COVID-19: Update on the Health Situation and Measures Applicable to the New Year and the Start of the New School Term
In view of the increase in the number of cases of COVID-19 over the last few days, as indicated by the daily health report, and in order to support a hospital situation that is gradually deteriorating, the Prince's Government, after consultation with the National Council, wished to put in place a set of measures to limit the spread of the virus while enabling the New Year to be celebrated in a favourable economic and social context and start the new school term in the best possible health conditions, by encouraging testing and vaccination in particular.
- Encouraging vaccination
Although 66,000 vaccine injections have been administered in the Principality and 66.7% of the resident population eligible for the vaccine (aged over 12 years) has benefited from a full vaccination schedule, this rate is not sufficient with the arrival of the Omicron variant.
This variant is spreading extremely rapidly in Europe, so it is essential, and urgent, to protect yourself and others. Furthermore, we remind you that those in a critical condition at the CHPG (resuscitation) are unvaccinated.
- Measures for 31 December
With regard to celebrations for 31 December (New Year's Eve), the Sovereign wishes to maintain the end-of-year festivities to preserve economic and social activity. However, certain measures will be taken to limit the spread of the virus during these festivities:
- A ban on gatherings of more than ten people on the public highway
- A ban on the consumption of alcohol on the public highway
- No dancing or karaoke activities in establishments
- Seated service only
Restaurants and bars will remain open and no curfew will be introduced at this stage.
However, the sale of takeaway alcohol will be prohibited after 8 p.m. and there will be no celebrations in the Place du Casino or on Port Hercule on New Year's Eve.
Similarly, all musical entertainment must cease at 1 a.m.
In addition, it is essential to be reasonable and continue to apply the barrier measures.
- Measures for the start of the new school term
As of Monday 3 January, two major measures will be put in place to combat the spread of the virus:
1) On the first day of school, each pupil will find a self-test on his or her desk.
Between now and the start of the new school term, all parents will receive a message from the Department of Education, Youth and Sport informing them of the implementation of this screening system, which is on a voluntary basis and is subject to the communication of signed parental authorisation.
It will consist of rapid nasopharyngeal self-tests that are non-invasive, easy to use and recommended by paediatricians - a small swab to be placed at the opening of the nostrils.
All Education Department staff members will also be able to take advantage of this scheme.
2) Self-tests for employees will also be offered to employers who so wish;
50,000 self-tests have been ordered for employees and, like the procedure that the Government put in place for masks, employers will be able to obtain self-tests via an online service.
The aim is to ensure that positive cases are detected quickly and dealt with immediately, so as to break the chains of infection rapidly and recommence on a sound basis.
- Extension of the health pass
From 10 January 2022, the health pass will be extended to a number of sectors where there is close and prolonged contact with customers. This is the case in the construction and beauty sectors (beauticians and hairdressers), tattooing and sport.
In practical terms, staff and customers in these activities will have to carry a health pass.