Schools in both Basel cantons – currently on school holidays – are set to reopen on March 9th.
Education authorities met on Thursday to discuss whether or not they should be re-opened at all due to coronavirus concerns.
As at Thursday afternoon, there were eight confirmed infections in Basel City and three in Basel Country.
School holiday periods differ from canton to canton. The decision on closing schools is up to cantonal authorities.
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In Switzerland's southern neighbour Italy, authorities on Wednesday decided to close all schools and universities.
Will Basel’s schools reopen on Monday?
Authorities in Basel City met late on Wednesday, deciding that schools across the canton will remain open. Kids in both cantons are set to go back from school holidays on Monday.
This decision was approved on Thursday by a meeting of the Basel City Crisis Committee.
A similar meeting took place on Thursday between authorities from Basel Country, where authorities said schools would reopen on Monday as scheduled.
As reported by The Local Switzerland on Wednesday, any decision on whether to close schools takes into account both public health concerns as well as the potential impacts for parents who would need to find alternative means of caring for their children.
Avoiding school closures where possible
The policy across Switzerland is to avoid shutting schools where possible, saying that closures, generally speaking, do more harm than good. As reported in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, this is not only the policy of the federal government but of all 26 cantons.
Instead, schools have sought to emphasise the importance of hygiene. The Zurich Directorate of Education has printed a leaflet which is available in six languages on how to wash hands effectively and other measures that can curb the spread of the virus.
Some school authorities have been asked by parents whether students live at home with grandparents or people with autoimmune conditions should continue to attend, however they have reiterated that this is an individual matter which should be discussed with doctors.
Children are not at a particular risk
Authorities have been careful to reiterate that although all necessary measures should be taken to prevent the spread, the evidence as yet is that children are not at a particularly risk of catching the virus – unlike older people and the unwell.
Therefore, precautions relating to schools have been mild compared to those for retirement homes.