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HEALTH

Switzerland imposes coronavirus quarantine on Irish arrivals

Arrivals from Ireland will now be required to quarantine for ten days in Switzerland.

Switzerland imposes coronavirus quarantine on Irish arrivals
Switzerland has expanded its coronavirus list. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

 

NOTE: Switzerland updated its high-risk country list from February 1st onwards. Please click here for updated information. 

People travelling from Ireland will now face quarantine in Switzerland, officials said on Tuesday, following World Health Organisation warnings of a “massive increase” in cases in the EU member state.

As of 1200 GMT, arrivals from Ireland joined those from countries including the United States, Britain, South Africa and Sweden in having to undergo 10 days of quarantine.

When the decision was made, four more countries were added to Switzerland's quarantine list – the Czech Republic, Denmark, the Netherlands and Panama – however only Ireland was added immediately. 

The rest will go on Switzerland's list from Friday, January 15th onwards. 

The new rules came after the World Health Organisation's emergencies director Michael Ryan drew attention to Ireland's plight.

READ MORE: Which countries are currently on Switzerland's quarantine list?

He told a press conference in Geneva on Monday that the country had “done extremely well” in two surges of disease but had since suffered “one of the most acute increases in disease incidence of any country”. 

Ireland had officially registered just over 93,000 cases on January 1 but that figure had jumped to more than 150,000 by Monday.

Ryan said the rise was due to increased social mixing rather than the emergence of a new, apparently much more contagious strain of the virus in England.

He said the Irish had taken “immediate action” over the last fortnight and the positivity rate was now starting to drop. The Netherlands, Denmark and the Czech Republic are due to join the Swiss quarantine list on Friday.

Failing to comply with the quarantine requirement can result in a fine of up to 10,000 Swiss francs ($11,240, 9,250 euros).

Zurich, Geneva and Basel airports have regular flights to and from Dublin.

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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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