Many of us have strong beliefs, religious or otherwise, quite different from others in our community but we manage to live together harmoniously. Our differences don’t prevent society generally from functioning well. The economy grows and the health system functions well. Views on vaccination have the potential to change this equilibrium.
Epidemics put tremendous pressure on social norms – lockdowns and closures of our favourite bars, restaurants, sports centres and theatres to start with. And the potential of our hospitals being overwhelmed. As the threatening waves pass and society opens up again, the important question arises – can we get back to 100% normal.
Everyone has expected the serious limitations on our freedoms to be temporary. And that includes some who do not like the latest idea of a Health Pass to enter their favourite bars and theatres etc.
A calm and constructive dialogue
A delegation from the Facebook group mobilizing over 3000 people against the health pass in Monaco was received recently at the Ministry of State. A calm and constructive dialogue, lasting two and a half hours where everyone was able to explain their point of view.
It is a reality that vaccination has helped defeat the epidemic as have other measures like social distancing and wearing of masks.
The priority is to get the economy going and protect the system that ensures good health. And vaccinations and testing are playing a critical role in this. Which led the Principality initially to insist that all non-resident visitors show a health pass to circulate in Monaco and go to restaurants etc. Though Monaco residents had so far been exempt from doing this once across the border, they find health passes are mandatory in France and becoming the norm in many countries. It’s a system that does unavoidably cause new divisions in society, the unvaccinated and the untested can’t go to their favourite places. But there is also strong evidence to show that the unvaccinated are a channel for new infections and case numbers in Monaco are growing again.
To keep the economy moving forward and the hospital system functioning well the Government has decided come August 23rd that Monaco residents and employees must also have Health passes to access their favourite restaurants etc.
The Government invited a delegation of six, the creator of the Facebook group, a restaurateur, a mother, a lawyer, a retired nurse, all Monegasques, and, finally, a public security officer.
The purpose was to maintain a serene, frank and open dialogue – to answer the many questions and complaints that are arising. To explain why the Principality is acting in this way. It is important that there are no divisions, potential fractures within the Monegasque population.
The fear expressed by the delegation was of an unprecedented social and family divide in addition to the impact of this measure on the economy and restaurant owners and residents.
For the time being, the Princely government does not intend to withdraw its new measure – a compulsory health pass for all.
The health pass is a tool that allows a balance between protecting the health of the population and maintaining economic activities. The measure, therefore, will come into force on August 23.