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HEALTH

Geneva and Vaud included on Germany’s travel warning list

The German government has placed the western Swiss cantons of Geneva and Vaud on its ‘high-risk’ travel warning list.

Geneva and Vaud included on Germany’s travel warning list
Image: PETER KLAUNZER / POOL / AFP

The decision was made late on Wednesday evening in light of high infection rates in the two French-speaking cantons, reports Swiss news outlet 20 Minutes.

The result of the decision is that anyone who enters from either Geneva or Vaud must be tested on arrival in Germany. 

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

This applies to returning German citizens as well as any other arrivals from a high-risk area. 

The tested person must then quarantine until the test result comes through, relying on health authorities for guidance. 

‘The risk is too great': Why Switzerland rejected a five-day quarantine 

Germany's threshold for placing a country on the high-risk list is 50 infections per 100,000 residents over the previous seven days. 

Geneva and Vaud, along with Zurich, have the countries highest rates of new infections. The three have been nicknamed Switzerland's 'problem cantons' by Swiss media

As yet, there is no plan to include Zurich on Germany's travel warning list. 

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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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