Monaco has long been a comfortable bolt-hole by the sea, free from personal income tax, where wealthy residents can moor their superyachts for fast getaways.

Despite its population density (38,000 people live in just 2sq km), Monaco’s ministers say the pandemic has not dulled the attractions of Monte Carlo and the enclave’s other tightly packed neighbourhoods overlooking the Ligurian Sea on the Côte d’Azur.

If anything, they insist, the worldwide threats of disease, political instability — and ultimately the risk of higher taxes to pay for governments’ deficit-financed economic recovery plans — make a foothold in Monaco more desirable. Since the pandemic began, Evelyne Genta, the ambassador to the UK, says she has been fielding queries from worried London residents about the possibility of acquiring residency.

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