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HEALTH

Which countries have quarantines for Swiss arrivals?

Despite borders opening across Europe and the world, there are still some countries restricting arrivals from Switzerland.

Which countries have quarantines for Swiss arrivals?
Which countries have restricted arrivals from Switzerland. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

The following countries have some form of a quarantine in place for arrivals from Switzerland: Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Ireland. 

Estonia has said it will put in place a quarantine on Swiss arrivals if rates continue to rise. 

In some of these countries tourists are banned while others will be required to quarantine, while in others tourists and all other arrivals will need to quarantine. 

Belgium, which recently had a quarantine recommendation for arrivals from the southern Swiss canton of Ticino, has removed the restriction and now allows entry from all Swiss cantons without a quarantine. 

READ: Who is allowed to travel to Switzerland from outside the EU?

Why must Swiss arrivals quarantine? The reason for the quarantines is the increasing infection rate in Switzerland, although the respective rates differ in each of the countries. 

Finland says no

In Finland, while Swiss tourist arrivals were allowed after a long ban, a fresh ban snapped into place on Monday, July 27th. 

There are some exceptions to the ban, with Finnish citizens, family members, business travellers and owners of holiday homes still allowed to enter, subject to a 14-day quarantine. 

Finland has a low threshold of eight new infections per 100,000 people. 

Switzerland currently has a nationwide rate of 17 infections per 100,000 people, however this is higher in cantons such as Geneva (58) and Graubünden (31). 

Latvia and Lithuania

The Baltic states of Latvia and Lithuania set a limit for quarantine measures at 16 infections per 100,000 people, just below Switzerland’s current amount of 17. 

READ: Will Switzerland introduce coronavirus testing at airports to cut quarantine? 

 

Like Finland, entry from Switzerland had been possible without a quarantine in previous weeks, rising infection rates in the Alpine nation has a led to the quarantine. 

This means that currently tourists are permitted to enter from Switzerland however they must complete a 14-day quarantine. 

If Switzerland’s infection rate continues to rise however, a complete ban is likely to be reinstated. Currently, arrivals from countries with an infection rate of 25 per 100,000 will be restricted. 

Estonia has a cut off of 17.5, just half a percentage point above Switzerland’s current rate. 

Ireland

Despite relaxing entry requirements for 15 other European countries in late July, Ireland kept restrictions in place for Swiss arrivals. 

Anyone arriving from Switzerland in Ireland must undergo a 14-day quarantine. 

Ireland has advised any potential arrivals to call their embassy before their planned departure. 

Editor's note: Please keep in mind that this article, as with all of our guides, are to provide assistance only. They are not intended to take the place of official legal advice. 

 

 

 

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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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