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HEALTH

Arrivals to Switzerland from Spain must quarantine as of Saturday

In a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, the Swiss government announced the inclusion of Spain onto its quarantine list.

Arrivals to Switzerland from Spain must quarantine as of Saturday
AFP

The government clarified however that the ban only applies to mainland Spain, with the Canary and Balearic Islands not included on the list. 

Spain will be added to the list on Saturday, along with Singapore and Romania. Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Azerbaijan will be removed from the list. 

As reported by The Local Switzerland on August 3rd, rising case numbers in Spain had been a major concern for Swiss authorities. The Iberian nation was added to the 42-strong list of countries where a quarantine is required for all arrivals. 

Over the past weekend, the infection rate climbed above the Swiss government’s threshold of 60 new infections for every 100,000 members of the population. 

READ: Everything you need to know about Switzerland's new quarantine requirement 

Head of the Crisis Management and International Cooperation Section of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health said the need for Spain’s inclusion was clear. 

“The situation required that the list be adjusted. The new list will come into effect on Saturday. Return travellers from Spain must be in quarantine for 10 days from Saturday.”

Typically the list of countries is updated monthly, however countries can be added where the situation has changed rapidly. 

 

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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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