As 31 new cases were reported on Tuesday in Monaco, Prince Albert is extending the 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew by three weeks until February 19.
The curfew was put into place on January 11 and set to end January 27 at midnight, yet while the circulation of the virus has stabilized over the past two weeks, the rate of incidence in Monaco over the past 7 days has reached 400 Covid cases per 100,000 people. (The Alpes-Maritimes has the highest infection rate in the country with 427 per 100,000 cases)
According to the government, Monaco does more antigenic and PCR testing than any other country in Europe, with 5,300 tests carried out between January 18 and 24, which is reflected in these elevated figures.
As in France, Monaco’s hospital structures are not saturated but admissions are on the rise, especially in ICU where there are currently nine patients (including 4 residents) being treated at Princess Grace Hospital Center.
4,000 Monegasques and residents have been vaccinated since December 31, and Prince Albert told Monaco-Matin the government is doing everything possible to guarantee the supply of the vaccine.
Once again, it has been reported that more than half of the infections occur from private gatherings. And once again, health authorities are emphasizing the need “to exercise the greatest caution and limit these gatherings as much as possible” while “absolutely respecting social distancing” when together at home with the family. It is also recommended to reinforce hand sanitizing, ventilate rooms where people are hanging out, and not share cutlery or glasses. “It is essential that everyone take precautions to protect themselves and to protect others.”
Restaurants can continue to serve lunch with access reserved to Monaco residents and employees. Reservations are required, and the number of people is limited to 6 per table, with service between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
The Government reiterates that wherever possible, teleworking must be put in place in the private and public sectors until further notice to reduce the influx of people from outside the Monaco while maintaining an active economy.
In France, the question to confine or not confine is expected to be answered over the coming week but only 40% of the French support a third lockdown.
While positive Covid cases have been steady, around 23,000 per day (26,086 Tuesday), hospital and ICU admissions are increasing with 3,071 patients now in intensive care (On April 8, the country peaked with 7,148 ICU patients.) But these figures are lower than the previous two lockdowns (around 60,000 cases a day) and the government is hesitant to shut down “non-essential” businesses, especially as France is in the middle of its winter sales and authorities are still reviewing data to decipher whether the national curfew, put in place two weeks ago, is effective.
Still, the head of the scientific community Jean-François Delfraissy has advised a lockdown as soon as possible in order to prevent a bleak month of March, the result of the British strain, but President Macron is not scheduled to address the nation this week, which means for the time being, the curfew sticks.
Meanwhile, the U.K. today became the first “European” country to pass the 100,000 mark for Covid deaths and Ireland has extended its confinement until March 5.