Prince Albert has told Monaco-Matin that he is believes the country has the capacity and the assets to recover from the double economic health crisis. He said that confinement is still not on the table at this time, even though an octogenarian resident died yesterday from Covid. “Only a significant worsening of the figures could make us think about that. I would add that the number of cases is increasing because we are testing more. We are one of the countries in Europe that tests its population the most,” he said.
“Thanks to generous donors, we have been able to acquire equipment, installed at the Monaco Scientific Center, which can process up to 800 PCR tests per eight hour period. Thus, we will be able to increase the number of PCR sampling stations at Espace Léo-Ferré. And if that were to become necessary, we could even reopen the Grimaldi Forum blood sample center,” he added.
The prince also emphasized that Public Security is carrying out controls both at entry points to the Principality, as residents of neighboring municipalities in confinement are coming to eat at restaurants in the Principality, and at restaurants to ensure that health rules are being respected.
In other news this morning, for the first time since Monaco resident Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou launched his low-cost carrier in 1995, easyJet has reported a full-year loss of €1.41 billion (£1.27 billion) due to the Covid pandemic. The iconic Orange carrier stated the total loss before tax figure for 2020 to the end of September compared to profits of €479 million (£430 million) in 2019.
In France, registered coronavirus cases reached the 2 million mark yesterday. Health minister Oliver Veran confirmed that the country has passed its peak but he could not say whether people would be able to travel for Christmas. Prime minister Jean Castex has not “ruled out” businesses opening on December 1, but this will be announced at the end of next week, closer to the end of confinement.
The Carnaval de Nice, the world’s third largest carnival, due to take place from February 13-27, 2020, has been suspended, and a decision to hold the King of Animals-themed event will be made at a later time.