French and Riviera News Friday 26th November 2021

News

Rapid increase of covid cases sees the French government tighten measures ahead of holiday season - Faced with the rapid increase in the number of cases of covid for several days, and a peak of 32,591 new infections on Wednesday, the highest reached since April 24th, the French government is tightening the measures. A month before Christmas, the government has unveiled its plan so that France can hope to spend the end of the year in "good conditions" with a vaccination booster for all people over 18 years of age, a tightened health pass and increased pressure on the unvaccinated.

From this Saturday, a vaccine booster dose will be available to all those aged 18 and over from five months after their last injection. There will be changes to the operation of the health pass, as from 15th January, a person's health pass will be deactivated if a booster dose has not been received within 7 months of their last injection. A notification will be sent via the Tous Anti Covid app as the date for deactivation of the health pass approaches.

The period of validity of PCR and Antigen tests which give access to the health pass will be reduced from the current 72 hours to 24 hours as from next Monday. As regards the wearing of masks will become mandatory in all enclosed public spaces, including those subject to the health pass, a measure which is expected to be enacted by a decree made today. Prefects will be able to make the decision on whether to make mask wearing compulsory at outdoor events.

As soon as these latest measures were announced on Thursday appointments exploded with access to the Doctolib site being subject to a significant waiting time.

Elderly man collapses and dies from heart attack in city centre of Saint Raphael - An elderly man has died in the city centre of Saint-Raphael after suffering a heart attack. A passer-by raised the alarm shortly after 9.30am on Thursday morning but emergency services were unable to save the victim, believed to be in his 70s. The incident occurred close to the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry high school.

Police search doctor's surgery in Plan-de-la-Tour over suspected fraud concerning the health pass - Police in the Var have searched the premises of a doctor's surgery in the village of Plan-de-la-Tour, suspected of fraud concerning the health pass. In a case opened in October by investigators, police intervened on Thursday November 25th to search the premises. It was back in October that the mayor of the village had raised the alarm surprised at the number of people waiting outside of the surgery as well as the "success" rate of the vaccination campaign amongst local residents. The investigation continues.

Accused of running an organised illegal waste dumping ring - Ten people and seven companies are currently on trial accused of illegal dumping of waste in the Var and Alpes Maritimes region. Since Monday November 22nd the criminal court of Draguignan has been questioning the facts from 2017 to 2020 of an "irregular waste management in the form of an organised gang". The trial continues.

University removes CCTV cameras – Following the filing of several complaints reported by local media on Thursday, Nice University has announced that two CCTV cameras installed in early November in classrooms of the National Higher Institute of Professorship and Education (Inspé), which trains future teachers, would be removed. In a statement the university said that their objective was to "monitor the main exits of the establishment in order to secure potential intrusions, in accordance with the recommendations of the Vigipirate plan". The university specifies that it has "never had the wish or the interest to film anything other than the exits of the establishment" and that these cameras had not yet been "put into operation".

Works to be carried out on the Port of Saint Tropez - Mayor works are being prepared on the port of Saint Tropez. Planned to begin in January 2022, the construction phase is expected to last three years with the bulk of the project taking place next year. The project will see the introduction of pavements and changes to the electricity and cable network. The work reportedly represents a budget of 8 million euros and is considered as an "important investment" in the goal to have a "prettier and safer port" according to a local elected official.

First edition of the BEKING Monaco - This Sunday November 28, the Principality of Monaco is hosting the first edition of BEKING Monaco, a day of sport, awareness and solidarity which will see the best cyclists and athletes from other disciplines compete on an unusual street circuit in the Principality. Many of the biggest names in cycling will be taking part. It's for the benefit of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation and the Michele Scarponi Foundation. You can find out all about the day's events on the website https://www.bekingevents.com/en/

Nice -Cannes Marathon - Meanwhile there are traffic and parking restrictions in Nice this weekend because of the Nice-Cannes marathon on Sunday. The Promenade des Anglais will be closed on Sunday morning and access won't be possible from adjoining roads between the Avenue des Grenouillères and the Boulevard Gambetta. There are also road closures in the west of the city near the airport. Various parking garages will be closed during Saturday night and Sunday morning. You can get more details on www.nice.fr There are also various road closures in Cannes and along the rest of the route. You can find a map of road closures on www.cannes.com

UK Prime Minister calls on France to "take back" people who cross the Channel - The UK's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called on France to agree to "take back" people who cross the Channel to the UK. The PM said he had written to French President Emmanuel Macron setting out five steps to "move further and faster" to avoid a repeat of Wednesday's tragedy where 27 people died. Wednesday's incident marked the biggest loss of life by drowning in the English Channel on record and included 17 men, seven women - one of whom was pregnant - and three children.

Business

Travellers arriving in England from several southern African countries will have to quarantine amid warnings over a new coronavirus variant. The UK's Health Secretary six countries would be added to the red list, with flights being temporarily banned. One expert described the variant, known as B.1.1.529, as "the worst one we've seen so far", and there is concern it has the potential to evade immunity. No cases have been confirmed in the UK. Only 59 confirmed cases have been identified in South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana so far.

Experts say that shoppers are set to splurge on what could be the biggest Black Friday yet. But they have been warned to expect less generous discounts and shortages of some products in this year's sale. Analysts PWC predict £8.7bn will be spent - up from £7.8bn in 2019 and about twice as much as last year when the UK was in lockdown. Yet some big brands are shunning the sale, and questions have been raised about the quality of the deals offered. Black Friday, which began in the US, sees retailers slash prices to entice shoppers ahead of the Christmas period.

French fishermen have announced action today in an attempt to put pressure on the European Commission and the British government. The French National Fisheries Committee announced the blocking today Friday 26th November, of goods access to three Channel ports and the Channel Tunnel.

The number of unemployed (category A) in France, recorded a sharp decline of 3.3% in October according to figures from the French government published on Thursday. The number of jobseekers in France fell by 1.6% in October compared to the previous month and stood at 5.709 million. The figure is back below the pre-crisis level of December 2019 (5.726 million).

Meanwhile following the announcement of a tightening of health measures in the face of the 5th wave of covid in France. France's Employment minister announced on Thursday that there will be some changes to the health protocol in companies; especially concerning the use of "collective catering" and moments of conviviality being "no longer recommended". However, teleworking will not be mandatory with the government not envisaging to date, any modification. Since September, the protocol no longer requires a minimum number of teleworking days. Saying that "employers shall determine, within the framework of the company the rules of teleworking.

Sport

Rugby Union - Cardiff and Scarlets are trying to return home from South Africa after the country was put on the UK red travel list. That would mean two United Rugby Championship (URC) matches for each side being called off. UK Health Secretary said six countries would be added to the red list. Any British resident arriving from the countries on Sunday must quarantine in a hotel. Those returning before that would be asked to isolate at home for 10 days.

Cricket - Former Australia Test captain Tim Paine is set to miss the upcoming Ashes series against England after announcing he is to take an immediate break from all forms of cricket. The wicketkeeper stepped down as skipper last week over a historical investigation into sexually explicit texts which he sent to a female colleague in 2017.

Football - Ralf Rangnick is set to be appointed as interim Manchester United manager until the end of this season.

In this weekend's Premier league action. It kicks off on Saturday with Arsenal at home to Newcastle, Crystal Palace play Aston Villa, Liverpool face Southampton, Norwich play Wolverhampton and Brighton play Leeds. On Sunday Brentford are at home to Everton, Burnley play Tottenham, Leicester play Watford, Manchester City play West Ham and Chelsea are at home to Manchester United.

Weather

Sunny intervals with a moderate breeze and highs of 15 degrees in Nice, Saint-Tropez and Toulon. This evening going down to 9 degrees with clear skies.

Outlook for the weekend - tomorrow Saturday, mainly fine possibility of some showers in the Var early morning, clearing by the afternoon, with a moderate wind and highs of 14-15 degrees. Sunday fine but, windy in the Var. Possibility of showers in the Alpes Maritimes by Sunday afternoon highs of 15 degrees.

 

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