French and Riviera News Friday 11th December 2020


Lockdown replaced by curfew – The six-week national lockdown in France is to be lifted on December 15th and replaced by a curfew from 8pm to 6am including New Year’s Eve. The move announced by French Prime Minister Jean Castex on Thursday will allow families to travel to celebrate Christmas, but museums, theatres and cinemas will remain closed.

During the press conference Castex said that while the health situation had “considerably improved with the number of new infections falling from nearly 50,000 a day in late October to around 10,000, it is still too early to “let down our guard”. Thursday saw 14,000 new cases of Covid-19 identified compared to 12,000 a week earlier. The total death toll in France since the beginning of the pandemic stands at over 55,000.

Mayor of Nice comes first for action towards health crisis, and climate action - According to an Ifop poll, the mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi comes first for his dealing with the health crisis, economic recovery, public security and action towards climate change. The poll ranked the action of elected officials throughout France. The mayor of Nice was placed ahead of the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo and Martine Aubry the mayor of Lille.

Meanwhile on Thursday, Christian Estrosi called for a carbon tax on international transport. Speaking at the Zero Carbon Forum he said that the problem of heavy goods vehicles "is major" and that "we cannot allow cars to be reduced" and at the same time continue with the situation regarding heavy goods vehicles. He said that Nice wishes to be more autonomous in terms of energy.

Google – France has fined Google 100 million euros for breaking the country's rules on online advertising trackers known as cookies. It is the largest fine ever issued by the French data privacy watchdog CNIL. US retail giant Amazon was also fined 35 million euros for breaking the rules. The tech giants have been given three months to change the information banners displayed on their websites. If they do not comply, they will be fined a further 100,000 euros per day until the changes are made.

Truffle season - France’s truffle season is set to begin officially this Saturday December 12th. Markets are allowed to open with health precautions in place. Truffles have come through particularly early this year, due to high levels of humidity following the drought and heat over the summer. The season will last from Saturday 12th December until March 7th, 2021,

Survey on safety of shower gels, creams and make-up - The magazine “60 Millions de consommateurs” has published a survey today which evaluated 160 cosmetic products with regard to their impact on health. The survey showed that only about fifty have proven to be satisfactory. All others contain potentially dangerous substances. The consumer defense association advises customers to scrutinize the list of ingredients, whether the product is organic or not. Particularly for lipsticks which may contain aluminum.

The 50 products rated healthy and safe by the magazine are in all price ranges, which means safe and affordable cosmetics can be produced. The consumer magazine therefore calls on manufacturers to put more effort into the composition of their products.


The British Prime Minister has said that there’s a “strong possibility” that the UK will fail to strike a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union. Speaking on Thursday as talks continued in Brussels, Boris Johnson said that “now is the time” for firms and people to prepare for a no-deal outcome. He said that British negotiators would go “the extra mile” to reach a deal but stressed that the government found it unacceptable that the EU was trying to keep the UK “locked” into its legal system. Mr Johnson said that the EU’s proposals meant that despite leaving the bloc, the UK would be forced to remain a “twin” of the 27-member organisation. He concluded that Britain should prepare for an “Australia style deal”, his way of describing an exit using WTO rules, rather than the Canada style deal that he had been seeking. UK ports have been at gridlock over the past few days with firms attempting massive imports of goods before Brexit happens on the 1st of January. Talks in Brussels in a bid to reach a deal will continue between the two sides until Sunday when the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen says that a conclusion will have to be reached.

Shares in the holiday rental platform Airbnb have surged on their first day of trading giving the firm a valuation of more than 100 billion dollars. The listing, the biggest in the US this year raised some 3.5 billion dollars for Airbnb. The firm s