No lockdown, no curfew, but new restrictions in Monaco

Minister of State Pierre Dartout, on behalf of the Government, has thanked everyone in the Principality for their vigilance and cooperation over the last few months. However, in his televised address on Friday evening, he said that the situation remains “serious.”

In response, although they will remain open, bars and restaurants will be required to close by 23:30 and certain social distancing requirements will be tightened.

More vigilance is needed in private meetings and celebrations, and the Minister calls for individual responsibility.

In practical terms, bus services will be augmented during busy periods, and the numbers of passengers travelling on each bus will be limited.

The purpose of the tightened restrictions is to alleviate pressure on the Monegasque health system, keep infections to a minimum, while at the same time enabling businesses to function and schools to stay open.

The full text of the Minister of State follows:

Below the video of the original speech in French

“Dear Monegasques, Dear residents, dear employees, If I am speaking to you today, it is at the request of the Prince Sovereign. The Covid-19 pandemic remains at the heart of our concerns. Here in Monaco, as throughout the European continent and around the world.

“Today almost all of us know someone who has had to self-quarantine or who is or has been diagnosed with the virus. This shows very clearly that the virus is actively circulating. We are in the second wave.

“I admit it, this active presence of the virus is penalising. It can also be overwhelming for some of us when we have been trying for a long time and sometimes we are under strain.

“Our efforts have not been in vain. On the contrary, good respect for barrier gestures, the wearing of masks, the arrangements in shops and restaurants may have slowed down the spread of the virus in Monaco.

“Even if the situation in Monaco is less worrying than elsewhere, I must tell you that it remains serious. Some precise figures show it. Let’s look at the incidence rate, that is to say the number of people contaminated over a period of 7 days per 100,000 inhabitants. It is an indicator used in all countries of the world. It guides the decisions of all Governments.

“The neighbouring department records 153 contaminations per 100,000 inhabitants, France as a whole is at 251.5. This is what justified the curfew measures in the neighbouring region. In Monaco, we are at 81.58. This is why if the curfew is justified in France, it is not justified, for the moment, in Monaco.

“What is worrying, however, is that this incidence rate has doubled in one week.

“We must therefore act and remain very vigilant. In short, we must continue and even amplify the efforts that we have undertaken. This is why the Government, on the instructions of the Prince and in consultation with the National Council, has decided to take additional measures. to remain pragmatic and flexible.

“If the health situation were to worsen, we may have to take more stringent measures. But we want to avoid it as much as possible to maintain as much as possible a balance between health protection and the economic activity essential to our jobs and our prosperity.

“Concretely, the Princely Government has decided, from this Saturday, October 24, until December 1, a number of measures: First for bars and restaurants, the closing time is 23:30. Prior reservation in restaurants for evening services will be required. Tables will be limited to six guests against 10 today. Consumption around high tables, called “standing tables,” will be abolished.

“Access to the Casino will be prohibited from midnight.

“In the sports field, It was decided to suspend non-professional competitive sports and to suspend amateur sports outings outside the territory which are not part of territorial championships or qualifying for subsequent competitions.

“In the same spirit, non-sporting outings, outside the territory, organised by youth associations are not authorised either.

“In addition, the Government has decided to limit the number of passengers on board buses. CAM will increase the frequency of rush hour traffic to compensate for the limitations.

“Some of these measures will potentially have an impact on our economic activity. We want this to be as limited as possible.

“On behalf of the Government, I want to stress the fact that we have been, we are and we will always be supportive of entrepreneurs and employees. We are obviously maintaining support measures such as the CTTR (Reinforced Total Temporary Unemployment) and reductions in social contributions. And of course as you know, the Prince’s Government is rolling out an ambitious stimulus plan to the tune of 75 million euros, approved by the National Council, to support our economy.

“These measures will be the subject of permanent evaluation. This assessment will be shared with all partners. It will be discussed regularly with the Joint Committee in conjunction with the National Council. Any new measures that may be necessary will be submitted to the Sovereign Prince.

“In addition, the Prince’s Government also recommends avoiding unnecessary travel to regions strongly affected by the virus. Finally, our vigilance must also be exercised within the private sphere.

“Monaco is a country of freedoms. It is not about intervening in this private sphere. But we find that nearly one in two infections occurs during extended family reunions. Of course, we are happy to be together in a relaxed atmosphere, but unfortunately the virus takes the opportunity to spread. Thus, these moments of conviviality are often synonymous with reduced vigilance in respecting barrier gestures. Therefore, we must be responsible, including in our private circle, and respect barrier measures. It is therefore strongly recommended to avoid large meetings with friends or family.

It is about taking care of yourself and the people we love

“I am also addressing employees – you who come to Monaco every day. The general curfew measures in the Maritime Alps and in the Var may affect you directly. Note that if for professional reasons you have to take to the road after 21:00 or before 06:00, you will need to bring the French certificate of travel for professional reasons. For Italian employees, it will be possible to cross the Alpes Maritimes to reach Italy with the same French travel certificate.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, these additional efforts are also aimed at protecting our hospital and patient care services in the city. They are efficient. They are ready. Since the beginning of the crisis, our health policy has enabled us to ensure an effective response from the hospital by avoiding congesting it.

“We must do everything possible to maintain the efficiency of our healthcare structures. I would also like to thank all health professionals, doctors, nurses, hospital staff, laboratory assistants, and pharmacists who have been working for several months now to ensure the best possible care in the face of this virus which is not yet fully known and for which there is still no vaccine.

“As regards tests, the Principality is ready: we are continuing and expanding screening. Just last week, 1,400 PCR tests were carried out. Proportionately, we are among those who do the most in Europe.

“In the school sector, we were also able, thanks to the commitment of our educational community, to ensure a smooth start to the school year. Since the start of the September school year, nearly 650 contact cases, pupils or teachers have been tested. Only two children tested positive and this contamination had been acquired in their family and not in school. This shows that we can protect ourselves effectively when we respect the rules.

“It is to encourage you to pursue them that we will increase the number of dispensers of hydroalcoholic gel in public places to remind (us all of) the importance of hand hygiene.

“Let’s see, this fight against the virus is above all a question of individual responsibility. We are all players in the resistance to this disease. Let’s continue what the entire national community has done so well so far. Let us maintain our vigilance to keep life as normal as possible.

“Thank you. The Prince and His Government know they can count on you.”