Brought to you by: Monaco Life
In a first for Nice Côte d’Azur airport, over a hundred passengers were given PCR tests upon landing in the French Riviera on Monday, marking the start of a new world order in Covid travel.
The 101 passengers were entering France on a flight from Tunisia and, after disembarking on the tarmac at Terminal 2, were bussed to Terminal 1 where they were asked to present to border control police travel certificates verifying a valid reason for entering the country, and a negative PCR test of less than 72 hours. According to a report by Monaco Matin, they were then asked to complete an information document with contact details before they were given another PCR test.
The passengers were escorted back to Terminal 2 where they collected their belongings and sent on their way.
“We were warned that we were going to be tested during boarding, but why? We had already taken a test before leaving,” one traveller told the newspaper.
Controls have been tightened since last August and rapid testing has been in place since November, with a focus on flights arriving from red or dark red countries such as Tunisia and Turkey.
This past month, airport services have been making random antigen tests on passengers coming in from outside the EU in an effort to control the spread of the virus and its variants, with a focus on the United Kingdom, Turkey, Morocco, Russia and Tunisia.
Now, the airport says these random controls will also occur on flights coming from other Schengen countries, with only children under 11 years of age exempt.
“With the arrival of variants and the increase in the number of cases in the Alpes-Maritimes department, we are carrying out random checks on entire flights,” said Hélène Navarro, communication director of the airport.
PCR tests are now being used in place of rapid antigen tests because they are the only sure-fire way to detect which variant a person is carrying.
The problem is that results do not appear for eight to 12 hours. Those who test positive will be recalled to the regional health authorities for further instruction.
The French government is still banking on lifting the current restrictions on 3rd May, a mid-May reopening of restaurant terraces and a return to school at the end of April.
Residents of the Principality aged 45 and over are now being invited to get their Covid vaccination. Meanwhile, home-tests are now being stocked in pharmacies in Monaco.
Monaco has been earmarked as the home for a new private viewing space by Zurich-based gallerists Hauser and Wirth who will hold their inaugural show in June.
The Grand Ball of Princes and Princesses celebrates its fifth year in June, bringing the magic from days of old to life for one night only at the Hôtel de Paris.
SIGN IN TO YOUR PREMIUM ACCOUNT TO READ MORE[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type="show" ihc_mb_who="reg" ihc_mb_template="" ] In 2007, I celebrated my daughter’s christening here with a glamorous crowd of friends revelling in champagne, barbajuans (Swiss-chard fritters) and a towering profiterole christening cake. A photo of me against the backdrop of the palace with Baby Dior christening present bags slung over each shoulder caused endless jokes amongst old Cambridge University friends that I had found my inner jetsetter at last. A decade later, I’m taken aback by the state of the place. The first thing that strikes me is that the front entrance of the restaurant has been engulfed by the neighbouring gift shop selling tourist knick-knacks so that you have to enter via a side entrance. The next thing I see is the transformation of the smart bar area into a bar-cum-depot for unloved furniture with one table as a makeshift desk scattered with paperwork. Finally I notice the worn beige undercloths and scarce clientele. I reflect that this Monegasque icon is looking a little moribund itself. Once my partner has arrived, we study the tidy two-page menu that celebrates Monegasque and Mediterranean dishes. A brusque waiter takes our order and then bats away my proffered camera saying he’s far too busy to take a photo. Afterwards a kind-hearted tourist who has witnessed the scene from a neighbouring table offers to take our photo instead. My tomato-and-burrata starter arrives in an impressive Technicolor of orange, red and yellow tomatoes. However, the burrata is rather hard (for a cheese that should be a melting combination of mozzarella and cream) and I’m not sure why the dish has been sprinkled with Parmesan. Luckily my clam pasta main course so hits the spot that I am tempted to polish the plate with my bread in enjoyment. As our waiter clears the pasta dishes, he remarks that he is ready to take our photo now that we have “les yeux rouges” (red eyes), after our lunch in the sun. My partner looks a little red-eyed with crossness as he asks for the bill. Yet as we finish off our glasses in the spring sunshine looking down over the leafy rooftops of Fontvieille, I reflect that there are few places to parallel a lazy lunch here even on an off day like this. Le Castelroc is a slice of our national identity. It is as important to Monegasque cuisine as the beloved Chez Roger stall in La Condamine market, which was revived successfully last month following a sustained public campaign: SOS Socca. With more and more competition within the principality from deep-pocketed international brands and celebrity chefs, we must seek inventive ways to sustain hard-working Monegasque dining dynasties. How about a Monegasque Culinary Heritage Foundation? Le Castelroc, 1 place du Palais. Tel: (+377) 93 30 36 68 Article first published March 21, 2017. [/ihc-hide-content]