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Free buses, nationality, restaurants … ten big changes in store for Monaco in 2022

Bus-Monaco
© Monaco Tribune

Changing legislation, new stores, free buses … a brief overview of the changes that  2022 will bring to the Principality. 

1. Free buses for two months

A major announcement by the National Council in December was that free buses will be trialled in the Principality in October and November 2022. The intention is to promote soft mobility in Monaco and encourage users to take the bus rather than the car. The precise practicalities of the temporary system will be determined over the next few months.

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2. The new Monte-Carlo Riviera TV channel

On December 9, the Principality made Monaco’s membership of the TV5 Monde group official. The future public television channel, Monte-Carlo Riviera, will be 100% dedicated to the Principality and will be broadcast in 200 countries, with 60 million viewers, from September. The channel will provide a newscast, documentaries and talk shows.

3. Acquisition of nationality through marriage after 20 years

Another big change concerns the acquisition of Monegasque nationality through marriage. From 30 June 2022, twenty years of marriage will be required to apply for citizenship, compared to ten years today. The aim is to protect the current social model in place, given the rapid growth in the number of Monegasques. The National Council considered that twenty years was the length of time required to fully integrate into a community.

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4. Stronger measures to fight school bullying

The law on bullying will come into force at the start of the 2022 school year. The legislation provides for greater awareness among pupils and teachers, the appointment of a person of reference, the recognition of the State’s responsibility and criminal penalties for those who commit violence in the school environment.

5. Ban of plastic food packaging and toys

While Monaco intends to ban single-use plastic by 2024, 2022 marks the start of a new phase in the Government’s timetable:  packaging (plastic films and labels) around fruit and vegetables came to an end on January 1st.  Non-biodegradable tea bags and plastic toys in children’s menus are also prohibited. Companies are obliged to make crockery available to employees in catering establishments and disposable cutlery will be charged for in snack bars and restaurants.

plastic fruit and vegetables
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6. Larvotto stores to open and IKEA comes to Nice

The Larvotto is getting a facelift, with the end of building works scheduled for spring 2022. A beauty institute, a bakery, three restaurants and an interior decor store will open there. The Swedish brand IKEA will open a new store in the Saint-Isidore district in Nice on May 11, 2022, and intends to hire 400 employees.

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7. New restaurants and a refurbishment for Café de Paris

Another new arrival on the Larvotto: Big Mamma. The Italian restaurant will be at the Méridien end of the complex. At the same time, the Lebanese Em Sherif restaurant will replace Alain Ducasse’s Omer at the Hôtel de Paris in the spring. Also, the Café de Paris will close for refurbishment at the end of February. The premises will be relocated to the Salle Empire until the work is completed in 2023.

cafe de paris
© Facebook Café de Paris Monte-Carlo

8. Transport improvements between Nice and Monaco

The train between Les Arcs and Ventimiglia should run normally from April 2, announced by SNCF as the end of the renovation work that is currently underway. The work is forcing trains to run on a single track between Nice and Eze-sur-Mer, resulting in the cancellation of certain services and overcrowded trains at peak times. For motorists, the Beausoleil slip road, on the A8, should be opened by the end of 2022, to relieve traffic congestion at La Turbie. A cycle path along the lower corniche is also planned for the summer.

monaco-train
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As for maritime transport, cruise ships, which have been banned from entering ports since 2020 due to the health crisis, could return to the Principality in April 2022. Olivier Lavagna, Managing Director of the Société d’Exploitation des Ports de Monaco (SEPM), told us that they are waiting for confirmation. But one thing is certain: future ships will be limited to 250 metres and 1,250 passengers, targetting a clientele with stronger purchasing power.

9. Mandatory helmets for electric scooters

From January 24, all electric scooter users will be required to wear a protective helmet, to reduce the risk of accidents on public roads. Until now, this only applied to minors. The compulsory helmet is an addition to the other regulations in force: retro-reflective clothing or equipment, audible warning devices, lights and reflectors.

10. A new format for the Monaco Grand Prix

Last but not least, there will be a change of format for the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix, scheduled for May 26 to 29. The Thursday will no longer be used for testing, as in previous years, but for the support races instead. Practice will take place on Friday, qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday. This means the end of the traditional “day of rest” after Ascension Thursday, even if the tracks will still be in use for four days.