Covid-19: Zurich schools to extend mask mandate

A mask draped over a chair in a school classroom
Children in Zurich schools will need to wear masks from the first grade onwards. Photo by marco fileccia on Unsplash
School students as young as grade one will be required to wear masks in the Swiss canton of Zurich.

While the measure comes into effect on December 13th, in effect Zurich it will not be implemented until January 3rd, when schools return from the Christmas holidays. 

Since December 1st, students in Zurich have been required to wear a mask from grade four and above. 

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In a press release on Thursday, December 9th, the council said it wanted to reduce spread of the virus while ensuring minimal disruption in schools. 

“All measures are intended to curb the further spread of the coronavirus, ensure that the school runs as unrestrictedly as possible and protect the health of pupils, teachers and other people employed at the schools.”

“Repetitive testing is still strongly recommended at all school levels. In the canton of Zurich, over two thirds of schools test regularly, which can also detect asymptomatic cases and break the chains of infection.”

Geneva this week also expanded its mask requirement for children in the fifth class and above. 

Switzerland has seen a considerable increase in Covid infections, which has led to a sharp incline in hospital and ICU admissions. 

One of the major drivers for the rise in infections is transmission among children and young people. 

While the virus is less dangerous for people in this age bracket, it is still able to spread. 

The mask mandate will only be in place until January 24th, 2022, although there is the possibility it will be extended. 

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