Faced with a rise in Covid cases, primarily among the young and unvaccinated, Monaco has ramped up health measures again, including widespread mask wearing and a health pass requirement for those coming from neighbouring regions.
“For several weeks, as in other parts of Europe, the number of positive cases (in Monaco) for Covid-19 has been increasing due to the spread of the Delta variant. Most of these contaminations concern young people, not vaccinated and returning from abroad,” said the government in a statement Thursday evening. “These people are, moreover, very often, the origin of a chain of intra-family or friendly contamination in the Principality.”
The government revealed that in the month of June, nearly 60% of infected residents were aged up to 29 years, adding, “The incidence rate is on the rise among 6-18 year olds.”
As a result, Prince Albert has agreed upon a government proposal to re-establish the mandatory wearing of masks for anyone aged five and over throughout the entire Principality, starting Saturday 24th July.
“The relaxed observation of compliance with the current regulations in mask-wearing areas and the strengthening of health protection justify the implementation of this obligation,” said the government.
In order to limit the number of new cases being brought into the Principality and following the measures recently announced in France, residents of the Alpes-Maritimes and the Italian Impéria region must present a health pass to access restaurants and bars from Saturday onwards. Monaco residents and employees are exempt, for now.
For events, shows and sporting events, a 70% capacity is maintained. Likewise, the obligation to present a health pass for any event welcoming 1,000 people or more remains in force.
In general, a health pass will not be required for minors under 16 years of age.
The government also announced that, as of 15th August, PCR tests performed on foreigners without a medical prescription will no longer be reimbursed. However, the National Tracking Centre will continue to test residents free of charge without a prescription. Employees who wish to be tested at the centre must present a medical prescription.
Currently, 13% of people aged over 75 and 32% of the 65-75 age group have not yet been vaccinated. “To achieve the greatest possible herd immunity, it is important to vaccinate the entire population concerned,” said the government, reminding everyone that the shots remain free of charge for Monégasques and residents over 12 years of age as well as for employees over 50.
Other protective measures
While vaccinations have limited the number of hospitalisations, the government is calling on the population to maintain social distancing and hygiene measures, and get tested for Covid after returning from a holiday abroad.
“The goal is to immediately break any possible chain of contamination,” it said in the statement.
Photo by Monaco Life