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

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 stay there permanently for 10 days after their entry (quarantine). The child is not allowed to visit the day care centre during this time. During this time, the regular parental contribution must be paid. 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 FOPH: FOPH recommendations for travellers

When do the daycare centres open again?

Together with the reopening of the schools on 11 May, the day care centres did also resume operations.

If I do not want to or cannot take my child to the day care centre after 11 May 2020, will I still not have to pay parental contributions?

From 8 June 2020, parents will again have to pay the regular parental contributions, as from this date children can again be looked after without restrictions.

Are there any special measures in the daycare centres to prevent new cases of illness as far as possible?

The Department of Education and the Department of Health have developed a protection concept for the day-care 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: https://www.jfs.bs.ch//info-traegerschaften.

Do daycare centres also accept new children?

 

Children can be readmitted. Since 6 June, parents have also been allowed to enter the childcare facilities - for example to accompany the settling-in process,  but must maintain the minimum distance and hygiene measures.

Are the leisure facilities open again?

The offers of open child and youth work (youth and leisure centres, youth meeting places, Robi playgrounds, children's theatre etc.) will be open again from Tuesday, 2 June 2020. The Department of Education has developed a protection concept for the operation. This can be viewed at: https://www.jfs.bs.ch//info-traegerschaften.

From Saturday, 6 June 2020, individual sportsmen and women will be allowed to resume training on the sports facilities. To enable contact tracing, presence lists will be used to ensure that close contacts can be tracked.

On Saturday, 6 June 2020, all public pools will open.

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.

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.

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 or specialists who are aware that a student 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.

What do parents who accompany their children on the first day of school have to consider? 

Due to the special situation, the parents of new students entering the kindergarten and primary school should accompany their children only as far as the entrance of the kindergarten or school and refrain from entering the building after reception by the teacher. If this is not possible in individual cases, the accompanying person must wear a mask in the building. When greeting parents/accompanying persons and pupils on the school premises, masks are required for all adults.

Can sports facilities be used?

The sports and swimming lessons take place with as little physical contact as possible and in compliance with the rules of hygiene. The school's own sports facilities (gyms  and swimming pools) are open.

Do daily structures also open?

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

How is the access to the school area regulated?

Since 6 June, parents and other persons not belonging to the school are allowed back on the school premises (subject to the protective measures).

Does my child have to go to school? 

Generally, compulsory education is compulsory again since 11 May 2020. Parents who are not sure whether their child should go to school (e.g. child or 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 their child. 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 a child is ill or shows symptoms of illness?

Students with symptoms of illness must stay at home. Covid-19 disease symptoms are described in the "Guidelines Coronavirus - Schools and daycare centres" (see link under these FAQs). Sick people should be tested for the presence of infection with the new coronavirus.

Do children and teachers at schools have to wear masks?

No. Exceptions due to medical instructions are possible.

Since July 6, adults and children aged 12 and over must wear a mask on public transport. The schools will provide masks if public transport is used as part of compulsory education (e.g. excursions, camps, way from school to sports facilities).
 

What are the distance rules at the schools?

In accordance with 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 schoolchildren should be maintained as far as possible. Among adults, the minimum distance must be maintained.

What other measures apply to pupils?

Teachers will explain the protective measures to the pupils in a way that is appropriate for their age. Stricter hygiene rules apply: Washing hands regularly remains part of the school routine. 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.

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.
Can planned excursions and class camps take place?

Yes, excursions and external events including overnight stays with school classes are possible again. Trips abroad will not take place until further notice.

Can the voluntary offers of the schools be visited?

Yes, optional school offers (e.g. voluntary school sports, optional subjects, courses in local language and culture) take place.

Can parents' evenings, information events and closing ceremonies take place?

Yes, school events are possible again for up to 1,000 people, subject to certain conditions (if the 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?           

Students with symptoms of illness must stay at home. The Covid-19 disease symptoms are described in the "Guidelines Coronavirus - Schools and daycare centres" (see link under these FAQs). Sick people should be tested for the presence of an infection with the new coronavirus.

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?  

Already since 30 May, meetings with up to 30 people are possible again in public space. Therefore no special rules apply outside the school area.  If possible, the use of public transport should be avoided.

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.

Are children and employees in the day care centres allowed to wear masks?

The preventive wearing of masks is not recommended. However, both adults and pupils are allowed to wear their own masks.

Since July 6, adults and children aged 12 and over must wear a mask on public transport. The schools will provide masks if public transport is used as part of compulsory education (e.g. excursions, camps, way from school to sports facilities).
 

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 during the autumn holidays?

Yes, we assume that day holidays and holiday care at schools take place during the Autumn holidays. 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 masks?

No, according to current guidelines and recommendations of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) dated 27 May 2020, masks do not have to be worn in schools if the distance rule can be followed. Exceptions are possible due to medical instructions or in specific training situations (e.g. practical nursing training).

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. While no distance rules apply to the sport itself, the use of the cloakrooms is only permitted if the distance rules are observed or if contacts lasting longer than 15 minutes are avoided.

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 follow a protection concept.

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.

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