The outbreak of Coronavirus and the enforced March 17th lockdown of residents saw almost all economic activities grind to a halt in Monaco, including all construction work.
But the good news is that construction workers involved in the innovative Portier Cove Monaco eco-development are now permitted to access the site, whilst adhering to stringent safety conditions.
As Monaco cautiously emerges from a lockdown which lasted nearly two months, work on the Principality’s cutting edge $2.4 billion project is back on track.
Indeed, just days after Monaco announced it would be tentatively easing restrictions on May 4th, the first critical phase of the project was completed. Work on the Portier roundabout, which will act as a gateway to Portier Cove, officially finished on May 13th 2020, some two years after it began.
The Prince’s Government was extremely quick to introduce a number of very strict sanitary checks for construction sites in Monaco, including the Mareterra project, to allow such developments to return to operation as fast as possible.
Safety measures implemented by the government include limiting the travel of construction workers, respecting social distancing, enforcing frequent hand washing, disinfecting surfaces such as handles and light switches and taking employees' temperatures at the entrance to the sites. Temporary workers were initially unable to work, but this measure has recently been relaxed.
Workers are also encouraged to eat in the open air wherever possible and to remain in groups of small numbers. They have been ordered to stay at home if they displayed symptoms such as a cough, fever, loss of smell or taste.
According to Patrice Pastor, deputy president of J.B. Pastor & Fils, the measures have been extremely successful so far, with just three people having to be sent home for not adhering to the rules.
“We currently have 404 workers on construction sites, including 100 of Bouygues Travaux Publics in Mareterra where we worked for ten days on our own before Bouygues resumed its activity,” he said.
Pastor said a number of other construction sites in Monaco planned to remobilise their workforce in the coming weeks to help Monaco get back on track.
“We would like to encourage, in partnership with the government, all our different entities as well as all the economic actors in the Principality to get back on track, gently and in a controlled manner, whilst respecting and focusing on our economic model, which allows everyone to enjoy all the advantages and attributes of our wonderful country,” he added.