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HEALTH

Coronavirus: Easyjet to resume flights from Geneva in mid-June

Low-cost airline Easyjet will again fly to and from Geneva, starting on June 15th.

The airline announced on Thursday, May 21st, that it would resume services to and from a number of European cities.

As yet, the routes will include Barcelona, Lisbon, Nice and Porto. 

READ: Swiss travel agencies extend cancellation deadline for foreign trips

After grounding planes due to the coronavirus crisis, Easyjet would again open up a limited number of routes based on customer demand. 

The airline said it hoped demand would be high on the selected routes, saying it needed to again generate revenue in order to survive the crisis. 

Safety measures

The British airline company said passengers would be expected to comply with strict hygiene standards. 

All passengers and cabin crew will be required to wear masks – with passengers expected to bring their own. 

READ: When can Swiss residents travel abroad this summer?

The airline promised “enhanced cleaning of all planes”, with hand sanitiser and cleaning wipes available on board. 

Despite previously saying it would consider blocking off all middle seats to better ensure social distancing, Easyjet on said this was no longer on the table. 

Some airports indicated they would temperature scan passengers before flying. 

Food will no longer be offered on board. 

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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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