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Home World Crowded terraces but deserted souvenir shops

Crowded terraces but deserted souvenir shops


On the Place d’Armes, in Monaco, March 4, 2021 – E. Martin / ANP / 20 Minutes

  • Noon service is provided but not evening service, a curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. being in place until March 19.
  • If life continues almost normally in part of the city, the Rock suffers from the lack of foreign tourists.

Twenty minutes by train separate Nice from Monaco. During the trip, we can see the landscape scrolling but we also leave behind the next partial and localized containment of the weekend or the closure of restaurants.

Indeed, on the other side of the border, other health restrictions are applied. This does not prevent part of the city from sleeping, cut off from what makes it exist: tourists.

“Eating outside is wonderful”

“At noon, we take advantage because we know that in the evening and at weekends, we will not be able,” says Yoann who came to lunch on the terrace of the Pasqualini he caffee with his four colleagues. He lives in Nice but his business is in Monaco. “Sharing a good time outside of work, to eat, it’s wonderful,” adds Stéphane, sitting next to him. He adds: “We go to restaurants a lot less than before, it’s once or twice a week. I think we are not the only ones. Usually, in this square, it’s crowded. Everyone touches each other! “

Since January 2, to eat sautéed veal with vegetables in the sun like Yoann and Stéphane, it is necessary to prove a residence or work in the Principality and to reserve in advance. Only lunch services are provided.

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According to two servers at the Quai des Artistes, on the port, “there is always a high number of workers during the week, even with teleworking. At weekends, most of them are Monegasques, but there are lots of people ”. Monaco has nearly 50,000 jobs and 38,100 inhabitants, over two square kilometers.

A restaurant in the Fontvieille district – E. Martin / ANP / 20 Minutes

“We feel privileged”

Going to a restaurant is what Camille Poidevin and Célia Boudjemline mainly attracted to Monaco. “We can eat outside. It feels good ! », Launches Camille Poidevin. The two friends come from Aix-en-Provence and are there for the weekend. They had to perform a PCR test and make a declaration of non-contagiousness. Afterwards, the hotel issued them a certificate which allows them to be considered a resident for the duration of their stay and therefore to go out to eat at noon. “Services such as the hammam, the swimming pool or the gym are closed. For two nights at the Novotel, it cost us 150 euros per person, ”explains Célia Boudjemline.

“We are two hours from home but we are completely disoriented, says Aixoise. I had been there before, it was really packed with people. The positive side in this period is that we see Monaco differently. We have the impression of having the city to ourselves ”. This Thursday noon, at the legendary changing of the guard on the Rock, only twenty people were present. She adds: “We really feel privileged”.

Twenty-six deaths since the start of the crisis

Privileged to the point where they could be greeted like celebrities in the souvenir shops of the Rock. Manuela Spinelli, who has worked for Bottega d’a roca for five years, finds “the time very long”. “There are three tourists for twenty stores. And the tourists who are there are local people, they are not those who make us earn our living ”. She adds: “We really do short days but I have music, I talk to the neighbors. We feel all the more alone since it is the school holidays. It’s specific to the Rock, down below, it’s not the same atmosphere at all ”. The Principality usually receives nearly 355,000 tourists per year.

On the other side of the city, a line forms in front of the Casino Café de Paris. One person checks everyone: you must live in 06 or 83 or present a negative PCR test to access the casino. The gauge inside is set at 350. In fifteen minutes, about fifty people entered. Indeed, no traffic problem on that side …

Since the start of the crisis, 26 people have died in Monaco, 1,981 have been affected by Covid-19 and 1,754 have been cured. Currently, ten patients are in intensive care, 29 are hospitalized including 15 residents.

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