Over the last two days, the epidemic has gathered pace in the Principality of Monaco, as it has in all European countries. Having managed to slow the epidemic considerably over the last two weeks, the health authorities in the Principality have been informed that four more people have tested positive for COVID-19 today.
This brings the number of people infected in the Principality to seven.
The vast majority of these patients are showing few symptoms and have returned home. One person has been hospitalised at Princess Grace Hospital. In accordance with the care protocol approved by the Monegasque authorities, self-isolation at home is the preferred option, with medical monitoring coordinated by Princess Grace Hospital. This medical policy helps to ensure patients’ comfort while protecting public health facilities as far as possible.
In each case, an epidemiological investigation has been carried out to determine the movements of these patients in recent days and identify the people they may have been in contact with.
Slowing the spread
The Principality of Monaco has now entered a phase of slowing the spread of the virus, in line with neighbouring regions. It is important to remember that the virus does not circulate alone, it is the movement of people which makes a pandemic possible. For this reason, the Prince’s Government, at the instruction of H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince, has taken a series of measures that are required to protect the national community.
A decision was made that, from midnight yesterday, all public places that are not essential to the functioning of the country will close until further notice. The following will remain open:
- food markets and shops
- filling stations and banks
All other commercial businesses (including restaurants, cafés, concert halls, cinemas, casinos and discos) will need to implement this measure. Places of worship will remain open.
SCHOOLS AND CRÈCHES
With the same aim of limiting movement and contact between people, the Prince’s Government, in consultation with H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince, is crèches and schools in the Principality of Monaco (primary schools, secondary schools, high schools, higher education establishments, etc.) from Monday 16 March.
The Monegasque authorities will introduce a child-care service for children of workers who are critical to efforts to control the pandemic or to keep the State running.
Priority will be given to parents involved in providing health care and helping to protect against the virus. We would ask everyone to comply with this measure and to identify, for themselves, the most appropriate ways of implementing it.
Alongside the teaching community, the Department of Education, Youth and Sport is taking appropriate measures to ensure continuity of the public education service.
The Prince’s Government has set up a telephone number to respond to any questions about these measures relating to education: 98 98 47 01. Or you can email: Covid19education@gouv.mc
In parallel, the Prince’s Government is recommending the introduction of teleworking to enable economic activity to continue while responding to child-care needs.
In the case of commuters, this is a consistent response to the gradual winding down of public transport services, particularly rail services (SNCF and Thello).
The Prince’s Government has stepped up contacts with various social and economic sectors throughout the weekend, notably the retail sector, which has provided reassurance that there are currently no issues with supply, and no concerns for the future. The Prince’s Government would like to appeal to everyone not to change their usual food shopping behaviour. There is no reason to rush to the shops; distribution networks are functioning normally.
The Prince’s Government will hold a press briefing at 5.30 pm on Monday 16 March (details to be confirmed tomorrow) to explain all of these measures, which could change at any time.
The health of Monegasque nationals and residents in the Principality is the Government’s absolute priority and will remain so until this global pandemic is over. The Prince’s Government welcomes the exceptional mobilisation of all health care and emergency personnel which, since the beginning of this epidemic, has enabled and will continue to enable us to achieve this objective, and offers its thanks for their efforts.
The Prince’s Government would also like to remind everyone that we all have our part to play in protecting others, starting with our families and friends. The Prince’s Government calls on everyone to act responsibly and show civic mindedness in adopting the most cautious behaviours.