French and Riviera News Friday 18th December 2020


Monaco - In a televised address on Thursday evening, HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco has announced the extension of the current curfew in the Principality until January 15th as well as special measures in the Principality for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.  

Prince Albert expressed his gratitude to all professionals in various fields mobilized during the health crisis and emphasized that the “priority objective remains the health protection of the population while also allowing the economy to operate under certain restrictions”. The 8pm to 6am curfew remains in place with an exception on Christmas Eve when it will be extended to 11.30pm. On the 31st December, restaurants will be allowed to stay open until 10.30pm. Non-residents will only be allowed to come to Monaco if they have a hotel reservation and public gatherings will be banned on both the 24th and 31st December.

On the vaccination programme the Prince announced that “while vaccination programmes are either underway or imminent, this must not be interpreted as meaning life can return to normal right away as it will take several months before that is possible.” He confirmed that the government has put together a national vaccination plan which will begin as soon as vaccines are given approval. Today Monaco’s Minister of State Pierre Dartout is expected to give more details in a press conference, including new measures for sporting activities.

Covid cases in Monaco – Meanwhile 15 new cases of Covid have been declared in Monaco on Thursday bringing the total number of residents affected to 700. Ten people are hospitalized. 611 people have recovered from Covid and 47 people are currently being followed by the Home Monitoring Center. 

Prime Minister cancels visit to Toulon today - Prime Minister Jean Castex has cancelled his visit to Toulon today after French President Emmanuel Macron tested positive for CovidEmmanuel Macron is to self-isolate after testing positive for Covid-19 and French Prime Minister Jean Castex will also go into isolation, although he has reported no symptoms. Both will continue to carry out their duties remotely.

The president of the French parliament, Richard Ferrand announced that himself and several other ministers who had lunch with Macron on Tuesday were cancelling their appointments and isolating themselves. EU chief Charles Michel has also announced he will self-isolate after meeting Macron.

The French president is one of several heads of state and government around the world who have contracted Covid-19, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Donald Trump. Johnson immediately took to social media to wish Macron a prompt recovery.

Road accident - A 20-year-old woman has been seriously injured in a road accident in Le Cannet. The accident occurred at around 8pm on Thursday leading to the Avenue de Carimaï being closed while emergency services intervened. The reason for the collision between the two vehicles is still to be determined by police but, it’s believed that speed seems to have been a major factor.

Traffic disrupted in Monaco - Meanwhile traffic was heavily disrupted in Monaco on Thursday after a lorry lost its load leading to the closure of roads coming in and out of the Principality. The incident occurred shortly after 11am causing major traffic jams for motorists.

2020 the hottest year in France? - Météo France has said that 2020 is "well on its way" to being the hottest year ever recorded in France. According to data published on Thursday, 2020 recorded an average annual temperature of 14 degrees. An increase of nearly 1.5 degrees on previous years.

Sleep - According to a survey carried out by Opinonway for the National Institute of Sleep and Vigilance (INSV), the French on average, get an hour and a half less sleep than thirty years ago. The study also revealed that half of people over 40 admit that their sleep time has decreased over the past twenty years and that their quality of sleep has deteriorated, while nearly two out of ten young people aged 18 to 34 admit to being woken up at night by their phone.

France’s roads - Despite the end of lockdown in France the road traffic authority Bison Futé has said it’s not expecting any major delays on the roads this Friday as school’s breakup for Christmas. Friday is classified as orange in the Paris region, for those leaving the capital and nationally the entire weekend is classified as green. Bison Futé does however warn that traffic conditions may deteriorate depending on weather conditions and invites motorists to consult road conditions on its