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
When do I have to wear a mask at the nursery? Parents and visitors must wear a mask indoors in daycare centres or playgroups. You must also wear a mask in the entrance area and in the cloakroom when handing over your child. This also applies to siblings aged 12 and over who are present at the handover. You do not have to wear a mask in the outdoor area of the day care centre.
Do the teachers in the day care centre wear a mask?    If the teacher is assigned to a fixed group, he/she can care for the children in his/her group without wearing a mask. If the groups mix or if a caregiver leaves his/her group, he/she must wear a mask.
My child has a slight cold. Can she/he  go to a daycare centre?

Children before kindergarten entry with mild symptoms such as a cold and/or sore throat with/without a mild cough, without fever may attend the daycare center or day family. They do not need to be examined or tested if they are otherwise in good general health. This does not apply to symptomatic children who have a child of kindergarten age or older or an adolescent or adult in the same family or household. In this case, the parents must keep the child at home for the time being and contact the pediatrician for further clarification and assessment.

Children are not allowed to visit a daycare center or day family if they have a fever or are visibly ill (in a reduced general condition). A return is only allowed when the child has been fever-free (without fever-reducing medication) for at least 24 hours and is in good general condition.


 
Children entering kindergarten or older must stay home and be tested if they have symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 illness.

The Department of Health has created a flow chart to help clarify to parents and caregivers when a child may enter a daycare center. (See the daycare/playgroup flowchart below this FAQ).

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

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

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.

Does my child have to go to school?

Yes, lessons at primary and secondary school level take place regularly and without restrictions.

 

Since, according to the FOPH, children generally do not belong to the risk group for a coronavirus infection, no exemptions from attendance classes will be issued as a matter of principle, but special protective measures will be taken 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 attending doctors. After clarifying the medical situation, the KID will make a recommendation and seek an individual solution with the school.

Can the voluntary offers of the schools be attended? Yes, optional school offers (e.g. free electives, courses in local language and culture) take place.

Are the day structures open?

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

Can excursions and class camps take place?

Excursions, out-of-town events incl. overnight stays and camps can take place in Switzerland and in regions close to the border. Landlords of camp accommodation may require that all persons who have not been vaccinated must show a negative test result. In such a case, children who do not take part in the tests at school and do not have a negative test result from another agency before the start of the camp cannot take part in the camp. Consent for the spit test can also be given for the camp only.  The tests are voluntary. If parents do not want their child to be tested, the student will attend classes in another class during the time of the camp.

Can parents' evenings and school events take place?

Yes, events at school are possible in compliance with the protective measures. At compulsory events, i.e. events that staff, parents or pupils are required to attend, the Covid certificate is never applied. The previous protective measures apply. For non-compulsory indoor events with more than 30 people (e.g. theatre or orchestra performances), a Covid certificate must be shown from 20.09.2021.

Do children have to wear masks at schools?

No, the obligation to wear a mask has been lifted. Pupils are allowed to wear a protective mask voluntarily. The schools provide masks if needed.

Do teachers and professionals in schools have to wear masks?

Adults are not generally required to wear masks. They only have to wear a mask if the distance of 1.5 metres from other adults cannot be maintained or if they are in contact with visitors.

What are the social distanciang rules at schools? No distance rules apply between pupils and students. Between adults and pupils, the minimum distance of 1.5 metres specified by the FOPH should be observed as far as possible. Between adults, the minimum distance must be observed.
What needs to be considered when a child is ill or shows symptoms of illness?

Covid 19 disease symptoms are described in the "Guidelines Coronavirus - Schools and Kitas" and in the "Flowchart Kindergarten, Primary School, Secondary School" (see links under these FAQs). 

Children and adolescents in primary schools (from kindergarten entry) with symptoms suggestive of corona disease must stay at home and be tested immediately. This also applies to mild symptoms of illness such as a cold and/or sore throat with or without a mild cough.

If a child has allergies or known symptoms of illness (such as hay fever, mild headaches, mild stomach aches or regular mild colds), the parent/guardian can inform the responsible teachers and specialists as well as the day structure management about the complaints. The child can then attend kindergarten, school or the day structure despite mild symptoms. In these cases, a test only needs to be done if the symptoms are different from what is known.

Where can pupils get tested? In the case of children and adolescents with symptoms that indicate corona disease, a specialist must carry out the test at a test centre, hospital, doctor's practice or pharmacy.  Further information and an overview of other institutions that offer tests can be found at coronavirus.bs.ch/en/suspected-infection
How can my child take part in the regular tests at school or kindergarten? The parents or guardians will be informed directly by the school. Further information at coronavirus.bs.ch/testen/testen-in-schulen.

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 may not participate in serial testing for 6 months.
What do I have to do when I enter Switzerland with my child?

If possible, travel to risk areas should be avoided, otherwise it is the parents' responsibility to return to Switzerland in time so that school attendance is guaranteed after the holidays. The child may not attend classes during the quarantine period. Parents must inform the class teacher that the child is in quarantine. Absences due to quarantine are considered excused.

Regulations for entry into Switzerland

What measures are taken in case of non-compliance with the quarantine obligation? Teachers or professionals who have knowledge that a pupil is not complying with the quarantine obligation are obliged to isolate the child and send him/her home or have the parents collect him/her.
Is absence due to quarantine treated as an excused absence? Yes, absences due to quarantine are considered excused.

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.

Where can pupils get tested? In the case of children and adolescents with symptoms that indicate corona disease, a specialist must carry out the test at a test centre, hospital, doctor's practice or pharmacy. Further information and an overview of other institutions that offer tests can be found at www.coronavirus.bs.ch/en/suspected-infection

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

Covid 19 disease symptoms are described in the "Guidelines Coronavirus - Schools and Kitas" and in the "Flowchart Kindergarten, Primary School, Secondary School" (see links under these FAQ). 

Children and adolescents in primary schools (from kindergarten entry) with symptoms suggestive of corona disease must stay at home and be tested immediately. This also applies to mild symptoms of illness such as a cold and/or sore throat with or without a mild cough.

If a child has allergies or known symptoms of illness (such as hay fever, mild headaches, mild stomach aches or regular mild colds), the parent/guardian can inform the responsible teachers and specialists as well as the day structure management about the complaints. The child can then attend kindergarten, school or the day structure despite mild symptoms. In these cases, a test only needs to be done if the symptoms are different from what is known.

Do children in day structures have to wear masks?

No, pupils do not have to wear a mask. If the distance between adults and children cannot be maintained, masks are still compulsory for staff.

What do I have to do when I enter Switzerland with my child?

If possible, travel to risk areas should be avoided, otherwise it is the parents' responsibility to return to Switzerland in time so that school attendance is guaranteed after the holidays. The child may not attend classes during the quarantine period. Parents must inform the class teacher that the child is in quarantine. Absences due to quarantine are considered excused.

Regulations for entry into Switzerland

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 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?  

No distance rules apply between pupils and students. Between adults and pupils, the minimum distance of 1.5 metres should be observed as far as possible. Between adults, the minimum distance must be observed.

What rules apply to toys and work equipment?

Toys and activity materials are cleaned regularly.
 

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

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

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 2021/22 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.

Should I get vaccinated?

Yes, vaccination against COVID-19 is the best way to protect oneself against the disease and to help minimise the spread of COVID-19 in our society. The larger the proportion of vaccinated individuals, the fewer protective measures need to be maintained in everyday life and at school, and the fewer quarantine measures are required.

Is there an offer for regular testing at the post-compulsory schools?

Regular tests are offered from the second week of lessons. Information can be found at: www.coronavirus.bs.ch/en/suspected-infection/testen-in-schulen.html

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

Face-to-face teaching can be fully comprehensive at upper secondary level and in whole classes. At tertiary level, in general and in-company continuing education, face-to-face courses are also possible.

Do pupils, learners and students have to stay at home after travelling to areas with an increased risk of infection when school starts?

Not generally. However, if you have symptoms of COVID, stay at home and get tested.

How is access to the school grounds regulated?

During school hours, the school grounds are primarily used for school purposes. The classrooms and exercise areas should be used as little as possible for non-school uses. In-school sports facilities (gymnasiums and swimming pools) and external facilities (St. Jakob sports facilities, public swimming pools, etc.) are open.

What are the social distancing rules at schools?

No distance is required between pupils, students and teachers during lessons. Whenever possible, however, the minimum distance of 1.5 metres specified by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) must be maintained outside the classroom.

Do the pupils, learners and students have to go to school?

In principle, classes must be attended. Anyone who is not sure (e.g. if they have their own pre-existing conditions or close contact with people with a pre-existing condition) should 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 needs to be taken into account when one is ill or shows symptoms of illness?

All persons with symptoms of illness must stay at home. This also applies to those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered. COVID-19-specific symptoms of illness are cough, sore throat, shortness of breath with or without fever, feeling of fever or muscle pain, and also sudden loss of the sense of smell or taste. For more information, see the «Guidelines Coronavirus - Schools and Kitas BS».

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

The wearing of masks is voluntary within the school, both indoors and outdoors.

All external persons, guests and visitors are required to wear masks, as are teachers, learners and staff of the school when they meet 'external persons'.

Should I download the SwissCovid app onto my mobile phone?

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

Are the school canteens and food kiosks open?

The refectories and catering kiosks are open.

Indoor catering must be seated and a maximum of tables for 6 persons are permitted. The refectories are only open to the members of the respective institution. Due to the mixing of classes, however, special attention must be paid to compliance with hygiene rules.

Do the sports lessons take place?

Sports lessons can take place without restrictions. In the cloakroom area, however, care should be taken to observe hygiene and spacing rules as far as possible.

Is music and singing allowed in schools?

Choir rehearsals and singing lessons are allowed without restrictions.

Can planned class camps take place?

Until the end of 2021, all trips, camps and excursions (with overnight stays) abroad will be waived. The uncertain international situation does not allow for reliable planning. 

Trips, camps and excursions with overnight stays in Switzerland are possible, but the regulations applicable at the destination must be observed and an appropriate protection concept drawn up. On the day of departure, the COVID certificate can be requested; renewal or verification at a later date is usually not sensible or practicable. An alternative programme must be available for learners who cannot attend.

Are there whole-school events, teacher conferences and information sessions?

Whole school events, and information events (out of class) may take place. The regulations for events without restricted access for persons with a Covid 19 certificate apply. A special protection concept is necessary. If the COVID certificate requirement applies, the mask wearing requirement, distances and capacity restrictions can be waived.

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?

PROTECTION CONCEPTS

For schools, the FOPH's specifications for protection concepts apply. These requirements are regulated by the «Covid 19 Ordinance Special Situation».