Until the end of last week, schools and daycare centers in Germany had only been closed in isolated cases, but now a wave of closures is rolling across the country. Here’s what is happening in each state:
Officials in Saarland made the decision on Thursday night to close all schools and daycare centers starting on Monday. Because of its proximity to the border, the state faces special challenges, said Governor Tobias Hans. The neighboring Grand Est region in France is considered a risk area in the spread of the coronavirus.
The school and daycare facilities have been closed until the end of the Easter holidays to help slow the spread of the virus. Emergency care for families is also being provided.
Bavaria became the second German state last Friday to move to close schools. Governor Markus Söder announced that all schools and daycare centers would be closed starting Monday through the end of the Easter holiday in April. He described it as a “very important measure” for slowing the spread of the virus. “These five weeks could turn out to be very decisive,” he said.
The state announced it would set up emergency care for the children of workers like police and nurses. “We will ensure childcare for parents who work in professions that are critical to the system,” said Bavarian Education Minister Michael Piazolo.
School closings are scheduled to begin at the high school and vocation school level on Monday, said Berlin Mayor Michael Müller. All other schools and daycare centers will close on Tuesday, March 17, and will stay shuttered until April 19. Schools are initially remaining open for the children of parents who have to continue working, such as health-care workers and those performing other essential services.
Lower Saxony is also closing its schools because of the spread of coronavirus, state Education Minister Grant Hendrik Tonne announced on Friday. Schools are to close on Monday. The schools are closing through the Easter holidays in April.
Daycare centers will also be closed during that time. Emergency childcare will be provided for children of parents who work in critical areas like the police and health services.
Bremen became the fifth state to close all schools and daycare centers from Monday on. The government in the city-state said after a special meeting on Friday that the measure was needed to slow the coronavirus’ spread.
On Friday afternoon, the education and health ministries in Schleswig-Holstein ordered the blanket closure of all schools and daycare centers from Monday until April 19.
Germany’s most-populous state said last week it would close its schools across the board, including daycare centers. State Governor Armin Laschet announced Friday that schools would be closed from Monday until April 19.
However, he said the students could still receive childcare at the schools on Monday and Tuesday In order to give parents time to come up with alternative arrangements.
Schools and daycare centers in Rhineland-Palatinate also closed on Monday. The state Education Ministry said the rules would apply until the end of the Easter holiday on April 17. Emergency care will be available at the local level.
Thuringia Governor Bodo Ramelow will close all schools and kindergartens from Tuesday until the end of the Easter holidays. Care will still be provided for the children of nurses, doctors, fire fighters, police and other system-relevant government workers.
Baden-Württemberg became the 10th German state to announce it would close its schools. The state’s education minister, Susanne Eisenmann, announced that all schools and daycare centers are to be closed from Tuesday until the end of the Easter holidays. She said that 1.5 million pupils and about 400,000 children would be affected. “These are drastic measures,” she said. But they are also necessary.
Hamburg closed all daycare centers, schools, colleges and universities as of Monday.
The city-state’s health authority also announced on Friday that emergency care would be provided for the children of parents who work in jobs such as city cleaning services or health-care workers.
The state of Saxony has closed all schools and daycare centers until Monday, April 13. Emergency childcare available for children whose parents work in professions that are crucial as Germany deals with the coronavirus.
Schools and daycare centers in Saxony-Anhalt are closed from Monday through Easter Monday on April 13. Governor Reiner Haselhoff said that emergency childcare would also be available. “We are all facing great challenges together,” he said.
In Brandenburg, schools and daycare centers will close on March 18 until the end of the Easter holidays. The state is also providing limited emergency childcare for parents in certain professions.
Over the weekend, the state said it would close all schools and daycare centers starting on Tuesday. Emergency care would be provided on for the children of parents working in systemically relevant professions.
The state his lifted the requirement of compulsory school attendance. No classes are being held, but schools are open for emergency care for the children of parents working in health care and other essential vocations. Daycare centers are to be closed.
Icon: Der Spiegel