In brief

Amidst Covid-19 surge, Nice asks Monaco to close borders

Christian Estrosi
Christian Estrosi©DR

On Monday 28 December, the mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, requested an extraordinary meeting to discuss the worrying rise in Covid-19 cases in the Alpes-Maritimes region. One of the measures being considered is blocking commuters from traveling to Italy and Monaco. 

In just a week, Nice recorded 15 new ICU admissions, while the positivity rate of coronavirus tests has now risen to 7%. A rise in the number of tests carried out, more freedom of movement, and lack of social distancing largely account for such a surge.

>> READ MORE: Half of French population unwilling to get Covid-19 vaccine, survey reveals

Vaccines are on their way

Alarmed by the rise in patient numbers, which could cause local hospitals to reach maximum capacity,  the mayor of Nice has asked France’s Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, to start the region’s vaccination campaign as soon as is possible. As of now, authorities expect to start vaccinations in the Alpes-Maritimes region next week.

>> READ MORE: Has a second lockdown been a coup de grâce for the Riviera’s businesses?

Restrictions on cross-border travel

In a tweet written on 28 December, Estrosi called on French Prime minister Jean Castex to ask his Monegasque counterpart “to apply the same health measures as France”. “If that fails,” wrote Estrosi, “we will ask that travel to the Principality be limited to professional reasons only”. Estrosi requested the same for Italy, asking for “reciprocity of quarantine and a ban on crossing the border for anyone who does not expressly need to”. Lastly, the mayor of Nice also asked for tighter controls at the airport and in certain shops. Over the weekend, the Nice municipal police issued 1569 coronavirus-related fines, including 1000 to people who were not wearing a mask.

>> READ MORE: To escape lockdown, French flock to Monaco