre. (see the flow chart for daycare centres/playgroups under this FAQ)  

What do I have to do if I enter Switzerland with my child from an area with an increased risk of infection?

Persons who enter Switzerland and have stayed in a state or area with an increased risk of infection with the coronavirus Sars-CoV-2 within 14 days before entry are obliged to go directly to their home immediately after entry. They must remain there permanently for 10 days after entry (quarantine). The child may not visit the daycare centre during this time. The regular parental contribution must be paid during this time. You must inform the daycare centre that you and the child are in quarantine and that the child does not need to be looked after.

The list of countries with an increased risk of infection is updated continuously by the Federal Office of Public Health FOPH: Quarantine obligation for travelers

Are there special measures in the daycare centres to prevent new infections as far as possible?

The Department of Education and the Department of Health have developed a protection concept for the daycare centres. The aim of the protective measures remains to keep the number of new cases at a low level and to prevent serious COVID-19 diseases.  The protection concept can be viewed at: www.jfs.bs.ch/info-traegerschaften.

Are there any special measures in the recreational facilities to prevent new infections as far as possible?

 

The Department of Education has drawn up a protection concept for the operation of open child and youth work services (youth and leisure centres, youth meeting places, Robi playgrounds, children's theatre, summer casino, etc.). This can be viewed at: www.jfs.bs.ch/info-traegerschaften.

In order to enable contact tracing of individual sportsmen and women, presence lists are used to ensure that close contacts can be tracked.

Washing hands - how and when? (Tips from the Health Department of Basel-Stadt)

  • When washing your hands, use PH-neutral liquid soap if possible.
  • Do not use hot water, it will dry out your hands even more. Cold water is just as effective.
  • So-called refatting soaps can hardly prevent hands from drying out, as the additional grease is rinsed off with the washing water. Creaming the hands after washing is more effective.
  • Therefore, after each wash, use hand creams with moisturizing effects (urea, glycerine, nourishing oils, etc.)
  • It is sufficient to wash your hands thoroughly. The use of disinfectants is not recommended.
  • If disinfectants are necessary in special situations, then only without washing your hands.

We paid our daycare centre the parental fees for the time during the lockdown in advance, but did not let our child be looked after during this time. Are we entitled to a refund?

Yes. The Federal Council ordinance obliges daycare centres which receive compensation to reimburse parents for contributions already paid for childcare services not used in the period from 17 March 2020 to 17 June 2020. Please contact your daycare centre for a refund of parental fees already paid. If the daycare centre is not willing to do so, you can contact the specialist office at tagesbetreuung@bs.ch.

If you have any further questions that are not answered in the FAQ above, you can contact the Parents' Fees Office of the Day Care Centre on +41 61 267 46 10. Kitas can send their questions by e-mail to tagesbetreuung@bs.ch. Up-to-date information on counselling services can be found at www.jfs.bs.ch.

Do sport and swimming lessons take place?

Primary school: Yes, sports and swimming lessons take place with as little physical contact as possible and in compliance with the rules of hygiene.

Secondary school: From 26 October 2020, until further notice, physical education in the usual form will be dispensed with. Pupils will receive alternative schooling.

Do children have to wear masks at school?

Kindergarten and primary school: No. Exceptions due to medical instructions are possible.

Secondary school: Secondary school pupils must wear a mask on the school premises and in the building. From Monday, 26 October 2020, they must also wear the masks in the classrooms and the rooms of the day structure. The schools will provide masks.

Children aged 12 and over must wear a mask on public transport.

Do adults have to wear masks in schools?       

Yes, adults must wear a mask in kindergartens, primary and secondary schools

Kindergarten and primary school: Teachers and professionals can take off the mask in the classrooms and in the rooms of the day structures.

Secondary school: from Monday 26 October, teachers and professionals must also wear the mask in the classrooms and in the rooms of the day structures.

Can excursions and class camps take place?

Excursions with school classes are possible. Excursions abroad will be waived until further notice.

Camps (colonies and sports camps) will not be held until further notice.

What does the quarantine obligation mean for students?

Persons who enter Switzerland and have stayed in a country or area with an increased risk of infection with the coronavirus within 14 days before entry must report after their entry (online form of the Canton of Basel-Stadt) and be placed in quarantine for 10 days. The decisive factor for the quarantine obligation is whether a country you have visited in the last 14 days is on the list on the day of entry into Switzerland.

If possible, travel to high-risk areas should be avoided, otherwise it is the responsibility of parents to return to Switzerland in time to ensure that school attendance after the holidays is guaranteed. If the family only enters Switzerland shortly before school starts, the child may not attend school during the quarantine period. The parents must inform the class teacher that the child is in quarantine. Schooling by means of distance learning is not envisaged. Absences due to quarantine are considered to be excused.

The list of countries with an increased risk of infection is updated continuously by the Federal Office of Public Health FOPH: Quarantine obligation for travellers

What measures are taken if the quarantine obligation is not complied with?

Teachers or specialists who are aware that a pupil is not complying with the quarantine obligation are obliged to isolate the child and send him/her home or have him/her picked up by his/her parents

Is the absence due to quarantine treated as an excused absence?

Yes, absences due to quarantine are considered excused.

Can the sports facilities be used?

Yes, the school's own sports facilities (gymnasiums and swimming pools) are open.

Are the day structures open?

Yes, the day structures and the lunch tables are open. The usual registration conditions apply.

How is access to the school area regulated?

Parents and other persons not belonging to the school may stay on the school premises (subject to the protective measures). Adults and young people over 12 years of age must wear a protective mask.

Does my child have to go to school?

Yes, since 11 May 2020, face-to-face teaching has been back in force. As children do not generally belong to the risk group for coronavirus infection according to the FOPH, no exemptions from attendance classes are granted, but special protective measures are established at school if necessary.

Parents can contact the Child and Adolescent Health Service KID (+41 61 267 90 00 or schularzt@bs.ch) after consulting the doctors treating them. After clarifying the medical situation, the KID will make a recommendation and seek an individual solution with the school.

What should be considered if a child is ill or shows symptoms of illness?

The symptoms of Covid-19 disease are described in the "Coronavirus - Schools and daycare centres guidelines" (see link under this FAQ).

Children and young people who have a fever or are visibly ill are not allowed to attend school, kindergarten or day care centres. A return is allowed if the child is fever-free for at least 24 hours (without antipyretic medication) and in good general condition.

Kindergarten and primary school: Children with mild symptoms of illness such as a cold and/or sore throat with or without a slight cough do not need to be clarified or tested if they are otherwise in good general condition. They may attend school, kindergarten and daycare centres.

This does not apply to children with symptoms where a young person or adult in the family or household is ill. In this case, the parents must keep the child at home for the time being and contact the paediatrician for further clarification. (see flow chart KG and PS under this FAQ)

From secondary school onwards: Teenagers with symptoms indicating COVID-19 must stay at home and get tested immediately. (see flow chart sec under this FAQ)

What are the distance rules at the schools?

According to the guidelines and recommendations of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), there are no distance rules between pupils. The minimum distance of 1.5 metres specified by the FOPH between adults and pupils should be observed as far as possible. Among adults, the minimum distance must be maintained.

What do teachers and professionals have to consider when dealing with pupils if the minimum distance cannot be maintained?

Short contacts with only a short distance between them, for example when passing by or during a short conversation, do not represent an increased risk. If the minimum distance of 1.5 metres cannot be maintained during a conversation, it is recommended to keep the duration as short as possible (not longer than 15 minutes).

Washing hands - how and when? (Tips from the Health Department of Basel-Stadt)

  • When washing your hands, use PH-neutral liquid soap if possible.
  • Do not use hot water, it will dry out your hands even more. Cold water is just as effective.
  • So-called refatting soaps can hardly prevent hands from drying out, as the additional grease is rinsed off with the washing water. Creaming the hands after washing is more effective.
  • Therefore, after each wash, use hand creams with moisturizing effects (urea, glycerine, nourishing oils, etc.)
  • It is sufficient to wash your hands thoroughly. The use of disinfectants is not recommended.
  • If disinfectants are necessary in special situations, then only without washing your hands.

What other measures apply to pupils?

The teachers and the staff of the day structures will explain the protective measures to the pupils in an age-appropriate manner. Stricter hygiene rules apply: Washing hands regularly remains a part of everyday school life. The classrooms are regularly ventilated. The schools are cleaned daily, and particularly critical areas (e.g. door handles and toilets) are cleaned several times a day.

Can the voluntary offers of the schools be visited?

Yes, optional school activities (e.g. optional subjects, courses in local language and culture) take place. For the time being, there is no school sports at secondary schools.

Can parents' evenings and information events be organised?

Yes, events at school are possible if certain requirements are met (if a protection concept and traceability are ensured).

If you have any further questions, please contact the school management of your child's school. You can also find up-to-date information on the school at www.volksschulen.bs.ch and www.mb.bs.ch.

What does the quarantine obligation mean for the students?

People who enter Switzerland and have stayed in a state or area with an increased risk of infection with the coronavirus within 14 days before entering the country must report after their entry (online form of the Canton of Basel-Stadt) and be placed in quarantine for 10 days. If possible, travel to high-risk areas should be avoided, otherwise it is the responsibility of parents to return to Switzerland in time to ensure that school attendance is guaranteed at the beginning of the school year. If the family only enters Switzerland shortly before school starts, the child may not attend school during the quarantine period. The parents must inform the class teacher that the child is in quarantine. Schooling by means of distance learning is not planned. Absences due to quarantine are considered excused.

The list of countries with an increased risk of infection is updated continuously by the Federal Office of Public Health FOPH: Quarantine obligation for travellers

What measures are taken if the quarantine obligation is not complied with?

Teachers and day care centre staff who are aware that a pupil is not complying with the quarantine obligation are obliged to isolate the child and send him/her home or have him/her picked up by his/her parents.

What needs to be considered when a child is ill or shows symptoms of illness?           

Children and young people who have a fever or are visibly ill are not allowed to attend school, kindergarten or day care centres. A return is allowed if the child is fever-free for at least 24 hours (without antipyretic medication) and in good general condition.

Kindergarten and primary school: Children with mild symptoms of illness such as a cold and/or sore throat with or without a slight cough do not need to be clarified or tested if they are otherwise in good general condition. They may attend school, kindergarten and day care centres.

This does not apply to children with symptoms where a young person or adult in the family or household is ill. In this case, the parents must keep the child at home for the time being and contact the paediatrician for further clarification.

From secondary school onwards: Adolescents with symptoms indicating COVID-19 disease must stay at home and have themselves tested immediately.

What happens if a child or an employee falls ill during care?  

In this case, this person must immediately put on a hygiene mask, be isolated and go home as soon as possible. The caregiver who is waiting for the parents with the pupil also wears a protective mask and keeps the distance.

What are the rules on distance in the day structures?

In accordance with the guidelines and recommendations of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), there are no rules governing distance between pupils. The minimum distance of 1.5 metres specified by the FOPH between adults and schoolchildren should be maintained as best as possible. Among adults, the minimum distance must be maintained

What do teachers and professionals have to consider when in contact with pupils if the minimum distance cannot be maintained?    

Short contacts at a short distance, for example when passing by or during a short conversation, do not pose an increased risk. If the minimum distance of two metres cannot be maintained during a conversation, it is recommended that the duration be kept as short as possible (no longer than 15 minutes).

What do I need to bear in mind when doing activities?             

Activities in which pupils and staff come too close to each other or in which physical contact is compulsory (e.g. "playing fangis") are not permitted.

What are the rules for a stay outside the school/day structure area?  

There are no special rules outside the school grounds. The use of public transport is avoided wherever possible.

Why do the protection concepts differ in some points?

The Department of Education and the Department of Health have drawn up protection concepts for the various offers - day-care centres, lessons, support offers, day structures PS, day structures Sek. These protection concepts take into account the different framework conditions and circumstances of the offers and differ accordingly in some points.

What rules apply to toys and materials?            

Toys and activity materials are reduced to the bare minimum and cleaned.

Washing hands - how and when? (Tips from the Health Department of Basel-Stadt)

  • When washing your hands, use PH-neutral liquid soap if possible.
  • Do not use hot water, it will dry out your hands even more. Cold water is just as effective.
  • So-called refatting soaps can hardly prevent hands from drying out, as the additional grease is rinsed off with the washing water. Creaming the hands after washing is more effective.
  • Therefore, after each wash, use hand creams with moisturizing effects (urea, glycerine, nourishing oils, etc.)
  • It is sufficient to wash your hands thoroughly. The use of disinfectants is not recommended.
  • If disinfectants are necessary in special situations (e.g. when entering a building), then only without washing your hands. The water stored in the horny layer dilutes the disinfectant. If the hands are exposed to rough contamination or are dirty (e.g. after the toilet, after blowing the nose or while preparing/dispensing food or similar), it is always necessary to wash the hands.

Do children in day structures have to wear masks?

Secondary school pupils must wear a mask on the school premises and in the school building. They may take the mask off in the rooms of the day structures. This also applies to the staff of the day structures.
Pupils in kindergarten and primary school do not have to wear a mask.
Adults and children aged 12 and over must wear a mask on public transport. The schools provide masks.
 

Why are there so many rules for catering?       

During lunchtime meals, many pupils from different classes are in a daily structure. Therefore, special rules of hygiene and conduct apply.

What rules apply to catering?

Primary School
Increased protective measures apply to catering, such as

  • no self-service by the students
  • no sharing of food and dishes
  • Employees do not prepare meals (e.g. afternoon snacks) together with the pupils
  • Employees do not eat at the same table as pupils

Secondary School
Together with the catering providers, the schools determine suitable measures at the site. Increased protective measures apply, such as

  • Avoidance of crowds in front of the food kiosk or the refectory
  • no self-service
  • no sharing of food and dishes
  • Reduction in the number of seats

Is it possible to book additional daily structure modules for a limited period of time or to reduce the scope of care for a limited period?              

No, for the school year 2020/21 the usual registration conditions apply.

Are day care and holiday care offered at schools?

Yes, day holidays and holiday care at schools take place. Parents register their child in an appropriate offer if they need childcare. Further information is available at www.ferienbetreuung.bs.ch.

In what form will teaching at post-compulsory schools take place in the new school year (2020/21)?

After the 2020 summer holidays, the post-compulsory schools (grammar schools, technical colleges, vocational schools) will generally offer classroom instruction in accordance with the rules of hygiene and distance learning. The decision as to the form and extent of supplementary distance learning is the responsibility of the school management.

Do pupils, learners and students have to stay at home after travelling to areas with an increased risk of infection when they start school? Students must be quarantined for 10 days after travelling to areas with an increased risk of infection. If possible, travel to high-risk areas should be avoided, otherwise it is the responsibility of pupils, apprentices and students to return to Switzerland in good time to ensure that they can attend school at the beginning of the school year and a possible quarantine does not affect the start of the school year.

How is the access to the school area regulated?

The school grounds are primarily used for school purposes during the teaching hours. The teaching rooms and exercise areas should be additionally burdened as little as possible by external school use. Internal school sports facilities (gymnasiums and public pools) and external school facilities (St. Jakob sports facilities, public pools, etc.) are open.

What are the distance rules at the schools?

The minimum distance of 1.5 metres specified by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) between schoolchildren, apprentices and students and teachers should be maintained as often as possible. This applies not only to lessons but also to all interpersonal contacts at school lasting longer than 15 minutes. A guideline of 2.25 m2 per person applies.

Do pupils, apprentices and students have to go to school?

In principle, the lessons must be attended. If you are not sure (e.g. if you have your own previous illnesses or a parent with a previous illness), please contact the Child and Youth Health Service KID (+41 61 267 90 00 or schularzt@bs.ch) after consulting the doctors treating you. After clarifying the medical situation, the KID will make a recommendation and seek an individual solution with the school.

What needs to be considered when one is ill or shows symptoms of illness?

All persons with symptoms of illness must stay at home. COVID-19-specific disease symptoms are cough, sore throat, shortness of breath with or without fever, feverish feeling or muscle pain, as well as sudden loss of sense of smell or taste. Further information can be found in the "Guidelines Coronavirus - Schools and Kitas BS".

Do pupils, learners, students and teachers at schools have to wear face masks?

A general obligation to wear face masks applies on the school premises. Face masks can be taken off in lessons, during meetings and in work rooms if the distances of 1.5m can be maintained in a fixed situation (fixed seating arrangements) or other dividing measures (partitions) have been taken.

Should I download the SwissCovid app to my mobile phone?

The use of the SwissCovid App is recommended by the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (BAG). Its use is also useful in the area of post-compulsory educational institutions, as it is an additional tool to interrupt chains of infection. However, it does not protect against infection.

Can I leave the classroom during breaks?

During breaks it should be possible to move freely and to leave the classrooms or school buildings. A prerequisite is that contact without observing distance and barrier measures of more than 15 minutes is avoided.

Will the school canteens and food kiosks be open again in the school year 2020/21?

The refectories and catering kiosks may reopen if they comply with the Gastrokonzept Suisse and have a protection concept. Pupils, apprentices and students may bring food or beverages as usual, but should not share food or beverages with others.

Is physical education taking place?

Specific protection concepts apply to physical education, which are based on the superordinate protection concept Sport Sek II.

Is it allowed to make music and sing in the schools? An increased minimum distance of 2.5 m applies to singing and playing wind instruments. Since increased aerosols are emitted and thus the spread of viruses can be promoted, care must also be taken to increase the aeration of the rooms.

Can planned class camps take place?

Until the end of 2020, all international trips (with overnight stays) will be renounced. The international situation regarding travel and quarantine regulations is extremely dynamic and can change from day to day. Therefore, trips abroad cannot be planned and carried out responsibly.

Trips, camps and excursions in Switzerland can take place if they have a protection concept in accordance with the framework protection concept for class camps in the secondary school and vocational training sector.

Are there school-wide events, cultural events and information sessions?

Events of the whole school, cultural events and information events can take place with up to 100 people, if the protection concept allows for the observance of the distance rules or if a mask is required. Events with more than 100 people require a permit from the management of secondary schools and vocational training, which can only be granted after consultation with the health authorities. Events whose protection concept is based solely on traceability in the event of infection are not planned in the school sector.

Are voluntary school offers and public courses (languages, crafts) held in schools?

Optional school offers (e.g. optional subjects, choir and orchestra) and the public courses at the vocational schools may take place subject to the protective measures.

Are vocational, academic and career guidance services, Gap - Case Management vocational training and apprenticeship supervision available?

There are no trips abroad and whole school events. Exceptionally, events lasting a maximum of one day may be authorised by the school management, provided that they comply with the FOPH's regulations in force at that time.

Are the counselling services offered by the vocational, academic and career guidance services, Gap - Case Management Vocational Training and apprenticeship supervision available?

The counselling services of the Department of Education are open. Young people with unsuitable opportunities to follow up after compulsory schooling or a bridge offer, after breaking off an apprenticeship, in search of a new orientation or with unclear apprenticeship conditions receive targeted support.

Please organise yourself:

RULES FOR SYMPTOMS OF ILLNESS AND COLDS

When is the child allowed to go to school, kindergarten, nursery or playgroup?