Swiss supermarket launches free delivery service for ‘at risk’ groups

Swiss supermarket chain Migros has set up a free delivery service for anyone in a group considered to be at a greater risk of the coronavirus.

Swiss supermarket launches free delivery service for 'at risk' groups

Migros, in partnership with aged-care foundation Pro Senectute, will deliver free to anyone over 65 or who has a pre-existing illness which makes them more susceptible to the virus. 

Due to the extra strain placed on supermarket workers, delivery is conducted by volunteers who sign up online

EXPLAINED: Why does Switzerland have the highest rate of confirmed coronavirus cases per capita?

The shopping orders are completed online and are then delivered by volunteers without direct contact. Volunteers are required to comply with the hygiene rules laid out by the Federal Office of Health and are trained on how to deliver the goods via an app.

While delivery is free, customers are encouraged to leave a tip via online means. No cash exchanges hands in order to minimise the risk of passing on the infection. 

The service has already been rolled out in the Migros Aare region, which includes the cantons of Bern, Aargau and Solothurn, before being expanded throughout Switzerland in the coming weeks. 


The initiative has however attracted criticism, with some arguing that the supermarket chain – which like most others in Switzerland and elsewhere has seen profits increase as a result of the outbreak – should employ delivery staff to assist the at risk, rather than a team of volunteers. 

The delivery service is a revival of a similar service which was discontinued in December of 2019 and relied heavily on retirees and people of advanced age to deliver the goods – many of whom now find themselves in the at-risk categories. 


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Masks, tests and jabs: Can I deduct Covid-related costs from my taxes in Switzerland?

Switzerland’s tax deadline is just around the corner. Are Covid-related costs tax deductible?

Masks, tests and jabs: Can I deduct Covid-related costs from my taxes in Switzerland?

March 31st is the deadline for filing taxes in Switzerland relating to the 2021 financial year. 

Over the past two years, the Covid pandemic has seen a change in our spending habits. 

While we may have saved on restaurants and travel, we laid out considerable costs on a range of new expenses, including disinfectant, masks and Covid tests. 

As some of these costs are required by law, can they be deducted from your tax?

In some cases, expenses directly related to the Covid pandemic can be deducted. 

Masks, for instance, can be deducted as medical expenses in some cantons, Swiss tax specialist Markus Stoll told 20 Minutes

This depends on the specific framework for tax deductions related to medical expenses in that canton. 

EXPLAINED: What can I deduct from my tax bill in Switzerland?

Generally speaking, any medical costs paid out of pocket can be deducted. However, most cantons impose a minimum percentage limit from which these costs can be deducted. 

In many cantons, this will start at five percent of your yearly income in total (i.e. including other out-of-pocket costs like dental or specialist visits), meaning you would need to purchase a significant amount of masks to beat the threshold. 

What about testing and vaccination?

Testing and vaccinations however were largely free as their costs were covered by the Swiss government, which means associated expenses cannot be deducted. 

Those tests which were not covered by the government – for instance for travel abroad or for visiting clubs – cannot be deducted, Stoll says. 

“Tests for travel abroad or to visit clubs are not deductible” Stoll said. 

For a complete overview of taxation in Switzerland, including several specific guides, please check out our tax-specific page here.