Monaco’s Minister of State, Serge Telle, has told local French daily Monaco Matin that Monaco will open its schools on Monday, May 11. A working group has been set up to work out the details, which could include all children wearing masks.

Monaco had previously extended its lockdown until May 3, more than a week before President Macron said that France will begin a slow relaxation of its lockdown on May 11.

No doubt the authorities have been encouraged by the fact that the number of new infections in Monaco has been stabilising in recent days, and has fallen to zero new cases on Monday and Tuesday. A number of European countries have also taken tentative steps to relax the rules, with Austria, Denmark and the Czech Republic at the fore, allowing the reopening of larger shops, such as DIY stores, and in the case of Denmark, reopening schools from this week.

As in France, there is no hurry to open bars and restaurants. “It is not impossible that we reopen them before France… It is not our priority to reopen restaurants, bars, nightclubs,” Mr Telle said.

In his televised address on Monday, President Macron said the target for reopening bars and restaurants was in mid-July, and that depended on further progress being made in bringing down the number of coronavirus cases.

There has been an important change of circumstances regarding masks, with local production and foreign orders making more masks available in the Principality. This would allow the Government to insist on the wearing of masks by everybody, should it so decide, and this could also help relax the lockdown. Meanwhile, starting this week, masks will be distributed to the most vulnerable, Mr Telle said.

PHOTO: Minister of State Serge Telle