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Focus: Relaxation of COVID measures

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Focus: Relaxation of COVID measures

Today marks the publication in the Official Journal of Monaco of three ministerial decisions which significantly relax the health measures in force to manage the COVID-19 health crisis, as announced yesterday by the Prince’s Government.

Vaccine requirement lifted and end of automatic self-isolation

First, two ministerial decisions have been introduced amending the Ministerial Decision of 24 February 2020 regarding the situation of people who present a risk or have symptoms of potential infection with the 2019-nCoV virus.

The first Ministerial Decision of 8 March 2023 repeals Article 3, ending the need for people who test positive for COVID-19 to automatically self-isolate.
Consequently, from tomorrow, Saturday 11 March 2023, people who receive a positive PCR or antigen test are no longer required to self-isolate for seven days.
While this new measure marks the end of required absences from school and work for positive cases, it is nonetheless recommended that those concerned comply with barrier measures including wearing a mask.

The second Ministerial Decision of 8 March 2023 sets a date for the repeal of the Ministerial Decision of 24 February 2020. This means that all of the provisions will cease to have effect from Monday 27 March 2023.
In practice, this repeal will enable the early return to work of staff suspended in accordance with Article 8 of Act No. 1.509, dated 20 September 2021, regarding the requirement for certain categories of people to be vaccinated against COVID-19.


End of contact tracing

Finally, the Ministerial Decision of 8 March 2023 amends the Ministerial Decision of 20 May 2020 on the use of personal data processing to monitor the epidemiological situation, ending the practice of contact tracing.

In practice, this lifts the requirement to take a PCR or antigen test two days after the last contact.

Equally, for those involved in contact tracing (school doctors and occupational health staff in particular), these new measures end the requirement for them to conduct an epidemiological investigation if they become aware of a positive case.

In parallel, this new decision also terminates the remit of the government unit which was responsible for epidemiological investigations in the Principality.

It should be noted that the following measures remain in force in their current form:

- Requirement to inform the Department of Health Affairs of PCR and antigen tests conducted in the Principality;
- Ability to get a PCR test at the Testing Centre or a city laboratory;
- Ability to get an antigen test at a chemist or from a general practitioner/private nurse, declared to the  Department of Health Affairs;
- Reimbursement of the cost of PCR and antigen tests;
- Requirement to wear masks in healthcare facilities and care homes for the elderly only.