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HEALTH

Coronavirus: New figures show Switzerland flattening the infection curve

For three days in a row, fewer new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Switzerland. Despite welcoming the news, Swiss politicians have however remained cautious.

Coronavirus: New figures show Switzerland flattening the infection curve
Photo: SALVATORE DI NOLFI / POOL / AFP

Wednesday, April 8th, was the third day in a row where the number of new coronavirus cases was below 600. 

UPDATE: What you need to know about the coronavirus crisis in Switzerland 

There were 547 new cases on Wednesday, with 590 on Tuesday and 552 on Monday. 

 

 

From the 19th of March until the 2nd of April, Switzerland averaged 1,000 new cases of coronavirus per day. 

The figures indicate that the measures put in place by the Swiss government regarding coronavirus have had a positive effect.

On Friday, March 20th, Switzerland put in place a range of restrictions, with bars and restaurants closing and groups of more than five people banned from leaving the house under threat of CHF100 fines. 

‘Far from being solved’

Swiss authorities have however been reluctant to say that the battle was being won. Daniel Koch, of the Federal Office of Public Health, said on Tuesday that “the problem is still far from being solved”. 

Koch said Switzerland was “at best halfway through” the coronavirus battle

“We are already thinking about easing the measures, however there are different steps that can be taken. 

“First of all, we need to think about new infections… Then there are hospital admissions. Here too, regional diversity must be taken into account.”

Despite the current end date for the coronavirus measures being April 19th, the government indicated that the measures were likely to stay in place longer – particularly if they can be shown to be working, as the recent figures indicate. 

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TAXES

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. 

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