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HEALTH

Swiss authorities retract report stating two out of three new coronavirus infections come from nightclubs or restaurants

Almost half of Switzerland’s new coronavirus infections came from nightclubs, with another third coming from bars and restaurants. (UPDATE: Swiss authorities have retracted these figures and apologised for the calculation error)

Swiss authorities retract report stating two out of three new coronavirus infections come from nightclubs or restaurants
Not the right type of masks to wear in a club. Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Editor's note: The Swiss Federal Office of Public Health has since publication retracted these figures, saying it made a mistake in its calculation. Families, not nightclubs, are the biggest source of coronavirus infections. Read the updated news here.

New research from the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health shows how coronavirus spreads throughout the community, with nightclubs, bars and restaurants the main infection points. 

The figures, provided to the Swiss public broadcaster, show that 42 percent of new infections in Switzerland over the past two weeks came from nightclubs. 

A further 27 percent came from bars and restaurants – meaning that 69 percent of all new infections over the past fortnight have come in either nightlife venues or gastronomy. 

Just over 12 percent came from a family member, while 8 percent of infections came from medical personnel. 

The news comes amid admissions from Swiss officials that nightclubs were opened too early. 

Swiss authorities: 'We opened bars and nightclubs too early' 

Since nightclubs were allowed to reopen with up to 300 guests in Switzerland on June 8th, there have been a number of outbreaks, forcing hundreds into quarantines. 

Several cantons have wound back the numbers of people allowed in nightclubs, while others have told revellers to wear masks.

All nightclub attendees are still required to keep 1.5 metres distance from each other at all times in Switzerland. 

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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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