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HEALTH

Sweden removes Switzerland from travel warning list

Sweden has removed its recommendation against its citizens travel to Switzerland, just two weeks after issuing the advice ‘for political reasons’.

Sweden removes Switzerland from travel warning list
Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

Sweden on July 15th advised its citizens against traveling to Switzerland. On July 29th, Sweden rescinded the order, effective immediately. 

A government representative confirmed to Swiss media in mid-July that the move was a political retaliation for Switzerland's mandatory quarantine of arrivals from Sweden.

‘We advise you not to travel': Sweden retaliates against Switzerland's quarantine order 

Despite relatively similar infection rates, Sweden removed travel warnings for France, Germany and Italy but kept the advice in place for arrivals from Switzerland. 

Switzerland announced a quarantine for arrivals from ‘high risk’ countries from July 6th onwards, with Sweden put on the list due to its high infection rate. 

When revising the list on July 22nd, Sweden was removed. 

READ: Which countries have quarantines for Swiss arrivals?

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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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