As in other parts of Europe, the number of positive COVID-19 cases and patients being hospitalised has been increasing for several weeks due to the spread of the Delta variant. While those who have recently been admitted to Princess Grace Hospital have been non-residents, the figures as of this evening show that seven of the 15 patients being treated in hospital are residents. Most of those infected and the vast majority of those hospitalised have not been vaccinated and are younger.
Due to this rapid deterioration in the health situation, the Minister of State sought a meeting with the National Council this morning to propose a strengthening of health measures to tackle what can reasonably be described as a fourth wave, with the aim of maintaining all economic, sporting and cultural activities while protecting health as far as possible.
H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince has approved the Government’s proposal, made following consultation with the National Council, which expressed a range of opinions. The proposal expands the obligation to show a health pass for access to restaurants and bars to all Monegasque nationals, residents and employees from Monday 23 August. This timeframe will enable those who wish to be vaccinated to complete their course of vaccination. The Prince’s Government would like to remind people that from Saturday 24 July, anyone coming from outside the Principality will need to present a health pass if they wish to visit a restaurant or bar.
A health pass provides confirmation that the holder has been fully vaccinated or has recovered from COVID-19 at least two weeks but not more than six months ago, or that they have received a negative PCR test result within the last 48 hours.
Following discussion of the bill that seeks to make vaccination mandatory for those working in Monegasque healthcare or elderly care facilities and people who have contact with elderly or vulnerable individuals, the Prince’s Government has confirmed that the bill will be submitted to the National Council in early August.
For its part, the National Council has confirmed that the bill will be reviewed in public and extraordinary sessions during the first half of September.
The Prince’s Government would like to reiterate that vaccination is the most effective way of protecting yourself and others. Getting vaccinated is therefore highly recommended, particularly for young people, who have accounted for the majority of infections in recent weeks and among whom vaccination coverage is insufficient. Vaccination remains free and available to all Monegasque nationals and residents aged 12 or over, as well as for employees aged 50 and over.
The Government continues to monitor developments in the health situation extremely closely and will change the measures in place accordingly, as it has done since the beginning of the pandemic.