French and Riviera News Friday 12th February 2021


Man dies in paragliding accident - A paraglider has died in Gourdon. The accident occurred on Thursday afternoon shortly after 1pm. Witnesses alerted emergency services after the paraglider hit the rock face. The 60-year-old man from Nice died on the spot.

Ski lifts open in northern Italy – A region of northern Italy has announced the reopening from Monday February 15th of its alpine ski facilities. The Lombardy will be the first to authorize the opening of ski lifts in the country after weeks of closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Classes close in Alpes Maritimes due to Covid - 20 classes have closed this week in schools in the Alpes Maritimes due to Covid. The closure concerns mainly nursery section classrooms which following the health protocol are requested to close as soon as a case of Covid is identified whereas three cases are needed to close primary and secondary classrooms.

Health situation in the Var - Meanwhile in the Var on Thursday 14 classes closed. Four of them are in nursery schools. Despite the health situation on a national level being described by the Health Minister during a press conference on Thursday as “stable”, admissions to intensive care as well as deaths are increasing in the Var department. In three days, the Regional Health Agency has announced 12 additional deaths in hospitals. Since the start of the epidemic, the coronavirus has claimed 1,169 victims in the Var (797 in hospital, 372 in nursing homes). However, the incidence rate continues to decline. While it remains one of the highest in France, it stood at 305 on February 7th (latest data available), compared to 350 on January 25th.

Man takes new Ferrari for a spin and gets caught for speeding - A man in his forties from Villeneuve-Loubet has been arrested by police in the Isère, after being caught for speeding. The motorist was flashed at 153km an hour in a zone limited to 80. According to local reports the driver was taking the car which he had just purchased for a test drive.

Seborga launches Mimosa art challenge - The self-proclaimed principality of Seborga, just across the border in the heights of Bordighera in Italy, has launched its "Mimosa art challenge" inviting internet users from around the world until March 10th to share their creations using the canary-yellow flower. Flowering from January to March on the Côte d’Azur, the mimosa is a sign of warmer days ahead.

Monaco post office - The Monaco Condamine Post Office will be closed from midday today Friday 12th February until Saturday March 13th. The closure is due to renovation work which is to be carried out. All post will be collected at the Monte Carlo Post Office during the works, Palais de la Scala, located at 1, avenue Henry Dunant.

Health minister to visit Metz today due to “worrying” health situation - The Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, is to visit Metz today to "evaluate the health situation in the region and hold discussions with elected representatives, the prefect and managers of the regional health agency”. The department is under close surveillance by the French government due to the large number of cases of South African and Brazilian variants of the coronavirus. Speaking on Thursday the minister said that the situation may “justify additional health measures. 300 cases of South African and Brazilian variants have been identified over the past four days.

France deploys police to Mayotte - France’s Interior Ministry has announced that France is to send more police to its overseas territory of Mayotte, in the Indian Ocean, where there has been a wave of violent crimes and a worsening of the Covid-19 pandemic. In an announcement on Thursday the ministry said that 20 police officers will be deployed in Mayotte by March and an additional 13 gendarmes will be sent in the coming weeks through summer 2021. According to the Regional Health Agency, the incidence rate of Covid in Mayotte currently stands at 812 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

Right to stay in France - Finally, officials from the Interior Ministry have stated that the calculation of the 90-day right to remain in France for British people staying in second homes and other visitors is to be counted from January 1st 2021.


The US President Joe Biden has warned that China will “eat our lunch” if America doesn’t step up its infrastructure spending. Speaking at a meeting with a group of Senators in Washington on Thursday, Mr Biden said that China is investing billions of dollars dealing with a whole range of issues that relate to transportation, the environment and many other things and that the United States had to “step up”. During his election campaig