It’s inevitable that more questions would come up about slowing the pandemic. People almost expected a spike with the festivities. That there is a spike in the Alpes Maritimes even before ringing in the New Year is worrying.
It certainly has the Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi worried. Worried enough to want to reduce the back and forth between France and Monaco where hotels and restaurants remain open and cultural events are still part of life.
Nice and Alpes Maritimes Suffering a Spike in Covid
Christian Estrosi has good reason to worry about Nice after looking at the rising incidence rate – over 320 per 100,000 on 27th December in the Alpes Maritimes. And there is the fear in France of the new more transmissible Covid that is currently virulent in the UK. 320 per 100.000 is more than double the rate in France overall – even if on the positive side the hospitals are not yet overwhelmed.
Monaco, of course, is unlikely to be a major contributor to Nice’s health challenges. Nevertheless, Estrosi would prefer that travel across the Principality’s frontier from France be restricted to everyone, except for the professionals with an “attestation” – according to his press conference.
Estrosi has proposed the Prefect of the Alpes Maritimes impose a raft of new restrictive measures and Monaco certainly has not been singled out. He also targets the French Italian border for tighter monitoring on movement and enforcing quarantines reciprocally with Italy on cross-border visitors.
More tests at the airport, earlier curfews, restraints on number of shoppers and to be expected a priority on vaccinations – the Mayor exhorts.
Monaco carefully tracks the incidence of Covid in the Principality and has a robust testing program – also being reinforced following the festivities. And the details of a National Vaccination Plan are expected to be revealed soon.
New Year’s Eve
Not to forget that Monaco has already imposed a prohibition on outsiders coming to the Principality on New Year’s Eve unless they have a hotel reservation. No joyful gatherings of neighbouring communities with Monegasques in Casino Square in 2020 – a tradition that is strictly forbidden this year.
However, the Principality has taken its own balanced path to controlling the epidemic, trying not to sacrifice everyone’s jobs in the process.