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HEALTH

Coronavirus: Masks required on all planes from Saturday

The Swiss government has announced masks will be required on all planes - regardless if they are commercial, private or charter - from Saturday.

Coronavirus: Masks required on all planes from Saturday
A Lufthansa flight attendant with a mask on. Photo: TOBIAS SCHWARZ / AFP

The requirement will apply from Saturday, August 15th. 

Currently masks are required on board most commercial airliners, however this has been a policy put in place by the airline companies rather than as a requirement of the Swiss government. 

Swiss airlines, for instance, put in place a compulsory mask requirement on July 6th

Now, passengers on all aircraft flying within, taking off from or landing in Switzerland will be required to wear masks – mirroring similar rules on all modes of public transport across the country. 

Coronavirus: What can passengers expect at Swiss airports and on planes? 

As for face protections on ground level, Geneva Airport has put in place a mask requirement on its premises. 

Geneva: Face masks now compulsory in shops and airport 

Some cantons, including Geneva, Jura and Vaud have required masks in supermarkets and shops, however this has not been made uniform federally. 

 

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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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