Lunchtime News Monday 13th October 2020

Local 

Residency card website - The launch of the website for Britons to register for their French residency card has been delayed. French officials have confirmed the brief delay to the site which was expected to open on Thursday 15th October. it's now reportedly postponed until Monday 19th October. 

A spokesperson has said that the reasons were Covid-19-related and not political. 

The website plans to simplify online applications with one visit to prefecture, and cards to be sent in the post.

The link to the new site is http://invite.contacts-demarches.interieur.gouv.fr

Nightclub owners block A51 motorway - Nightclub owners have carried out a “snail operation” on the A51 motorway, between Aix-en-Provence and Marseille this morning.

Demonstrators are demanding the reopening of establishments which have been closed since lockdown as part of health measures to fight against Covid-19.

The demonstrators were heading to Marseille to demonstrate in front of the prefecture.

Last week, the owners of nightclubs had already demonstrated in front of the prefecture in Marseille but the president of the collective of nightclubs for the PACA and Corsica says "nothing is progressing and we are dying in the most total indifference adding that for eight months, we have no income and are unable to pay our rents. He concluded that “since June, we have been entitled to 15,000 euros per month which we have not yet received. But that does not cover our costs. Some have charges of between 40 or 50,000 euros per month”.

La Grande Braderie of Saint Tropez cancelled – Shop owners in Saint Tropez have aired their “anger and disbelieve” following the news that the prefect has refused the authorisation of this years “Grand Braderie”.

The event, which is a popular big clearance sale for many shops in the town, with fantastic bargains to be found is normally held from the 23rd-26th October. 

Mooring restrictions to save Posidonia - In line with regulations set out by the maritime prefect for the Alpes Maritimes in June of last year concerning regulating the anchoring of yachts over 20 meters, further measures are to be introduced to determine zones in the Mediterranean which will ban mooring to stop the destruction of Posidonia. 

Posidonia has been a protected species since 1988. The seagrass beds are the lungs of the Mediterranean and are often torn off by the anchors of large vessels.

With the surface occupied by Posidonia reducing in recent decades. The maritime prefect of the Mediterranean has decided to act and according to a press release is introducing “no mooring zones” which will be clearly marked for vessels 20 meters and over in the Alpes-Maritimes.

Covid-19 - Prime Minister Jean Castex has urged French people to limit the number of people they receive in their homes as daily Covid-19 infections and as Toulouse and Montpellier prepared to join other major cities as zones of “maximum alert”today.

Prime Minister Castex said the battle against Covid-19 was an “endurance race”, emphasising that barrier measures and social distancing needed to be respected in private as well as public spaces.

Tighter restrictions will be imposed in Toulouse and Montpellier today when they are upgraded to maximum alert zones, meaning the virus is dangerously active.

Meanwhile in Aix-en-Provence and Marseille, the first cities to reach France’s highest alert level, the closure of bars and sports halls, as well as reinforced sanitary protocols in restaurants and shopping centres, have been extended for a further 15 days.

Teachers feel badly protected from Covid-19 - A recent survey has shown that 81% of teachers in France feel “badly or very badly protected in class against Covid-19” which has led to calls for "a strengthened health protocol in schools”.

Teachers say it’s too difficult to "ensure physical distancing between students" with teachers unable to enforce the barrier gestures.

As far as wearing of the mask, there is a small majority of teachers who do not wish to make it compulsory for all students. Teachers say that it’s been extremely difficult to adapt systematically to changes in protocols and changes in ministry directives.

French President interview -  Ahead of the French President Emmanuel Macron’s interview tomorrow evening at 7.55pm on TF1 and France 2 there is speculation that the Head of State, who has not officially spoken on the health crisis since 14th July, wishes to give a “clear focus to the French in order to fight against the coronavirus with new restrictive measures being announced”.

Macron's speech will take place two days after that of his Prime Minister Jean Castex, who on Monday for the first time, admitted that the country was experiencing its "second wave."

French President Emmanuel Macron is today holding a meeting with the government’s defence council to discuss new measures in the fight against the spread of Covid-19, with the possibility of a curfew being introduced to those areas the worst affected. 

Flu vaccination - French Health authorities fear a shortage of flu vaccinations, as the seasonal flu vaccination campaign begins today. Authorities fear that as France is currently experiencing the second wave of the coronavirus epidemic there could be a shortage for the 16 million people at risk as well as health professionals, who are the priority to get vaccinated.

The campaign runs until January 31st and is aims initially and primarily to vaccinate those at risk.

The seasonal flu affects 2 to 6 million French people every winter and causes a large number of emergency room visits and hospitalisations. It was responsible for 8,000 to 14,500 deaths over the last three flu seasons, the vast majority of them in vulnerable people.

Studio in Paris hits the market for 134,000 euros - A 6.51 square metres apartment in Paris has hit the market for a staggering 134,000 euros.

The property for sale by Century 21 is not by any means a record for the French capital where at the start of the year a 30 square metre studio was on sale for 945,000 euros.

Situated on the on the Quai de Gesvres, the price is apparently explained, not only by the location, but also by the "pretty unobstructed view of the Seine, Notre Dame and the many famous monuments".

 

 

 

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