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Everything that changes in Switzerland in October 2020

What changes are taking place in Switzerland in October of 2020?

Everything that changes in Switzerland in October 2020

Large events will again be allowed in Switzerland, while the clocks will be wound back by the end of the month. 

Here's everything that changes in Switzerland in the month of October, 2020.

Large events again from October 1st

From concerts to sporting events in stadiums, the Swiss government has again allowed large events to take place from Thursday, October 1st.  

Event organisers and venues had the whole of September to prepare their ‘protection concepts’ in order to allow events with more than 1,000 people to take place.

And while sporting fixtures narrowly avoided an alcohol ban, things are likely to look pretty different than they did before the pandemic. 

READ: Here's how large events will look in Switzerland from October 2020 

Large events can again take place in Switzerland from October 1st. Image: AFP

Time itself

There's no greater signal that winter is coming than winding back the clocks. 

From Saturday October 24th to Sunday the 25th, the clocks need to be wound back from 3am to 2am. 

If you won't be awake at that time, we don't recommend waking up to do it. 

This extends the night by an hour – good news for anyone who likes sleeping. 

Quarantine list

In the last days of September, Switzerland added more than a dozen new countries to its 'high risk' list, including the United Kingdom, Belgium and the Netherlands. 

Arrivals from countries on the list will be forced to quarantine upon arrival in Switzerland for ten days. 

This list changes frequently and can be expected to change in October. 

Be sure to stay tuned to The Local to keep up to date. 

UPDATE: Everything you need to know about Switzerland's quarantine rules 

UPDATE: Which countries and regions are now on Switzerland's quarantine list 


Airlines to offer quick Covid-19 testing

Swiss media reported that SWISS and its mother airline, Lufthansa, will introduce rapid tests to detect Covid-19 in its passengers from October.


The obligation to have a negative test for Covid-19 when boarding the plane could allow exemptions from the entry bans into the country.

Vaccinations available in pharmacies in Aargau

From October 1st, vaccinations will be available at pharmacies in the canton of Aargau. 

This includes vaccinations for influenza, tick-borne encephalitis (also known as early summer meningoencephalitis) and tetanus. 

With Aargau added to the list, there are now 23 cantons where vaccination in pharmacies is offered. 

Only Ticino and the Appenzells do not allow it. A full list – including lists and locations of pharmacies in each canton – is provided here

Swiss’ destination list returns (almost) to normal

Despite the pandemic, Swiss has announced it will again start flying to a number of international destinations – resuming 85 percent of its pre-pandemic destination list. 

From October, Swiss will again fly to Boston and Johannesburg, along with Munich and Wroclaw. 

READ MORE: Who can enter Switzerland right now?


TV changes for Swisscom users

From October, Swisscom will combine Kitag, Bluewin, Teleclub and TV into the one brand. 

Known as ‘Blue’, it will replace Kitag, Bluewin and Teleclub. 

For non-Swisscom users, Blue TV will now be available free of charge. 

Amazon Prime Video will now also be available for Blue TV. More information about the changes is provided here

Air rescue in Uri

Rega – Switzerland’s internationally renewed air rescue service – will be on the ground in Uri from October 1st onwards. 

Currently, Rega’s emergency services operations in Uri are restricted by a lack of emergency doctors in the canton. 

Health Director Christian Arnold said in a statement “The Rega emergency doctor vehicle represents a valuable addition and improvement to the emergency medical care of the people of Uri.”



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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.