After consulting with the Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force, Switzerland’s scientific Covid advisory team, Switzerland’s federal government has decided to leave schools open. However, cantons can still decide to close them if they decide to and some have done so.
For the Task Force classroom teaching should only be prevented if the epidemiological situation becomes dangerous or very dangerous. The decision to close schools rests with the cantons, said Guy Parmelin, Switzerland’s president.
However, the canton of Aargau decided on Wednesday to close its secondary schools and professional schools and continue classes via online learning from next Monday until the end of February. One aim is to reduce the number of students on public transport.
On Thursday, the canton of Solothurn decided to close its secondary schools and professional schools and continue classes via online learning from next Monday until at least 26 February 2021. It is also extending mask wearing to primary school children from the 5th year.
In addition, Zurich decided to extend compulsory mask wearing to younger school children (from 4th year) starting on 1 February 2021 and to cut class sizes in half.
In the canton of Basel-Landschaft compulsory mask wearing was extended to school children over 10 rather than over 12 years old on Wednesday.
Some teachers are calling for more to be done in the face of the more contagious variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Some fear schools might be forced to close if too many teachers fall ill and are calling for teaching staff to be offered better masks (FFP2) and vaccination against the virus.