SHARE
COPY LINK

HEALTH

Switzerland: Should people be fined for refusing to wear masks?

Masks are now required in indoor areas all across Switzerland. Should so-called ‘mask refusers’ be fined for refusing to wear them?

Switzerland: Should people be fined for refusing to wear masks?
A line to collect food donations in Geneva. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

On Monday October 19th, Switzerland made masks compulsory in all indoor areas. 

Despite the established and emerging science clearly showing the benefit of mask wearing in preventing the transmission of the virus, there remains a small but stubborn part of the Swiss population who refuse to wear them. 

As reported in The Local Switzerland on Tuesday, October 20th, technically there are potential fines for refusing to wear masks of up to CHF10,000 – although actually receiving one is unlikely. 

READ: Can I be fined for not wearing a mask in Switzerland? 

Is that fair? Will it encourage people to wear masks? Or are harsher sanctions – which are actually enforced – needed? 

Please let us know your thoughts. 

 

 

Member comments

  1. “Despite the established and emerging science clearly showing the benefit of mask wearing in preventing the transmission of the virus”

    Ugh, it’s this kind of lie that creates the mess in the first place.

    Go look at how effective masks are: https://rationalground.com/mask-charts/

    There are lots of studies predating 2020 showing masks are hardly effective, and nobody ever tried using them to stop an infected person passing it on to others. There is no scientific support for masks, real world observed data shows clearly they have no effect at all, yet we are told to ignore the evidence of our own eyes. Apparently only “stubborn” people engage in critical thinking, now.

    At this rate “science” will end up completely discredited in all sorts of areas. People can only be told “science” says X or Y when it clearly does not for so long before they wise up.

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