The new stringent measures and weekend lockdowns in the Alpes Maritimes pose important issues for Monaco.
Firstly, Monaco has already tightened its own controls and has robust campaigns in place both with respect to vaccinations and testing.
Monaco is Not Locking Down on Weekends
The Principality has decided not to follow the Alpes Maritimes which has imposed partial lockdowns on the next two weekends – February 27 and 28 and March 6 and 7 – in the coastal communities from Theoule to Menton (comprising 90% of the population of the Department).
This means that Monegasque residents will be able to continue living in the Principality, going out of their homes, shopping, going to a restaurant for lunch while respecting the curfew has highlighted Minister of State, Pierre Dartout.
Visiting the Alpes Maritimes on these Weekends is Not Recommended
So what do Monegasques do when considering travel outside the Principality during these “lockdown weekends” in the Alpes Maritimes?
The Head of State recommends that the population of the Principality NOT go to the Alpes-Maritimes department given the health situation, except for an overriding reason.
Travel to Towns Away from the Coast that are Not Confined
The Monegasque government is still awaiting information from the prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes to specify travel protocols if Monegasques wish to go during the weekend to a municipality in the Alpes-Maritimes away from the Coast that is not confined. It will certainly be necessary to cross French municipalities surrounding the Principality that are confined this weekend to get to the hinterland.
In any event, there is an obligation to take a PCR test on return to Monaco.This is for the sake of protecting the population. Therefore the obligation remains to produce a negative PCR test to enter Monegasque territory for more than 24 hours de facto for anyone including Monegasques and residents returning from vacation.
The government intends to solicit families who have already been tested before they go on vacation to remind them in the event they decide to travel. According to reports over Monaco 500 families headed for vacation had been tested in advance.
Increased Checks at Weekends on Traffic Entering Monaco
Monaco’s Public Security will mobilize to carry out very strict controls to considerably limit the flow of traffic on these special weekends. Checks are reported to be systematic at the various entrances to the Principality: road, rail and also at the heliport to ensure that all those arriving are in order.
(That is to say, carriers of a negative PCR of less than 72 hours, with the exception of workers and schoolchildren, as well as residents of the Alpes-Maritimes and Var for a trip of less than 24 hours.)
It is reported that the authorities have already turned back 400 vehicles through systematic checks earlier this week.
Special attention will also be paid to train users, where the hordes of people passing through makes control less easy. Extra precaution will be exercised by Public Security to ensure there is no circumvention of the rule by train travellers.