Evening Update Monday 28 December 2020

The Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has asked for new restrictions to be brought into force to limit the spread of the coronavirus. According to the mayor, in one week, 15 new intensive care admissions were recorded and the positivity rate rose to 7%. Several causes of the increase have been identified, such as the large number of tests carried out, cross-border exchanges and non-compliance with health measures. The mayor held a videoconference meting today with the local public health council made up of around forty specialists, at the end of which they unanimously suggested several measures and proposals. The mayor said that he did not want a new confinement, because he said that the population "suffers enough" from the measures already imposed. Instead, he said that he and the local public health council are making several proposals to restrict travel with neighboring territories. These include proposed reciprocal quarantine measures with Italy. They also request that French Prime Minister Jean Castex asks his Monegasque counterpart to apply the same health measures in Monaco as in France or otherwise that travel with the principality be limited to professional reasons.

Regarding the situation at Nice Cote d'Azur Airport, the mayor said that "it isn't acceptable that only flights from Tunisia are 100% checked" and they request that everyone arriving at the airport be subjected to a PCR test. Regarding vaccination, he said that "our territory cannot wait 8 more days for the campaign to begin" and they ask the State to start the vaccination campaign this week in the Alpes Maritimes. He said that thanks to waste water analysis it is possible to identify the sectors which are the most contaminated and they ask the Alpes Maritimes Prefect "to possibly adapt the curfew, by advancing the start time to 6 p.m." based on those results.

Meteo France have a Yellow warning for high waves and coastal flooding in the Var and the Alpes Maritimes until midnight tonight. There are also yellow warnings for icy conditions and avalanches in the Alpes Maritimes. Several coastal roads and footpaths in our region have been closed this morning and this afternoon because of the risk of high waves and flooding. Roads in Nice, Antibes and Menton were affected as well as other coastal towns. Motorists are advised to take extra care. Strong winds have been affecting many parts of France today. Meteo France said that gusts this afternoon have been reaching 90-110 km / h on the Atlantic coast and Corsica, 80-100 km / h in the foothills of the Pyrenees & heights of the Massif Central, and 80 km / h on the Mediterranean coast, Alps and Jura.

A ship has run aground at the entrance to Ajaccio harbour in Corsica. The 36 metre Iles Sanguinaires II is a lightship, beacon and towing vessel and is thought to have broken its moorings during storm Bella. A floating boom is being put in place to attempt limit pollution from fuel on board. Reports say that 6,000 litres of fuel has already leaked from the ship. The Maritime Prefecture said that a chartered support and assistance vessel is standing by ready to intervene. However, it's thought that an operation to refloat the ship may take some time because of continuing bad weather. The 120 tonne vessel was built in 2005.

The Prefect of Police in the Bouches du Rhone department has requisitioned staff to collect household waste in parts of Marseille. Employees at a waste collection company are on strike in a dispute with their management. An estimated 900 tonnes of garbage has gone uncollected in the 2nd, 15th and 16th arrondissements since the strike began on the 17 December. The Police Prefect said that "the health and safety of the inhabitants of the neighborhoods is at stake".

French Minsiter of the Interior Gerald Darmanin and Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly have attended a ceremony to pay tribute to the police officers who lost their lives while attending an incident last Tuesday near the village of Saint-Just in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. A fourth officer, who was injured in the shooting, has been awarded the Legion d'Honneur.

The French government is seeking entries for a "Made in France" exhibition which will be taking place at the Elysee in Paris next year. Entries are open to all sizes of buisness. A selection committee will be chaired by the Minister for Industry, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, and the Minister for SMEs, Alain Griset, to select an emblematic product from each French department. The closing date for entries is 15 January and you can get further details at the Economy and Finance Ministry's website https://www.economie.gouv.fr/fabrique-en-france-2021#

Alpes Maritimes firefighters were called out to perform a delicate rescue operation near the village of Utelle yesterday. A small hunting dog had become trapped in a precarious position on a mountainside. After being recovered by firefighters Tango was returned safe and sound to his owner.


Ambassadors representing the remaining 27 states of the European Union have unanimously approved the post-Brexit trade deal between the EU and the UK. The UK Parliament is expected to approve the agreement on Wednesday. Under EU rule