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HEALTH

Switzerland: Coronavirus deaths top 1,000 despite ‘flattening of the curve’

There have now been more than 1,000 deaths in Switzerland from the coronavirus, while the number of infections across the country is approaching 25,000.

Switzerland: Coronavirus deaths top 1,000 despite ‘flattening of the curve’
Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

Although the numbers continue to climb, Swiss authorities are cautiously optimistic as new infections are being detected at a slower rate than at any time since the outbreak began. 

There have now been 24,900 positive tests in Switzerland, with 592 new cases detected from Friday to Saturday. 

What should I do if I have coronavirus symptoms in Switzerland?

EXPLAINER: Is it really the right time for Switzerland to be lifting restrictions?

The numbers of new confirmed cases have now not risen above 800 for more than a week, a significant drop after they averaged 1,000 for almost two weeks previously. 

Federal Office of Public Health spokesperson Daniel Koch said the government was cautiously welcoming of the news. 

“We still have between 500 and 700 new cases in the last few days, so the trend is still slightly decreasing, that's the good news.”

Koch urged the public to follow the lockdown rules so that infection rates would continue to fall. 

“That's why it really is the case that everyone has to keep trying and follow the recommended measures so that we can get into a more normal situation sometime in the near future.”

“Things are looking good at the moment. But it is surely too early to say that everything is over.”

“We still have a long way to go. It is important that people know that if we persevere now, it is going in the right direction

Deaths climb above 1,000

There have now been 1,011 deaths in Switzerland due to the coronavirus. 

According to official federal information, more than 190,000 people have now been tested for the virus in Switzerland – meaning that around 15 percent of tests produce a positive result. 

Although Switzerland does not federally measure the number of people who have healed from the virus, cantonal figures put the amount at more than 11,000. 

 

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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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