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Thanks to an unprecedented arsenal of health, economic and social measures, Monaco is tackling the COVID-19 crisis head on.

To contain the spread of the virus in the Principality, the Monegasque Government has, since the beginning of the crisis and on the instructions of the Head of State, announced a package of social distancing measures to limit people’s contacts and movements to an absolute minimum.

On 29 October, H.S.H. Prince Albert II additionally announced the introduction of a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. starting on 1 November. The curfew will be in place for a month, during which shops and restaurants in the country will be allowed to stay open “with some specific modifications”, while “the entire school and university system will continue to operate in compliance with preventive rules,” said the Prince.

In the first wave of the epidemic, a special healthcare protocol was introduced to avoid overburdening hospitals in Monaco. Only patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms have been admitted to Princess Grace Hospital. The Prince’s Government opened a Home Patient Follow-Up Centre to respond to requests for medical and logistical support from those self-isolating at home. This measure has helped to ensure that the country’s healthcare facilities have not been overwhelmed. Provisions were also introduced to make use of private healthcare facilities, namely the Monaco Cardio-Thoracic Center and the Institute of Sports Medicine and Surgery, should it become necessary to do so.

© Direction de la Communication - Manuel Vitali
© Monte-Carlo SBM

The impact of the crisis unfortunately reaches far beyond the health challenges. The Monte-Carlo Tennis Masters, Monaco Grand Prix, Rose Ball, Spring Arts Festival (“Printemps des Arts”), Monte-Carlo Television Festival… all of the country’s main events were cancelled in 2020. The Société des Bains de Mer closed the doors of its legendary casinos and most of its luxury hotels for several months, with the exception of the Hôtel de Paris. “SBM has not experienced a situation like this since the Second World War,” said CEO Jean-Luc Biamonti. The management team describes a 72% drop in revenue for the first quarter of the 2020–2021 financial year and a difficult recovery.

To help companies affected by this unprecedented crisis, the Monegasque Government has, since spring, deployed an arsenal of measures to support the national economy, companies and workers. The use of teleworking has been expanded massively, applying to more than 10,000 employees during the peak at the beginning of April. The State is also funding part of the salaries of temporarily laid-off staff in the Principality until March 2021, offering partial exemption from employers’ social security contributions, and paying the rents of companies who lease premises in state-owned buildings and have now been hit by the crisis.

© Direction de la Communication - Manuel Vitali
© Direction de la Communication / Manuel Vitali

In addition to these emergency measures, a plan to help the Monegasque economy recover has been put in place, with a budget of €75 million. This recovery plan has four strands: the National Green Fund, designed to accelerate the energy transition, the Blue Fund, designed to support Monegasque companies in their digital transformation and create a digital economy in Monaco, the White Fund, designed to support the building and construction industry in the Principality, and finally the Red and White Fund, designed to support local traders and purchasing power in the Principality.

The enormous expenditure involved could be financed using the Constitutional Reserve Fund, which has been built up over a number of years thanks to state budget surpluses.

Civil society in Monaco has also mobilised since the beginning of the crisis. A number of solidarity initiatives have emerged, including to produce and supply masks free of charge. The Monegasque company Banana Moon, which specialises in producing swimwear, has decided to produce fabric masks, while MC-CLIC, whose expertise is in drones, has also been working day and night to make masks using its 3D printers. And the Monte-Carlo Bay’s Michelin-starred chef Marcel Ravin posted his exquisite recipes on social media every day while in temporary lockdown.

© Direction de la Communication - Manuel Vitali
© G. Luci / Palais Princier

“No generation today has ever experienced such a critical health situation. None of the crises we have gone through in recent decades have had such a severe economic impact in such a short space of time,” said H.S.H. Prince Albert II, who contracted the coronavirus himself and worked through his illness.

 

« Rarely in history has our collective destiny been so dependent on our personal actions. »

H.S.H. Prince Albert II.

For more information, see:
www.Covid19.mc

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