French and Riviera News Friday 25th June 2021


Delta variant causes concern in Europe - As concerns grow about the Delta variant, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, has called for all EU countries to follow their guidelines and impose an obligatory quarantine on visitors from the UK. France’s current policy of allowing fully vaccinated UK travellers to visit without an essential reason is in line with EU guidelines but there are now concerns over the Delta variant.

Speaking on Thursday French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced a "seven-day action plan" to fight the delta coronavirus variant in the Landes department in south-west France. The government said that the variant accounts for 70% of new cases in the department. On a visit to the Landes with Health Minister Olivier Veran, the Prime Minister said that the number of vaccines available in the department would be increased from 40,000 to 60,000 doses in the next seven days. Testing will also be increased. He said that at the end of the seven days a decision will be taken on whether or not to ease restrictions in that department on 1st July.

Regional elections - Ahead of the second round of the regional elections in France which will take place on Sunday June 27th, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has shown his support for Republican Renaud Muselier expressing his concerns for the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region. All eyes are on the region this weekend as the far-right National Rally go head to head with the Republicans.

Driving licence deal between UK and France - Details of a new deal concerning driving licenses for UK citizens in France have been revealed. On Thursday June 24th the British government reported that the deal for those living in France with UK licenses would not involve having to take a French driving test. The details reported are as follows: 

If you have been driving on a UK licence that was issued before January 1st, 2021 it will be recognised in France as long as it is within its validity date.

If your licence has already expired or is due to expire you will, when new systems go live, be able to exchange it for a French licence. Once you have applied you will receive an attestation de dépôt sécurisée which you can use to drive in France until the new licence arrives.

If your UK licence was issued on or after January 1st, 2021 you will be able to continue using your licence for up to one year from the date of issue of your residency permit. If you wish to stay longer you must exchange it for a French one, but you will not be obliged to take a French driving test.

Deadline for residency card extended - Meanwhile the deadline to apply for the French residency card has been extended by three months. Britons will now have until September 30th to apply for their card with the website remaining open. All British adults who were living in France by December 31st last year must apply for one of the cards in order to secure their legal right to live and work in France – unless they have an EU/EEA/Swiss dual nationality.

EU leaders fail to reach an agreement - A proposal by France and Germany to hold a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin has been rejected by EU leaders with Poland and Baltic countries saying it would send the wrong message as East-West ties deteriorate.

After U.S. President Joe Biden met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on June 16th, French President Emmanuel Macron said the first EU summit with Putin since January 2014 would be "a dialogue to defend our interests”. But after late night talks at their meeting in Brussels, the 27 EU leaders failed to reach an agreement,

No smoking on the beaches in Monaco - The Monaco government has announced that the beaches of the Principality will be non-smoking during the summer period, from this Saturday June 26th to Thursday September 30th. The measures include the Larvotto beach, which will soon be reopened to the public, as well as the solarium on the digue at the port. They apply to both tobacco and electronic cigarettes. Certain areas, defined by signs, will however be reserved for smokers. Smoking is still allowed on the terraces of restaurants and bars.

Donkeys used to pick up rubbish on beaches of Saint Tropez – Meanwhile the mayor of Ramatuelle in the Var, has introduced donkeys on the beaches of Pampelonne to help remove rubbish. As part of a trial run donkeys have been deployed along the famous beaches near Saint Tropez to pick up everyday waste.

Lady Moura - Moored in Monaco, the super yacht Lady Moura has been bought by a Mexican billionaire. Moored at Port Hercules since April, the legendary yacht built in 1990 has reportedly just found a buyer.


The US Senate has struck an agreement for a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill in what could be a legislative victory for President Biden. Speaking after a meeting of a cross pa