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11 October 2021

COVID-19: mask requirements relaxed; third vaccine dose to be offered to over 65s

In light of the changing health situation, H.S.H. Prince Albert II has decided to relax the requirements for mask wearing in the Principality. This decision is based on recommendations from the Prince’s Government, which has discussed the issue with the National Council.

Health situation encouraging but caution needed

The health situation in the Principality indicates that the measures which have been put in place have slowed the spread of the virus, although to a lesser extent in recent days. Specifically, the incidence rate is less than a fifth of the level reached during the peak recorded in July.

There has been an improvement in the hospital figures over the last few weeks. Yesterday evening, seven people were being treated at Princess Grace Hospital: five people, one of whom is a resident were provided in-patient care, and two people, one of whom is a resident, were in intensive care. Thirteen people are being monitored by the Home Patient Follow-Up Centre.

It is nonetheless important to remain cautious and continue to follow barrier measures as the virus is still active, as demonstrated by the positive COVID-19 cases identified nearly every day.

Relaxation of mask requirements

Given the improved health situation which has also been seen in neighbouring regions, the requirements relating to mask wearing are being relaxed from Tuesday 12 October.

-          Masks will no longer be required in outdoor public spaces, unless there are large numbers of people present. This covers the following locations:

● Place du Palais between 11 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. (Changing of the Guard);

● The Esplanade at Fontvieille Shopping Centre;

● Public transport access points, particularly bus stops and train station platforms;

● The Condamine and Monte-Carlo markets between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Masks must still be worn in all public indoor spaces.

-           Masks are no longer required during physical education and sports lessons for all pupils, whether indoors or outdoors.

The wearing of masks by primary school pupils will be reviewed as the health situation develops.

In addition, at their request, the managers of health care and elderly care facilities are authorised to require presentation of a health pass by visitors wishing to access certain services. This does not apply to patients who have an appointment for a medical consultation or who need to visit the accident and emergency unit.

Third vaccine dose

Following the recent positive ruling from the European Medicines Agency, the Prince’s Government is offering a third vaccine dose to Monegasque nationals and residents aged 65 or over and health care workers vaccinated more than six months ago. The Government has recently sent such individuals a letter offering them a third vaccine dose to strengthen their immune response, if they wish to take it up.

Vaccination

The Prince’s Government would once again like to reiterate the importance of improving the vaccination rate. A significant increase in the rate of vaccination will help us return to a more normal economy and social life. The Prince’s Government invites all those who have not yet been vaccinated to get the vaccine for their own benefit and for others.

The Prince’s Government may make changes to these health measures as the health situation evolves.

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