Evening Update Thursday 5 November 2020

The director-general of the Regional Health Agency for the Ile-de-France area has said that people must "massively reduce" their social interactions. Speaking on French television this morning, Aurelien Rousseau  said that people seem to be "less afraid" of the coronavirus than during the first wave. His comments come as new measures have been introduced in Paris to regulate night-time activities. A new prefectoral decree regulates certain deliveries and take-away sales after 10pm. The prefecture said that checks will be made on establishments and delivery drivers to ensure compliance. The aim is to stop groups of people gathering on public highways. The new measures in Paris will be in effect from 10pm to 6am as from this Friday.

A French teaching union has proposed strike action next Tuesday, November 10. The SNES-FSU union, which is one of a number of teaching unions, is calling for reinforced coronavirus measures in schools. Meanwhile, students at several schools have once again been staging protests at what they say are inadequate health protocols. Students at several schools in Nantes and Saint-Nazaire gathered this morning to protest at the lack of social distancing, especially in school cafeterias.

President Macron has announced a doubling of the number of border control and customs personnel to control illegal immigration and terrorism. The president was speaking during a visit to the border with Spain in the Pyrenees-Orientales department earlier today. He also said that he planned to put a proposal before the Europen Council to bring about an overhaul of the Schengen area.

Searches are continuing to try to locate the body of the pilot who was on board a light plane which went missing on the Riviera earlier this week. The plane lost contact with the control tower at Cannes Mandelieu airport at about 8pm on Monday evening. Searches began immediately afterwards but so far only a small amount of debris from the plane has been found. Reports say that a remote controlled submarine has now been deployed to search the area where the plane is believed to have crashed.

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi has said that he believes 5G services will be operational in Nice from the first half of 2021. Speaking at a conference on the economy this morning he said that the city has consulted experts on the risks of 5G and none of them have concluded that there is any danger.

Reconstruction work continues to repair the damage caused by Storm Alex. A double width road running through Bancairon is being constructed to restore the original road running through the Tinée valley as quickly as possible. The prefectoral delgate in charge of reconstruction of the valleys, Xavier Pelletier, met with local representatives of the Departmental Directorate of Territories and the Sea