Covid latest: cases remain low and situation is stable

The latest government figures show that circulation of Covid-19 is low throughout the Principality, positioning Monaco well ahead of a return to work and school.

The Omicron wave of the coronavirus has continued to subside for a number of weeks. New figures from the Monaco Health Department show that of the 839 PCR and antigen tests conducted in the Principality in the week to Sunday 28th August, 11.3% were positive for Covid. That equates to an incidence rate of 107, slightly higher than the previous figure of 89 the week prior but well below a level that would concern authorities.

Hospitalisations also remain low, with nine people being cared for at the Princess Grace Hospital Centre, eight of whom are residents, and no patients in ICU.

Meanwhile, only 21 positive residents with mild symptoms are being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.

As with every back to school/work period, and a return from summer travels, the government is encouraging people to be tested upon their return to limit any possible spread of the virus throughout the Principality.



Photo of a Covid testing lab in Monaco, by Monaco Life





Review: The Niwaki Japanese restaurant

Forget what you think you know about Japanese food. It is so much more than raw salmon and California rolls, well at The Niwaki anyway. Think hamachi sashimi with truffle ponzu, smoked Chilean seabass with yuzu miso, and melt in your mouth lamb chops… Japanese cuisine has made its mark on Monaco and its likely better than you could ever have imagined.

It’s safe to say that all eyes were on Samy Sass when he opened The Niwaki this summer. With a Portuguese background, the Monegasque national is more well known for welcoming celebrity guests at Sass Café than for his forays into East Asian hospitality.

But as I discovered on a recent summer’s night, The Niwaki not only lives up to expectations, it confidently exceeds them.

The Niwaki, located in the Palais de la Plage building at Larvotto, is a new signature blend of culturally-defining, luxurious, texture-fuelled design meets attentive, friendly service and exciting, modern Japanese cuisine.

The menu is sold as Samy’s love affair with Japan, having honed his taste buds during his many visits to the Far East, and perfected by Corporate Chef Shahar Dahan and Executive Sushi Chef Wagner Spadacio.

The enormous list of dishes is a veritable choose your own adventure of contemporary Japanese cuisine, some with a hit of Mediterranean influence, and all with extremely high-end ingredients and extremely high-end preparation.

Be sure to start your meal with these shishito peppers with dry miso, photo by Monaco Life

We start the adventure with morish shishito peppers blanketed with dry miso, and scrumptious crunchy tuna aburi with smoked mayo. As an appetizer, they pair perfectly with our Japanese-inspired cocktails prepared by the very-capable Head Barmaid Edwige Coulomb.

The sushi chef’s skills are perfectly displayed on a plate of salmon and tuna nigiri and traditional maki before the hamachi sashimi with truffle ponzu reaches the table to showcase how the worlds of Asian and Mediterranean cuisine can intertwine deliciously. The chicken yakitori is a sumptuous nod to the classics, while there is no doubt as to why the smoked Chilean seabass with yuzu miso is a reported favourite among guests. We finish the mains with spicy ginger marinated lamb chops with hatcho miso glaze, broccolini with lime soy, and baby bok choy with miso glaze.

A delicate apricot and sobacha sensation prepared by Pastry Chef Ilaria Viano finishes what can only be described as a delectable gastronomic journey to Japan.

The sushi chef’s skills are perfectly displayed on a plate of salmon and tuna nigiri and traditional maki, photo by Monaco Life

And to wash it all down? They’ve got an extensive sake list to match virtually anything you order. Just ask the well-versed sommelier for suggestions. In fact, ask all the staff for their suggestions. These are incredibly experienced professionals that hail from some of the biggest restaurants in Europe, and they will gladly guide you through The Niwaki experience.

The space itself is elegant, warm, contemporary, and feels like a small part of Japan has been lifted out and delicately placed opposite the Larvotto beach. Everything from the floor to the ceiling is made from precious wood, luxurious marble and onyx stone.

It is clear from the outset where The Niwaki wants to position itself in Monaco’s exclusive fine dining scene, and it is obviously capable of vying for a top spot.

Click on the gallery below to see more images of The Niwaki, photos by Monaco Life. 



Photos of The Niwaki staff by Fabbio Galatioto, in order of appearance: Corporate Chef Shahar Dahan, Executive Sushi Chef Wagner Spadacio, Head Pastry Chef Ilaria Viano, General Manager Luca Fametti and Deputy Director Emeric Muller.






Food photos by Monaco Life, all rights reserved










Marine Biodiversity Treaty drafted at UN

Major progress has been made on a new marine biodiversity treaty known as BBJN, of which Monaco has been a key contributor.

According to the French government, the past two weeks has been a busy time at the fifth session of the intergovernmental negotiations on a treaty on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, known as the BBNJ process, held at United Nations headquarters in New York.

A collective of countries had gathered to create the outline of a treaty that could have far-reaching impact on marine causes and conservation.

The basics of the treaty primarily address the creation of marine protected areas, the completion of environmental impact studies in the high seas, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits from the use of marine genetic resources.

France’s Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Office of the Minister of State for Marine Affairs applauded the progress made in taking this important step which comes a few months before the UN Biodiversity Conference, more familiarly known as COP15, in December in Montreal.

During this year’s COP15, a legal framework is expected to be created for biodiversity, of which France and Monaco both are in support of, as evidenced by both Prince Albert II’s and French President Emmanuel Macron’s participation at the One Ocean Summit held in Brest earlier this year. Both countries were also active at last year’s COP15 conference.

“In this Year of the Oceans, which marks the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the international community must redouble its efforts to reach an agreement,” said the French government in a statement. “With its EU partners and the ‘Protecting the ocean, time for action’ coalition which it has initiated, France will continue to work so that an ambitious and universal treaty can be agreed in a few short months, which will strengthen governance of the high seas and create the necessary tools for the effective protection of the ocean and sustainable use of its resources.”

Furthermore, France is vying to be host, alongside Costa Rica, of the next UN Ocean Conference set for 2025.






Photo credit: Wexor Tmg on Unsplash






Back-to-back titles for Monaco Rugby 7s

The Monaco Rugby 7s have won consecutive titles, beating Section Paloise Béarn Pyrénées during Saturday’s final in Pau ahead of November’s grand final in Paris.

In the three tournaments in which Monaco have featured this season, they have reached the final every time, winning the last two, firstly in La Rochelle and now in Pau. It is also the Principality side’s sixth consecutive final.

Given their impressive record, Cecil Afrika’s men will certainly be ranked amongst the favourites to win the grand final in Paris on 19th November.

Whilst Monaco strode to victory last weekend, they didn’t have it all their own way this time around. Section Paloise Béarn Pyrénées ran Monaco close, finishing within three points of the eventual winners (24-21).

Monaco had enjoyed an easy ride to Saturday’s final, beating Victorieux de Brive (45-7), Bordeaux-Bègles (33-17) and most comprehensively, Racing 92 (34-0).

The squad will be teeming with confidence going into the finals, as they look to go one further than last year and win the title. On current form, it would be difficult to bet against them doing so.


Photo source: Monaco Rugby Sevens






French PM says companies may need to ration energy this winter

France’s Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has asked that companies now start to take steps toward reducing energy consumption to avoid facing rationing this winter. 

France, traditionally an exporter of power, has found itself in an energy predicament at the worst possible time and is now being forced to import, causing worry amongst consumers and companies as the warm summer days start turning cooler.

The main problem is not the war in Ukraine and the Russians playing power games, but more of an internal one. Only 24 of the nation’s 56 nuclear reactors are fully operational due to several being shut down because of corrosion and maintenance issues. This means that output will be an estimated 25% below normal years. Only four of those reactors are set to resume output soon, not until sometime between early November and mid-January.

This perfect storm has spurred the government to put price caps of 4% on energy for households until the end of the year, but this does not, as yet, extend to businesses, who are also being incredibly hard hit. Moreover, the amount of supply may also be affected, forcing rations on everyone across the board.

“If we act collectively then we can overcome the risk of shortages, but unless everyone takes part and if all the bad-case scenarios come together then we could be forced to impose reductions on consumers,” the Prime Minister told the Medef business group. “If we end up with rationing, companies will be the most affected and unfortunately we need to be prepared for it.”

Ms Borne did announce that the government was looking into a plan to support companies though, including a “quota trading system” that would allow businesses to buy and sell power quotas.



Photo by Lukas Lehotsky on Unsplash





Premier League Highlights: Liverpool score 9, Man City come from behind

In Monaco Life’s new feature, we round-up the Premier League action, including Liverpool’s 9-0 drubbing of newly-promoted Bournemouth and Manchester City’s remontada against Crystal Palace.

Liverpool 9-0 Bournemouth – Liverpool equalled the Premier League record for the largest win during Saturday’s fixture against Bournemouth. In the wake of that result, Cherries’ manager Scott Parker has been sacked. Liverpool pushed for a 10th, which would have beaten the Premier League record, but failed to do so.

Manchester City 4-2 Crystal Palace – Despite going two behind to Patrick Vieira’s side at the Etihad, an Erling-Bruut Haaland-inspired Manchester City fought back to claim the three points.

Arsenal 2-1 Fulham – Arsenal also came from behind as they continued their positive start to the season, whilst maintaining the feel-good factor at the Emirates. They left it late to grab the victory with Gabriel’s 86th minute goal completing the turnaround and return back to the summit of the Premier League.

Chelsea 2-1 Leicester City – Brendan Rodgers’ side’s miserable start to the season continued at Stamford Bridge. Despite going down to 10-men early on, Chelsea scored twice through Raheem Sterling, which was enough for the Blues to claim the three points.

Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 Leeds United – Graham Potter continues to work miracles at the AMEX stadium. The south coast side were very briefly top of the league as they continue to surpass expectations. The club are nine unbeaten in the league, a record for the club.

Brentford 1-1 Everton – A late Vitaly Janelt goal salvaged a draw for Brentford in a game that they largely dominated. Anthony Gordon, who is heavily linked with a move away from Goodison Park open the scoring, but the Toffees couldn’t hold on.

Southampton 0-1 Manchester United – Erik Ten Hag’s men backed up their win against Liverpool with a narrow win at St Mary’s. Without overly convincing, a Bruno Fernandes goal was enough to give Manchester United the three points.

Nottingham Forest 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur – A Harry Kane double gave Tottenham the points at a bouncing City Ground. Newly-promoted Forest had their chances, but ultimately didn’t take advantage. Steve Cooper’s men will, however, still be happy with their positive start to the season.

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 Newcastle United – A late Allan Saint-Maximin stunner salvaged a point for the away side. The former Monaco and Nice player has begun the season in scintillating form, proving decisive against Manchester City last week and again this week at Molineux.

Aston Villa 0-1 West Ham United – West Ham registered their first points of the season with victory over Aston Villa. Pablo Fornals’ finish midway through the second-half eased the pressure on David Moyes, whilst ramping up the pressure on Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa.

Monaco Life’s Premier League Highlights will be published every Tuesday. Make sure you’re signed up to our free daily newsletter so you don’t miss out on all the football news! Register by clicking here.