French and Riviera News 12th May 2021


Government advises people to adapt their summer holidays around the vaccination calendar - The French government has called on people to “adapt” their summer holidays to their Covid vaccination appointments. On Tuesday, France’s Health Minister announced that the “second dose must take place in the same vaccination centre as the first dose”. While the French government does intend to send more doses to tourist areas allowing some to get their second dose in their holiday region, this must remain the "exception". After the first injection, the second dose is scheduled with a delay of six weeks for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and 12 weeks for AstraZeneca.

Vaccination - To date 18,505,785 people have received at least one injection of the vaccine, and 8,243,215 people have received both doses.

Covid figures - Meanwhile the latest figures from Public Health France show that the number of patients in intensive care continues to decline. On Tuesday May 11th, 4,743 Covid patients were in intensive care, compared to 5,504 a week ago and in the last 24 hours 285 were admitted. The total number of patients hospitalized stands at 25,028 and 19,791 new cases were identified on Tuesday.

Health pass - Speaking on French television on Tuesday evening, French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced that the “health pass” would be put in place despite the rejection of article 1 of the bill on the exit from the state of health emergency by MPs. Castex went on to say that he was “surprised by the rejection” adding that he was “optimistic about the health situation in France”.

The article rejected provides in particular, the introduction of a “health pass”, which is the government's flagship measure to regulate coming out of lockdown by making access to certain places conditional on the presentation of a negative Covid test, proof of vaccination or further evidence of having recovered from Covid. The Prime Minister went on to assure that the “outcome of the vote doesn’t mean the end of the project” and according to the Prime Minister, "the rejection did not relate to the health pass but to the date of exit from the health emergency" with MPs preferring it to be at the end of September as opposed to the current date set which is October 31st. Castex concluded that the problem would be solved and that there will be a “health pass”.

In the interview the Prime Minister also addressed the question of the toughening of sentences against those that attack police officers or gendarmes. Castex had on Tuesday afternoon paid tribute during a ceremony to Eric Masson, a 36-year-old policeman killed on May 5th in Avignon.

Entertainment sector - The Ministries of Culture and Labour have announced new measures to support temporary workers in the entertainment field. The ministries said on Tuesday that unemployment benefits which were due to finish at the end of August will be extended until the end of December. Other measures to help the sector will be put in place for 2022.

Anti-covid - Anti-Covid personnel from the Regional Health Agency are visiting Antibes today Wednesday May 12th, for a day of awareness and testing. They will be on the Place des Martyrs de la Resistance from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm and will be giving information and offering antigenic screening tests without appointment with results in 15 minutes.

“Lady Moura” for sale - The super-yacht “Lady Moura” is reportedly up for sale for the first time. Built in 1990 it was at the time, the most expensive and most innovative private yacht in the world and has since become part of the landscape of Port Hercules here in Monaco. It’s the ninth largest yacht in the world and is for sale for a reported 125 million dollars at Campers & Nicholsons.


Stock markets around the world have fallen heavily on concerns that US inflation is set to rise. Markets in Europe took a heavy battering with investors unable to shake off fears that inflation will require intervention by central banks. Surging commodity prices are playing on inflation fears coupled with huge infrastructure and stimulus packages in the United States. In March, President Biden signed a $1.9 trillion economic relief bill that saw the government send cheques of $1400 to most Americans. Last month, Mr Biden also set up plans for more government spending on jobs, education and social care. Inflation in the United States hit 2.6% in the 12 months of March, breaching the Federal Reserve’s target of 2% and raising fears that the central bank might have to raise interest rates to cool things down.

Motorists in the United States have been urged not to hoard fuel as supplies tighten due to a major pipeline remaining shut after a cyber attack. Some drivers in the south east of the country have been seen stocking up as petrol stations began running dry and prices rose. The average price for petrol was at its highest level on Tuesday since November 2014. North Carolina, Virginia and Florida have all declared a state of emergency. However, the US energy secretary says there is no need for motorists to hoard petrol. Jennifer Granholm said there was not a shortage but a supply “crunch”. On Friday a ransomware cyber attack forced the Colonial Pipeline to shut down the main part of its network. Operations are not expected to be fully restored until the end of the week.

The UK’s financial watchdog has opened an investigation into the collapse of Greensill Capital. The Financial Conduct Authority says that potentially criminal allegations have been made about the circumstances of the firm’s failure. The owner of Liberty Steel GFG has been scrambling to raise funds since Greensill failed in March, leaving 3,000 jobs at risk. The enquiry comes as former Prime Minister David Cameron faces questions over lobbying for Greensill. Mr Cameron has said that he regrets texting ministers including Chancellor Rishi Sunak but maintains that he did not break government rules on lobbying. On Tuesday, it was reported that Mr Cameron had texted different government ministers 56 times on the subject of a government backed loan for Greensill.


Football – Manchester City have been crowned English Premier League champions for the third time in four seasons. City won the title without kicking a ball as their nearest rivals Manchester United lost 2–1 at home to Leicester. In last night’s other game Southampton beat Crystal Palace 3–1. There’s one game tonight. Chelsea play Arsenal.

Cricket – The New Zealand wicket-keeper BJ Watling will retire from all cricket after the tour of England in June. Wattling, who’s 35 will play in the World Test Championship final against India and then against England at Lord’s and Edgbaston before retiring. He’s played 106 times for the Black Caps across all three formats of the game scoring 4,384 runs and taking 282 catches.

Rugby Union – Danny Care says that he is disappointed at missing out on selection for the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa. Care had been told he was under consideration for the 37-man squad but he missed out as Conor Murray, Ali Price and Gareth Davies were selected by Warren Gatland. It’s the fourth consecutive tour that Care was told that he was under consideration only to be left out. The scrum-half, who’s 34 has won 84 England caps.