SHARE
COPY LINK

HEALTH

UPDATE: Fribourg, Valais to implement compulsory mask requirement in shops

Fribourg and Valais will be the next Swiss cantons to make masks compulsory in shops, bars and restaurants.

UPDATE: Fribourg, Valais to implement compulsory mask requirement in shops
Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

In Fribourg, the rule will come into effect on Friday, August 28th. The requirement will apply for everyone in the western Swiss canton aged 12 and above. 

In addition to all visitors to shops, bars, restaurants and supermarkets, all staff must also wear masks if they are not protected by a glass pane. 

In Valais, the requirement will come into place from Monday, August 31st.

Valais is the eighth of Switzerland's 26 cantons to put in place a mask requirement in shops. 

Zurich put in place a mask requirement in shops, restaurants and bars from August 27th. 

In addition, Basel City, Geneva, Vaud, Neuchâtel and Jura have all put in place a mask requirement in shops. 

Masks have been required on public transport in all Swiss cantons since July 6th. 

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

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. 

SHOW COMMENTS