French government spokesperson Gabriel Attal has held a press conference after the Council of Ministers meeting this morning. He said that "the fourth wave could have started, it is no longer a risk, it is a reality", saying that the incidence rate has increased nationally by more than 60% in one week and is approaching the alert threshold. He said that the Delta variant now accounts for 60% of cases. In several metropolitain departments the incidence rate "is increasing extremely rapidly" and is twice as much as it was a week ago in Paris, has "more than doubled" in the South Region and has increased more than 600% in one week in the Pyrenees-Orientales department, which he said "is unheard of in a territory over such a short time since the start of the epedemic".
He said that "we have the means to protect ourselves" from the virus by vaccination and that according to the Pasteur Institute a non-vaccinated person "has 12 times more risk of infecting another person than a vaccinated person".
After President Macron's announcements yesterday evening, Gabriel Attal clarified that there will be what he called "flexibility" on the implementation of the Health Pass for adolescents, employees of places open to the public where a Health Pass is required and for French people living abroad, in particular who haven't been vaccinated with an EU-approved vaccine. He added that more details will be published by the end of the week giving information on a country by country basis.
He added that "no additional breaking measures are planned in any department whatsoever", saying that Prefects would only be justified in taking additional measures if there is an incidence rate of 200 and a risk of saturation of hospitals.
He confirmed that a parliamentary bill will be brought forward to extend the state of health emergency from its current expiration date at the end of September to the end of this year. He also confirmed that the first round of the 2022 French Presidential Election will be held on Sunday April 10 and the second round on Sunday April 24. The legislative elections will be held on June 12 and June 19 next year.
This afternoon the Minister for Transport Jean-Baptiste Djebbari clarified that the Health Pass will not be required for local TER trains, only for long distance trains. President Macron had said yesterday evening that the Health Pass would be required for public transport from the beginning of August.
The Minister for Small and Medium Sized Businesses, Alain Griset, said this afternoon that it is "absolutely essential that the Health Pass comes into effect and that everyone plays along", otherwise additional measures will be necessary. President Macron said in his address that the pass will be necessary in bars, restaurants and shopping centres from early August. Alain Griset added that checks to ensure compliance would be carried out in restaurants.
Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire is holding a meeting with representatives of shopping centres this evening to discuss details of the implementation of the Health Pass.
Several local elected officials have given their reaction to President Macron's address yesterday evening. Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi described the measures as "very good news" and said that "these are incentives that will lead us to the compulsory vaccination" that he wants. He added "why would anyone who refuses to be vaccinated have free access to everything when anyone who makes the effort to protect themselves and those around them would be punished by those who are not vaccinated". Alpes-Maritimes deputy Eric Ciotti said that he approves of the measures announced by President Macron and considers them essential, but added that the total relaxation before the regional elections was "once again a mistake on the basis of political rather than scientific considerations".
The vaccination centre at the Cap3000 shopping centre in St Laurent-du-Var has extended its opening period to the whole of the summer. No appointment is necessary and the centre is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The Monaco government has announced procedures to be followed by employees in the Principality who are under Monegasque social security and aged 50 and over who wish to be vaccinated. Those wishing to be vaccinated are invited to call the Covid-l9 Call Centre on Monaco 92.05.55.00, which is open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Alternatively, it's possible to register online on the website https: //vaccination-covid19.gouv. mc
The Prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes has announced security measures for the July 14 celebrations tomorrow. The consumption of alcoholic beverages on public roads, outside the terraces of restaurants and authorized drinking establishments, is prohibited in all the municipalities of the department from midnight tonight to July 15 at 6 a.m. There are prohibitions on the sale, possession and use of pyrotechnic articles by the public and on the sale, transport and use of combustible products and hydrochloric acid. Full details can be found on the Prefecture's website https://www.alpes-maritimes.gouv.fr/Actualites/Communiques/2021/JUILLET/Reglementation-temporaire-a-l-occasion-des-festivites-du-14-juillet-2021
The Prefecture of the Var has reminded residents and visitors that the use of firecrackers, fireworks and pyrotechnics is prohibited on July 11 - 14 and also on August 13, 14 and 15. The Var Prefecture has also said that in view of the very heavy circulation of the Delta variant, wearing a mask remains compulsory during gatherings during the festivities and in particular during the fireworks today and tomorrow.
In Antibes, the fireworks originally scheduled for this evening between Fort Carré and La Siesta, have been cancelled due to unfavorable sea weather conditions. However, the fireworks tomorrow at 10.15pm in the bay of Juan-les-Pins are still scheduled to take place.
Firefighters in the Var observed one minute of silence at 11:00 this morning in memory of one the their colleagues in north-west France. Chief Warrant Officer Bruno Callard of the Loire-Atlantique fire department recently passed away during training at sea. The minutes silence was observed at the Departmental Directorate and also at SDIS emergency centres in the Var.
Indian e-commerce business Flipkart has raised new funding of $3.6bn. It said it will use the money to expand its operations and invest further in its grocery, fashion and delivery service. Flipkart is majority owned by US retailer Walmart.
Shopping centre owner British Land has said that activity at its retail parks is almost back to pre-Covid levels. In an operational update the company said that across its retail portfolio, footfall and sales were 86% and 94% of pre-pandemic levels in the 7 weeks since the reopening of indoor hospitality on 17 May. It said its retail parks continue to outperform with footfall and sales 96% and 99% of pre pandemic levels.
Tour de France...Patrick Konrad won stage 16 today. Sonny Colbrelli was in second place, Michael Matthews was third.
Football... Three England players have been included in the Euro 2020 "Team of the Tournament". The ideal line-up was chosen by Uefa's team of 16 technical observers, made up of former players and former and current coaches. England's Harry Maguire, Kyle Walker and Raheem Sterling were chosen and players from Italy, Denmark, Belgium and Spain were also included.
Formula 1... McLaren have said that Lando Norris was mugged in a car park at Wembley after the Euro 2020 final on Sunday. Norris was returning to his McLaren car in a Wembley car park when he was attacked by two men who took his team issue McLaren watch worth 40,000 pounds. The Formula 1 team said in a statement that he was "unharmed but understandably shaken". Norris is still expected to take part in this weekends British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Two people have been wounded, one seriously after a shooting in the city of Charrel in Aubagne in the Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur region. The incident ... Read More