In a broadcast in the evening, Prince Albert announced tighter containment measures to come into force from midnight on Tuesday, just a few hours later. Further details of how the ‘lockdown’ will be managed and enforced will be available on Wednesday morning.

“Our country is facing one of the worst health crises in its history,” said the Sovereign. “It is essential to remember that the virus does not circulate alone,” he said, adding that it’s the movement of people that enables it to spread. The acceleration of the pandemic requires tougher responses, such as has been seen in a number of European countries, he added.

It is now the aim “to minimise contact on the territory of the Principality of Monaco,” the Prince said. He called for an extension of teleworking, and called on all employers to join in a system that minimises business travel and meetings.

In a direct appeal to Monegasques and residents, the Prince said: “I ask you to strictly limit your trips to the essential needs which are food shopping and care,” he said, adding that family gatherings should be postponed.

Construction sites will be closed and support for businesses will be extended.

“I want to tell all entrepreneurs, employers and employees that my Government will be with them so that the economic impact is as limited as possible. Support measures have already been announced. Others are under review. I ask the government to continue the dialogue…”

The Prince called on good citizenship, and said that the panic buying in the Principality witnessed recently was ‘incredible.’ “Everyone knows that there is no shortage of food products in Monaco,” he added.

“I am confident in the future. I am confident in the solidity of our health infrastructures. I know that my country can rely on its history, its institutions and the solidity of its economic and social model. Our country has already, during its past, had to face great difficulties and has always overcome them thanks to a spirit of solidarity and mutual help,” the Prince said.