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 is not allowed in the day care centre because of a quarantine order. Do I still have to pay the parental fees during this time?           

You do not have to pay parental fees if your child cannot attend the Kita because of an officially ordered quarantine. The quarantine must have been ordered because there was a possible infection with the corona virus within the Kita or the nursery or school. If the quarantine was ordered because of an infection outside the Kita (e.g. in the family environment, circle of friends or professional environment of the parents), you must continue to pay the parental fees.

Your Kita will be reimbursed for the loss of parental fees and is obliged to waive or reimburse the parental fees for the quarantine period. Your Kita fills out an application form which you must sign.

You can find further information at: www.jfs.bs.ch/info-traegerschaften

My child's day care centre is temporarily closed. Can the parents claim compensation from the employer if third-party care cannot be organised?

Yes, the regulation on measures in the event of loss of earnings due to coronavirus has been extended until 31 December 2020. Parents with children up to the age of 12 can therefore claim compensation for loss of earnings if they have to provide care themselves and are therefore unable to work. Further information on this can be found on the website of the Federal Social Insurance Office FISO: https://www.bsv.admin.ch/bsv/de/home/sozialversicherungen/eo-msv/grundlagen-und-gesetze/eo-corona.html

When do I have to wear a mask at the nursery?

Parents wear a mask indoors and outdoors in day-care centres or playgroups. If you are waiting for your child outside the institution, you must wear a mask. You must also wear a mask in the entrance area and in the cloakroom for the handover of your child. This also applies to siblings aged 12 and over who are present at the handover.

Do the teachers in the day care centre wear a mask?   

If the teacher is assigned to a fixed group, she can look after the children in her group without a mask. If the groups mix or if a teacher leaves their group, they must wear a mask.

This is a minimum requirement. The day-care centres can introduce a more extensive obligation to wear a mask.

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

People who enter Switzerland and have stayed in a country or area with an increased risk of infection within 10 days before entering are obliged to go into quarantine.

The child is not allowed to visit the nursery during this time. The regular parental contribution must be paid during this time. You must inform the Kita 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 constantly updated by the Federal Office of Public Health (BAG): Quarantine obligation for travelers

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 if they do not suffer from fever.
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)  

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?

 

Indoor recreational facilities are closed until February 28, 2021. This also includes the indoor rooms of the open children's and youth work. If necessary, activities can be held outdoors with a maximum of 5 people including staff. Details are described in the protection concept. This can be viewed at:  www.jfs.bs.ch/info-traegerschaften.

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 for children.

  • 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: Special conditions apply to sports lessons until further notice: The changing rooms and shower facilities may not be used. The lack of sportswear and the possibility to take a shower will be taken into account. Only sports activities without physical contact are permitted. A face mask must be worn indoors. A mask must be worn outdoors if the distance of 1.5 metres cannot be maintained.

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, including in the classrooms and rooms of the day structure. The schools 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. Only persons who cannot wear a mask for special reasons, especially medical reasons, are exempt from the mask requirement.

Can class camps take place?

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

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 country or area with an increased risk of infection with the coronavirus within 10 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. Absences due to quarantine are considered as 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.

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?

Access to school grounds is to be kept to a minimum for outside adults. Events in the school are not allowed until further notice. Parents will be invited by the teachers for absolutely necessary discussions. Adults and young people over the age of 12 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?

A ban on events has been in force throughout Switzerland since December 12, 2020. Information events and parents' evenings may not take place until further notice.

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.

Do children in day structures have to wear masks?

Pupils in kindergarten and primary school do not have to wear a mask.

Pupils in secondary schools must wear a mask on the school premises and in the school building, including in the rooms of the daytime structures.

Adults and children aged 12 and over must wear a mask on public transport. The schools provide masks.

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 country or area with an increased risk of infection with the coronavirus within 10 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. There is no provision for distance learning. Absences due to quarantine are considered as 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 the parents.

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 these FAQs).

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 staff member 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.

Which distance rules apply in the day structures?  

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.

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.

What needs to be considered during activities?

 

Activities in which pupils and staff come too close to each other or in which physical contact is compulsory (e.g. «play catch») are avoided.

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

The use of public transport is avoided wherever possible. Adults and children aged 12 and over must wear a mask on public transport.

Why do the protection concepts differ in some respects?            

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

What rules apply to toys and work equipment?

Toys and employment materials are reduced to the necessary and cleaned

Why are there so many rules for catering?

During lunchtime meals, many pupils from a wide variety of classes spend time in a daily structure. Special rules of hygiene and conduct therefore apply.

What rules apply to catering?    

Primary level

For catering, increased protective measures apply, such as

  • no self-service by the pupils

  • 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 the pupils

Secondary School

Together with the catering providers, the schools define suitable measures on site. Increased protective measures apply, such as

  • Avoidance of crowds in front of the food kiosk or in front of the refectory

  • no self-service

  • no sharing of food and dishes

  • Reduction in seating capacity

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).

Is it possible to book additional day 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.

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

A general obligation to wear a mask applies. This applies to the entire school area as well as to classrooms, meeting rooms and workrooms. The obligation to wear masks also applies in recreation rooms, the teachers' room and the catering area. In addition to masks, partition walls can be used in the educational institution to provide additional protection.What does the quarantine obligation mean for students?

Does the physical education take place?

Physical education cannot be provided in the usual way. Especially the situation in the cloakroom areas, the intensified breathing during physical exertion and the risks of too close contact do not allow this. The schools draw up concepts for alternative teaching.

The sports facilities can be used for the alternative programme to physical education. The use of the cloakrooms by the schools is prohibited.

Can planned class camps take place?

Until the end of the school year 2020/2021, all trips, camps and excursions (including overnight stays) abroad and in Switzerland will be waived.

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

Events throughout the school, cultural events and information sessions can be held with an audience of up to 15 people if the protection concept allows. (Performers, participants and helpers are not included). The wearing of masks is compulsory.

In the cultural sector (e.g. theatre courses) rehearsals and performances are possible. However, masks must be worn and the minimum distance must be observed.

Konferenzen von Lehrpersonen können mit bis zu 15 Personen stattfinden. Es gilt Maskentragpflicht und der Mindestabstand ist einzuhalten.

What form will teaching in post-compulsory schools take in the 2020/21 school year?

Classroom instruction can be full-time at upper secondary level and in whole classes, provided that hygiene measures, distance rules and the wearing of masks can be observed. The decision as to the form and extent of distance learning is the responsibility of the school management. In the tertiary, general and in-company continuing education, face-to-face teaching is prohibited from 2 November 2020. Where possible, distance learning is to be offered in certain areas, especially in public courses, this will not be possible. In exceptions, face-to-face teaching is possible for teaching activities which are a necessary part of a structured educational programme and for which on-site presence is required (for example in the nursing or medical professions or in laboratories). The decision as to the form and extent of supplementary face-to-face teaching 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?

Pupils have to go into quarantine for 10 days after travelling to areas with 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 so that school attendance is guaranteed at the beginning of the school year and quarantine does not fall within the school period.

How is access to the school grounds regulated?

The school grounds are used primarily for school purposes during 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 swimming pools) and external school facilities (St. Jakob sports facilities, public swimming pools, etc.) are open. The use of cloakrooms by schools is prohibited.

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 pupils, learners and students and teachers should be maintained as far 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, learners and students have to go to school?

In principle, the lessons must be attended. Anyone who is not sure (e.g. if they have their own previous illnesses or a parent with a previous illness) should contact the Child and Youth 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 needs to be considered when you are ill or show symptoms of illness?

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

Should I download the SwissCovid app to my mobile phone?

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

Can I leave the classroom during the breaks?

During breaks it should be possible to move freely and to leave the classrooms or school buildings. The wearing of masks is compulsory

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 in place.

All food must be eaten while seated. A maximum of four people may sit at a table.

Pupils, apprentices and students may bring food or beverages as usual, but should not share food or beverages with other pupils.

Please ensure that the minimum distance is observed when catering.

With regard to the refectories and catering facilities at the schools, it must be ensured, over and above the protection concept for the catering area, that there is no additional mixing of groups (classes, courses) with contacts lasting more than 15 minutes, with non-compliance with the rules on distance and wearing masks.

Is it allowed to make music and sing in schools?

Choir rehearsals, choir concerts and singing lessons as well as the playing of wind instruments in groups is prohibited. Individual lessons or rehearsals are permitted in separate rooms.

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

Optional school offers (e.g. optional subjects) may take place in compliance with the protective measures.

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?