As the second Saturday of winter sales in Monaco approaches, the government reminds residents that the Covid virus is actively circulating – there were 40 cases yesterday (101 over three days) – and is asking all commerce and shoppers to act responsibly.
Part of the concern is that winter sales in France do not start until January 20 and so there will be an influx of non-residents coming to the Principality this weekend to take advantage of the reduced prices. This means more crowds in parking lots, shops and public spaces, although only residents, employees and hotel guests can eat at restaurants.
Consequently, on Saturday the police will be monitoring incoming road traffic at the border, which could cause major congestion. There will also be passenger controls carried out at the Monaco train station. Public Security officers will regulate, or even restrict, access to Monaco to non-residents (excluding nationals, residents, people working in the Principality or those who can prove a hotel reservation) who are not able “to justify a compelling reason” to enter.
Wearing a mask is compulsory throughout the country and a reminder that in stores there is a limit of one shopper per 4m2, and in shopping centers one per 10m2. In both cases, customers must follow the floor map.
When outside lineups are long (with one meter between each person), shoppers are being asked to come back later. In some cases, the police may ask people to leave.
Prince Alert and the government are doing everything in their power to find a balance between health safety and economic activity that guarantees jobs. “Protecting yourself also means protecting others,” they are communicating, particularly as the virus is gaining force in Monaco and in the Alpes-Maritimes, which has the highest infection rate in France at the moment with 358.3 per 100,000 inhabitants.
Addressing the recent accusations linking Monaco restaurants being open to the increase of Covid cases in the Alpes-Maritimes by Nice mayor Christian Estrosi and the president of the Île-de-France region, Valérie Pécresse.
Prince Albert has told Monaco-Matin, “It’s not very fair to say that. We have had an increase in cases with the influx of additional visitors during the holidays, and we have been reactive by sanctioning, for example, restaurant owners who do not follow the rules.
“It is easy for our French friends to say that Monaco is responsible for the increase in cases at home…We remain vigilant and should the situation deteriorate, we will take action immediately.”