The Coronavirus crisis has caused devastation in countries around the world, and Monaco is no exception. With the situation developing so fast and new information released every day, it can be hard to stay on top of details such as what Monegasques can and can’t do, which shops and services are still open, what help is available for businesses and employees, and whether efforts are being made to help citizens stuck abroad. It can also be difficult to remember the silver linings that have emerged from the coronavirus in Monaco. COVID-19 is a crisis like none we have seen before, but we will get through it, and the most important thing is to stay informed. That is why we have put together this helpful guide, which we hope you will find useful.
Coronavirus in Monaco: COVID-19 key information
Useful phone numbers and links
- To find the latest government information: https://covid19.mc/en/
- If you have any questions about coronavirus that you cannot find the answer to online, please call: +377 92 05 55 00 from 9am to 6pm or email: email@example.com
- If you think you might be infected: please call 18 or 112
Current restrictions in Monaco for COVID-19
As of Monday 4 May at 6 am, Monaco began its initial phase to gradually ease its lockdown, however there are still plenty of regulations in place to keep citizens safe. The decision to take these steps to lift the lockdown has been, and will continue to be, adopted based on compliance with the application of health precautions and barrier measures and depending on the further spread of the virus in Monaco.
Stopping the spread of the coronavirus in Monaco requires everyone to follow the Principality’s social distancing rules. But what exactly does this mean?
Monegasques are no longer required to stay at home whenever possible, and can move freely within the territory without having to justify their movements. However, it is compulsory to wear masks in certain public places such as public transport, shops, and markets. People must also keep a distance of 1.5 metres from others.
Monaco shops and services that are still running
In Monaco, COVID-19 had previously seen all non-essential businesses close their doors and stop in-person trade, with only food shops, food delivery services, banks and the post office remaining open. However, as of 4 May the following have re-opened:
- All shops (1 person allowed per 4 m²)
- Government services
- Places of worship (keeping a safe distance of 1.5 m between people + mask)
- Hairdressers, beauty salons and healthcare practices by appointment
- Takeaways (with management of queues)
- Construction sites
In addition, private vessels are now allowed to leave Monaco’s Port Hercule and use of private helicopters has been reinstated.
Since 11 May, schools have begun to reopen for some classes, according to the following measures:
- All students and teachers will need to wear masks
- Premises and equipment will be disinfected on a frequent and regular basis
- Hand sanitiser and soap will be widely available
- Barrier measures will be introduced, including hand washing on entering and leaving school, as well as after each lesson or activity
- Entrances and exits will be organised to avoid people gathering together
- Movement around the school will be organised and managed to limit contact and interaction between people
- Students will return to school in half-size class groups to limit numbers
- Students will remain in a single classroom to limit movement
- Neither school meals nor physical education and sports classes will resume
Support for Monaco businesses & employees
With lots of people financially implicated, the Monaco government has stepped in and made provisions for its residents. Here we answer the key questions about what you are entitled to:
Support for Monaco businesses & employees
Many businesses had to cease trading or at the very least minimise their offering during the initial lockdown, and this has had a huge impact on the economy. With lots of people financially implicated, the Monaco government has stepped in and made provisions for its residents. Here we answer the key questions about what you are entitled to:
- If you run a business and the Monaco COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in a reduction in trade, you can access strengthened provisions for total temporary layoff (CTTR). You have the choice to either cease trading completely until the health crisis is over, or reduce employee working time to below the legal hours. You will then pay your employees partial activity compensation corresponding to 70% of the gross hourly wage for each hour not worked, which will be fully reimbursed by the state (if the request of the company is approved).
- If you are self-employed and have no funds coming in, you may be able to claim the Exceptional Minimum Income, which is set at €1,800.
- If you have a business which is facing severe cash flow difficulties, you may also be able to apply for an interest-free loan of €50,000 to €500,000, to help get you through this difficult time.
Repatriation help for Monaco citizens stuck abroad
It must be daunting for Monaco residents who are stuck abroad, unable to return home. At present travel is only possible in accordance with the rules that each country has introduced, and each country has very different restrictions. However, the Department of External Relations and International Cooperation is here to help. Here’s what to do if you are unable to get back into Monaco due to coronavirus travel restrictions:
- Reach out to Monaco’s Directorate of Diplomatic and Consular Relations, who will tell you the best person to speak with depending on where in the world you are. In countries without a Monegasque embassy or consulate, the French embassy will be able to help you.
- If possible, it is recommended that no one travels until the lockdown is lifted. However, the embassy will fairly assess your situation, and if it is deemed necessary that you return to Monaco, particularly for health reasons, they will aid you in doing so.
- If you do return to the Principality, you should put yourself into immediate self-isolation for 14 days. During this time you must not go to work if you are unable to work from home.You should also contact the Monaco COVID-19 call centre as soon as you arrive back (+377 92 05 55 00 from 9am to 6pm / firstname.lastname@example.org).
Positive news to lift our spirits
It can be difficult to stay cheerful with constant news of COVID-19’s terrible impact around the world. However, here are a few silver linings that we can be grateful for:
- Community spirit – the Monaco COVID-19 outbreak has seen people come together to support each other and those in need. One fantastic example of this is the daily 8pm clap for the key workers, also observed by yacht owners who blow their horn to show their appreciation.
- Environmental improvements – the European Environment Agency has reported that in some locations air pollution has dropped by as much as half during lockdown. Wild animals have also benefited from the human restrictions, venturing into the now-deserted towns and cities to explore. In Italy and Spain, wild boars have returned; on the Italian island of Sardinia, dolphins have come back and in Courchevel ski resort, a wolf was recently spotted.
- Limited Monaco coronavirus spread – At time of publication there were only 96 reported cases of COVID-19 in Monaco. What’s more, our Prince Albert has made a full recovery after battling the disease/
- Remote working – Many businesses have adapted very quickly to working from home, showing a dedication to their employees’ wellbeing, not to mention flexibility and resilience. There are many incredible tools available for collaborative working, which we have had the opportunity to discover.
How La Costa Properties Monaco is working through the crisis
In the initial lockdown, La Costa real estate agency in Monaco was using a selection of new technologies to allow our entire team to work from home. Our whole team has now gone back to work and all the required health & safety regulations have been executed in our offices. At the entrance we offer hydro-alcoholic gel and masks for each returning customer, with hydro-alcoholic gel and wipes on every desk. We have also installed plexiglass protecting our receptionists, and all of our staff wear masks.
A professional company disinfected our premises before de-containment. Now, twice a week this same company disinfects all contact points. In addition, every evening the contact points – including handles, worktops, computer keyboards and telephones – are disinfected by our team. Every evening a disinfectant aerosol is sprayed in all offices. We are taking great care to protect the safety of our staff and customers.
Customers are now welcome to visit the agency by prior appointment, where we will follow restrictions of one person per 4m2. Property viewings have also resumed, again by prior appointment.
Our goal is to make working with us as easy as possible, as lockdown lifts but social distancing requirements remain very much in force. Please get in touch with our expert team if you have any questions about our work or the effect of COVID-19 in Monaco. We are more than happy to help.