Population urged to take free Covid tests

The Principality has brought back free Covid screening from this week in an effort to try and avoid a rebound of cases post half term break.

Covid loves a holiday. People are in high spirits, visiting with friends and family, and generally being more lax on social distancing and other health and safety precautions. These conditions give the virus a chance to spread faster than under normal circumstances, where people have been trained to be more cautious.

In the midst of half term break, the government of Monaco has decided to reintroduce its free Covid screening campaign to attempt to contain the virus as much as possible.

“Traditionally during the holidays, we are a little less attentive to barrier gestures. We have seen in the past that after returning from vacation, there were small epidemic rebounds,” said Health Minister Didier Gamerdinger to Monaco Info. “To avoid this, we offer free screening in our centre in the Rainier-III auditorium.”

The screening campaign starts on Tuesday 2nd November and runs until Sunday 14th November. It is aimed at residents, employees and students, and no medical prescription is required. In order to get an appointment for a test, just ring the Covid-19 call centre on +377 92 05 55 00.

“We must constantly remain mobilised because the virus continues to circulate in the Principality, as in the neighbouring department. The incidence rate at the moment in Monaco is at 52, a significant figure if we remember that last June we were at a 10 incidence rate. This virus circulates at home as with our neighbours in the Alpes-Maritimes where the incidence rate is at 62,” Gamerdinger explained.

The minister also used the opportunity to remind people of the benefits of getting vaccinated, including a third dose for those who were vaccinated early in the campaign.

“Thanks to the serological monitoring carried out on volunteers, we know, and it is in accordance with scientific publications in other states, that over time – and this is normal – the effectiveness of the vaccine gradually decreases, so it is prudent and judicious to offer the first people vaccinated, who were also the older, to think about the third dose.”