Coronavirus: Swiss canton Jura tightens mask rules, effective immediately

The northern Swiss canton of Jura has tightened its rules for wearing masks. Masks will now be required in bars, restaurants and at sporting events.

Coronavirus: Swiss canton Jura tightens mask rules, effective immediately
A man wearing a face mask reading "I wear it because I am forced to" at a protest in Geneva. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

The new measures will apply immediately from Friday, October 9th. 

All visitors to bars and restaurants in the French-speaking canton will be required to wear masks, except for when sitting at a table. 

Staff will also be required to wear masks. 

UPDATE: Everything you need to know about Switzerland's compulsory mask requirement

The rules will also apply at sporting events. 

As noted by the government: “as part of sporting or cultural events, as well as leisure activities, taking place indoors, wearing a mask is compulsory for spectators from the age of 12, volunteers and other participants in contact with the public, except for the time of consumption of small snacks or drinks. Athletes and active participants are exempt.”

Five cantons now require masks in bars and restaurants

Jura becomes the fifth Swiss canton to decide to make masks compulsory in bars and restaurants. 

Masks are also required in restaurants and bars in Geneva, Vaud and Basel City, along with Bern from October 12th

The maximum number of participants at events is set to be reduced from 300 to 100. 

UPDATE: Where in Switzerland are masks compulsory right now? 

The new measures were decided at an extraordinary meeting on Friday, October 9th. 

From October 14th, establishments will be required to record contact details electronically – while events with more than 100 people will be banned unless masks and distancing rules are respected. 


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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.