French and Riviera News Friday 26th March 2021


Three additional regions of France to go into lockdown from midnight tonight - New lockdown measures similar to those already in place in 16 departments of France since last Saturday, are to come into force from midnight tonight in the Rhône, Nièvre and Aube. Speaking during Thursday’s press conference Health Minister Olivier Veran said that the health situation was “accelerating in France” and hospitals in certain regions are under immense pressure. The minister concluded that it is “too soon to ease measures and too late, to not do anything”.

Schools are to remain open - The government is still determined to keep schools open, saying that the health protocol will be stepped up. 2,962 classes and 105 schools are currently closed in France, up by 30% in one week. Meanwhile teaching unions in the Ile-de-France region have called for strike action due to the current situation in schools.

National Covid figures - As far as the figures for Covid published on Thursday are concerned, 27,036 patients are currently hospitalised, including 4,709 in intensive care. 228 people have died in hospital in 24 hours, bringing the total death toll in France to 93,378 since the start of the pandemic. In addition, 45,641 new cases of Covid have been identified in the past 24 hours.

Covid figures for the Alpes Maritimes and the Var – Figures in the Alpes Matitimes and the Var show that 7 new deaths from Covid have been declared in in hospitals in the Alpes-Maritimes on Thursday. Since the start of the epidemic, the coronavirus has killed 1,714 people in the department (1,271 in hospitals, 443 in nursing homes). According to Covidtracker, the incidence rate - which corresponds to the number of people tested positive over seven days and reported to 100,000 inhabitants - is 409 this Thursday, March 25th and has increased slightly since Wednesday when it stood at 404.

And in the Var 11 new deaths linked to Covid were reported on Thursday, March 25th in hospitals. Since the start of the epidemic, the coronavirus has killed 1,556 people in the department (428 in nursing homes, 1,128 in hospitals). According to Covid Tracker, the incidence rate - which corresponds to the number of people tested positive over seven days and reported to 100,000 inhabitants - is 352 as of March 25th.

Covid figures for Monaco – 17 new cases of Covid were identified on Thursday March 25th bringing the total number of residents affected to 2,227 since the start of the pandemic. 34 people are currently hospitalised and 81 are being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre. 

French President defends decision to not have introduced a lockdown in January - Meanwhile speaking on Thursday evening, the French President Emmanuel Macron, has said that he was "right not to return to lockdown at the end of January, refusing any "mea culpa". The Head of State also said that "by the end of the summer all French people who wish to be vaccinated will have been”. A recent study carried out by OpinionWay has shown that 57% of French people intend to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Norman version of the “attestation” - If you thought that the attestation forms were complicated enough, in the Seine-Maritime and the Eure, they have issued the certificate (Acertainement dérogatouère pouor se déhalaer) in the regional language and it’s completely legal. The Normandy Regional Council announced the posting of a Norman-language version of the attestation on Tuesday.

The Eure and Seine-Maritime are among the 16 departments under stricter health measures put in place on Friday March 19th and the document can be downloaded from the region's website. The Normandy Regional Council has welcomed the move adding that "the health situation should not make us forget the culture and history of our region as well as add a little humour”.

In other news 

Climate - More than 200 French politicians have demanded "a real law" for climate. The "climate and resilience" bill is to be examined in the National Assembly from March 29th. Meanwhile, 220 political figures have criticised the text saying that it is not up to the urgency and are calling for "a true climate law".

Nearly 3,500 air pollution related deaths have been prevented in France - According to a study by the Energy and Clean Air Research Center published today, in France, nearly 3,500 air pollution-related deaths have been prevented in 2020. The study concludes that in Europe 38,000 deaths linked to air pollution have been prevented in 2020 mainly due to health measures linked to Covid.

SNCF - The SNCF has announced plans to reduce the number of TGVs in circulation from Monday 29th March. The move should allow the company to adapt to the drop in passengers, which has again fallen with the measur