Answers to the most critical questions about the coronavirus (COVID-19)

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

Federal Office of Public Health’s Coronavirus Infoline


Kitas/Day Care
If you have any further questions that are not answered in the FAQ below, 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 Up-to-date information on counselling services can be found at

If you have any further questions that are not answered in the FAQ below, please contact the school management of your child's school. Up-to-date information on counselling services can be found at and

Medical questions about the virus
The cantonal emergency services would like to clarify that the 144 number is only to be called in cases of emergency. If you have any medical related questions about the coronavirus in the Canton of Basel-Stadt, you can call +41 61 267 90 00 (Mon-Fri: 7:30 am - 5:00 pm, Sat+Sun: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm) and if you have any general questions about the virus, please call +41 58 463 00 00 (Federal Office of Public Health).

Are all schools and daycare centres closed since Monday 16 March?

Generally, all schools and childcare facilities in the canton of Basel-Stadt will remain closed until 19 april following the tighter measures taken by the Federal Council. The Canton of Basel-Stadt only offers childcare for parents who work in health professions or have other compulsory work obligations and cannot organise childcare elsewhere. This exception also applies in emergencies where only grandparents can provide childcare.

Are all daycare centres closed now?

No. The canton of Basel-Stadt provides the necessary childcare facilities for children who cannot be looked after privately. A daycare centre closes if the Department of Education agrees, because all children who are entitled to care have found suitable childcare facilities.

What do I do if I cannot look after my child myself and no one can fill in?

The canton organises childcare for parents in healthcare professions or with compulsory work obligations. The rest of the population must organise childcare independently. In emergencies, when childcare could only be provided by grandparents, the cantonal childcare services can also be used.

Is childcare at schools also offered during the holidays?

Yes. Please contact your child's school directly. To find out if you qualify for this service, please see the relevant question further below.

When do I have the right to use the childcare services in day care centres and schools?

In general, parents must arrange for their children to be looked after by a third party (friends, acquaintances, relatives, neighbours, parents of school friends, babysitters, students, etc.) However, you are allowed to take your child to a day care centre or to the care services of the schools if:

  • you work in a health profession.
  • you have other mandatory work obligations, whether to ensure the necessary course of business or to ensure specific tasks related to the Corona crisis.
  • you are unable to provide care by third parties despite intensive efforts, or care can only be provided by a person at risk (such as grandparents).

I work in a health profession and I am a border crosser. Can I have my child looked after in Basel-Stadt?

Yes, from now on you have the possibility of having your child looked after in a nursery, kindergarten or primary school in the canton of Basel-Stadt, depending on its age.
Kita: Please contact the placement office: telephone information Monday to Friday 8.30 to 12.30 +41 61 267 46 14 or by e-mail to
Kindergarten/Primary School: Contact the elementary school management. You can reach them from Monday to Friday from 9 to 12.30 and 14 to 16 hrs on +41 61 267 54 60.

I can't take my child to day care because I don‘t qualify for emergency day care. Do I still have to pay the parental contribution?

No. If you do not continue to use the day care services at the Kita, you will not have to pay the parental contribution. Contributions already paid will be credited.

Only parents who continue to make use of childcare (parents who work in health professions, have other mandatory work obligations or where childcare would only be available to particularly vulnerable persons) pay their normal parental contributions.

Are children allowed to meet privately with their friends to play?

Yes. Meetings are allowed in smaller groups (up to about 5 children). The FOPH's recommendations concerning hygiene and social distancing must also be observed as far as possible.

How are the schools / day care centres organised?

On Monday, 16 March, teachers, specialists and other staff were present at all schools to receive and care for those children who had to come to school for the above-mentioned reasons. The same applies to the daycare centres. The schools and day-care centres clarify for which children the canton's childcare services are actually open. It is possible that a child may subsequently be looked after at another school rather than at the place where they are accustomed to. Daycare centres check whether the childcare can be optimised.

What applies to apprentices?

The vocational schools are closed, the apprentices work in the company. There the employer's guidelines apply to the apprentices.

Can I just stay away from work if I cannot find childcare for my child? If so, do I still get my pay? For how long? Is there compensation for self-employed persons?

You should contact your employer for these questions. The canton is in constant contact with the business representatives and is currently clarifying these questions.

Am I entitled to home office?

Please contact your employer with this question. Many Swiss companies offer the possibility of home office in this time of crisis. However, there is no employee entitlement to this.

Am I entitled to additional holidays if schools and daycare centres remain closed?

Parents are obliged to provide for the care of their children and must also put aside professional obligations in case of emergency. Parents are obliged to make an effort to seek alternative childcare to prevent further absences from work. Until this is found, the employer has the obligation to continue to pay wages for a limited period. For cantonal employees, this period is currently six working days.

How long will the schools remain closed?

The Federal Council has approved the measures for the time being until 19 April.

Are children being taught online during this time? Do they receive tasks?

At a media conference on 19 March, the Department of Education informed about the measures being taken to ensure that the burdensome school closures do not have negative consequences for the school careers of individual pupils(LINK to MM insert) The solutions outlined there vary according to age and school level and will be continuously improved in the coming weeks.   

Do the regulations also apply to individual lessons, for example in music or language schools?


What happens with examinations, for example final examinations?

Examinations for which a date has already been set at the time of entry into force of this measure and which are mandatory for obtaining a qualification (e.g. apprenticeship certificate or Matura) may be held. However, this is only possible if appropriate protective measures are taken to prevent the coronavirus from spreading (hygiene measures and social distancing).

Will all leisure facilities also be closed?

The Federal Council's decision also affects all open child and youth work facilities. Youth and leisure centres, youth meeting places, Robi playgrounds, children's theatres, etc., which are co-financed with state contributions, are therefore recommended to reduce or close the offerings. If schools are closed, there is otherwise a risk that the opportunities for open child and youth work will be overused. This would counteract the other measures against the spread of the coronavirus. All sports facilities in the city of Basel and the Rialto indoor swimming pool will be closed from Saturday morning.