In recent weeks, the U.K. and Switzerland have classified Monaco as a “risk area” and consequently added it to a list of quarantine countries. But are Monaco residents required to self-quarantine after returning from a trip to the U.K., Switzerland or any country abroad?
On July 30, minister of social affairs and health, Didier Gamerdinger announced two measures to prevent the spread of Covid in Monaco, which included wearing masks in lineups and mandatory PCR testing for hotel clients coming from a “risk zone” determined by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control or arriving from a non-European zone.
Gamerdinger advised Monegasque residents not to travel to these risk areas but “if they do go anyway, we appeal to their civic sense to present themselves to our services on their return to be tested. The fight against Covid-19 is based on a sense of collective protection.”
The government tells Forbes Monaco today that while it is not mandatory, Monaco residents and Monegasques returning from an ECDC “risk zone” or a non-European zone should adhere to the same protocol as outlined by Gamerdinger for tourists: undergo a Covid test, which would require a “quatorzaine” while waiting for the test results.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, French media have given preference to the word “quatorzaine” (a footnight) over “quarantine” and it can be confusing because the incubation period—when you are at risk of contaminating others—can be up to 14 (quatorze) days.
In law, the French word “quatorzaine” meant as a “space of fourteen days that was legally observed between the various stages of a judicial seizure.” In the early nineteenth century, it referred to a “space of fourteen days, which was observed from one to the other of four auctions of property actually seized.”
Yet “quarantine” comes from the Venetian quarantena, meaning 40 days, a period of isolation imposed on Venice in the 17th century. It symbolizes an imposed isolation of a person or animal affected or likely to be infected with a contagious disease, and to prevent its spread.
Either way, if you are coming back from a high risk zone, it is advised to be responsible and self-isolate until you know you are not putting others in Covid’s way. Over the past four days, 15 residents of Monaco have tested positive and two restaurants in Larvotto have closed until further notice.