Covid-19: Zurich schools extend mask mandate

Zurich authorities have extended the mask mandate for schools until the end of February.

A student wearing a mask standing outside a school building
Zurich has extended the mask rules in schools until the end of February. Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

On Tuesday, January 18th, Zurich authorities extended the school mask mandate until February 27th. 

The government presumes the number of infections will continue to rise in the canton in the coming weeks and wanted to take appropriate steps to ensure teachers, children and their families are as safe as possible. 

Infection rates have continued to climb in Switzerland in recent weeks, with new records being set almost daily. 

Daily infections crossed the 20,000 mark for the first time in early January 2022, before crossing 30,000 in a 24-hour period several times later in the month. 

On January 11th, Zurich authorities warned of 40,000 infections in the canton alone in late January. 

‘40,000 cases daily in Zurich’ as authorities warn of triage for the unvaccinated

What are the current rules for masks in Zurich schools? 

All teachers and support staff in the canton of Zurich are required to wear masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19. 

Students must also wear masks from the first primary class and above. 

Each school in Zurich, Switzerland’s most populous canton, is required to have its own hygiene and safety concept which lays out exactly how students will be protected from Covid. 

The rules are laid out here by the Zurich Cantonal Government. 

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Zurich approves simplified path to Swiss citizenship

Voters in Switzerland’s most populous canton on Sunday approved a proposal which will make it easier for foreigners to get Swiss citizenship.

Zurich approves simplified path to Swiss citizenship

The vote passed with 69.1 percent support, making it the most popular of the four initiatives put to the polls. 

Around 350,000 foreigners live in Zurich, which is roughly one quarter of the population – although the percentage is as high as 50 percent in some municipalities. 

The successful proposal called for Zurich’s naturalisation process, including the citizenship exam, to be made uniform across all 162 municipalities. 

The questions in the exam will now be centralised on a cantonal level. 

The test will include 350 questions about Swiss history, tradition, politics and culture, with a focus on Zurich. 

Anyone taking the test will be given 50 questions at random and must answer at least 30 correctly to pass. 

More information about the citizenship process in Zurich can be found at the following link. 

EXPLAINED: How Zurich wants to make naturalisation easier

What else was decided on Sunday? 

Voters in Zurich also decided to reject a proposal to lower the voting age to 16, with 64.1 percent saying ‘nein’ to the proposal. 

A proposal to provide for more parental leave – and even up gender imbalances between fathers and mothers – was also rejected. 

Finally, voters supported law changes which sought to enshrine Zurich’s climate change goals in the cantonal constitution. 

A detailed breakdown of the vote can be seen here.