Coronavirus – Information for Schools

Back to overview

The Canton of Zurich is adhering to the provisions of the federal government. Please see the website of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) for the latest information on the current status, on handling the coronavirus outbreak and for answers to frequently asked questions.

Secondary and Vocational Education and Training (VET) schools Waiving of exams and promotion

Due to the extraordinary situation in connection with the coronavirus, several exams could not take place:

  • The admission exam for “Berufsmaturität II” (technical college entrance qualification)
  • The re-examination and oral exams for the “Zentrale Aufnahmeprüfung ans Gymnasium” (central high school admission exams)
  • The creative admission exam for the Liceo Artistico.

You will find information about admission to “Kurzgymnasium” (short-term high school), “Handeslmittelschule” (commercial high school) and “Fachmittelschule” (vocational high school) as well as about admission for “Zulassung zur Berufsmaturität nach Abschluss der beruflichen Grundbildung (BM 2)” (technical college entrance qualification after completion of the vocational basic education) in the media release (German).

Will additional students be admitted to the high schools owing to the omission of oral exams?

Owing to the omission of oral exams, canton-wide approx. an additional 130 students will be admitted to short-term high school, who would not have been admitted in a regular year. Distributed over the entire canton, this equals about four to five school classes.

The schools have enough capacity to admit those additional students.

Which consequences do those regulations have on the probation periods at high schools?

The new conditions apply to all students: All of them were not able to attend regular school lessons and were taught by means of distance study. We cannot yet asses how this will affect the probation period results concretely.

Will school reports be handed out at high schools this year as well?

At the end of spring semester 2020, all students will be admitted to the next grade with the current promotion state of fall semester 2019/20 (provisional or definite admission). This provisional or definite admission will persist until the end of fall semester 2020/21. The school reports will be adapted accordingly, details are currently being clarified and will be communicated as soon as possible.

Will the Matura exams take place?

This question is still being discussed. The Swiss Conference of High School Offices (SMAK) is doing everything in its power to ensure that, even in this exceptional situation, students in their final year can enroll at the universities of applied sciences, universities and federal vocational schools on the due date and receive their Matura certificates on time. The primary goal is to ensure free access to higher education.

Do the changes of admission terms for BM 2 also affect “Ausrichtung Wirtschaft und Dienstleistungen, Typ Wirtschaft” (focus economy and service, type economy)?

No. “Ausrichtung Wirtschaft und Dienstleistungen, Typ Wirtschaft” already provided for an exam-free admission. This provision remains unchanged.

Questions and answers for schools concerning the coronavirus

The Federal Council has decided to discontinue teaching in all schools in Switzerland. How long will this measure last?

The Federal Council has banned lessons requiring attendance in schools, universities and other educational institutions. This ban will apply for the time being until 19 April 2020.

Why are primary schools not closed altogether?

Lessons requiring attendance in kindergarten, primary and secondary schools will be discontinued as a result of the Federal Council's decision. This includes all school services (lessons, support programs etc.). Students stay at home whenever possible.

For students who, in exceptional cases, cannot be looked after at home, the schools will set up a childcare service. No child shall not be looked after.

It is specifically important that particularly vulnerable persons such as grandparents are protected by not including them in childcare. It is also important to ensure that people working in health care, security or public transport can continue to work.

The course of the disease is usually harmless for children; unlike the elderly, they are not at risk.

How can it be ensured that there is no risk of infection for children or teachers in primary school care?

Schools should avoid forms of care that require close physical contact. It is important that schools continue to comply with the hygiene rules of the Federal Office for Public Health (FOPH). Teachers who are not bound by the attendance requirement can also take other measures such as commuting outside rush hours, working from home and holding virtual meetings and conferences.

School staff who belong to a risk group (age, previous illness, etc.) must be released from active involvement in the provision of care. These persons work at home as part of their job assignment or support the care service in the background (e.g. for coordination tasks, telephone calls, information and communication for the school).

Who needs to be informed when a child in care has been tested positive for COVID-19?

If distance and hygiene measures have been observed, the risk of infection is small. The school management nonetheless informs all teachers, respectively the care team. People from the risk group (with previous illness or older than 65) should stay at home.

If the hygiene measures and the distance of 2 metres could not be observed, there is a risk of infection.

1. The school management will inform all parents of the affected childcare group that a confirmed case of corona has occurred.

  • If another child in the affected child care group shows symptoms, the whole family goes to self-quarantine for 10 days.
  • Healthy children without symptoms may keep visiting the care facility.
  • Children with previous illnesses such as diabetes, immunodeficiency or lung problems should contact their paediatrician to discuss the further procedure.
  • The school management will inform the teachers, respectively the care team of the affected childcare group that a confirmed case of corona has occurred.

2. If there has been close contact with a student, the school management can take case-related measures (e.g. home office can be ordered for the persons concerned as a precautionary measure).

  • If someone shows first symptoms, this person and all persons living in the same household are obliged to self-isolation.

Who needs to be informed when a mother or a father has been tested positive for COVID-19?

The school physician will carry out a risk assessment. He or she determines whether there was close contact with the teachers or caregivers and whether the affected children had close contact with other children from the care group and the care team when the symptoms broke out.

If there was no close contact, no information is necessary since no one was at risk of infection. The affected family must stay at home in accordance with FOPH recommendations (10 days after the onset of symptoms and 48 hours after the end of symptoms)
If the hygiene measures and the distance of 2 meters could not be observed, there is a risk of infection.

1. The school management will inform all parents of the affected childcare group that a confirmed case of corona has occurred.

  • If the own child shows symptoms, the whole family goes to self-quarantine for 10 days.
  • Healthy children without symptoms may keep visiting child care.
  • Children with previous illnesses such as diabetes, immunodeficiency or lung problems should contact their paediatrician to discuss the further procedure.

2. The school management will inform the teachers, respectively the care team of the affected childcare group that a confirmed case of corona has occurred.

  • If there has been close contact with a student of the affected family, the school management can take case-related measures (e.g. home office can be ordered for the persons concerned as a precautionary measure). If someone shows first symptoms, this person and all persons living in the same household are obliged to self-isolation.

Information for elementary schools

Information for intermediate and vocational training schools

Information for day nurseries (in German only)

For further questions

Hotline Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH): 058 463 00 00

Elementary schools
corona@vsa.zh.ch

Intermediate and vocational training schools
Head of violence prevention and safety: infosuchtpraevention@mba.zh.ch

Trusteeships/children's homes
Head of complementary educational support: 043 259 97 67

Back to overview