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HEALTH

How many people have been tested for coronavirus in Switzerland?

In a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, the Swiss health office gave an insight into the country’s testing regime.

How many people have been tested for coronavirus in Switzerland?
Photo: SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP

Patrick Mathys, from the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, said on Tuesday that more than 200,000 people had been tested for the coronavirus in Switzerland. 

Approximately 25,000 of those tests were positive, of which 3,000 needed hospital care. More than 1,100 people have died in Switzerland as a result of the virus, while around 400 people remain in intensive care. 

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

In total, Switzerland carries out an average of 6,000 tests each week day, with an additional 2,500 on Saturdays and Sundays. 

Although the government has been increasing its testing capacity, Mathys said during the press conference that the demand for tests had waned in recent days. 

Switzerland currently is working towards a testing capacity of 15,000 per day, but is waiting on essential materials in order to carry out the tests. 

“Basically, demand (for tests) has waned. But we know that not everyone who should be tested can be tested now,” he said. 

In order to allow for a greater easing of restrictions, Mathys said the country would need to increase its testing capacity. 

“In connection with easing measures, we are reviewing an adjustment of the tests,” he said. 

“We assume that around 15,000 tests a day are possible. But the materials must then have arrived in Switzerland on time, before we can increase the number.”

 

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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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