French and Riviera News Friday 2nd October 2020


Weather Alert - The Alpes Maritimes Prefecture has announced that all schools in the department will be closed today due to Storm Alex.

Météo France has issued alerts in the Var and the Alpes Maritimes as the storm is set to bring bad weather to much of France.

An orange alert for storms is in force from 6am to midday for both the Var and the Alpes Maritimes, which then becomes a red alert for the Alpes Maritimes until 3am Saturday morning.

For live updates on storm Alex go to

Meanwhile here in the Principality schools are to remain open.

Covid-19 – France’s Health Minister Olivier Véran has announced that several major cities in France including Paris could from next week be classified as “maximum alert zones” due to the circulation of Covid-19.

According to the minister, the situation is getting worse in Lille, Lyon, Grenoble, Toulouse and Saint-Etienne with new measures expected to be introduced from Monday 5th October.

Figures show that in each of these areas, the incidence rate has sharply increased along with the number of positive cases however Olivier Véran said that there were “encouraging signs in Bordeaux, Nice and Marseille with the situation improving”.

Meanwhile the president of the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region has called for bars to be allowed to remain open calling for more checks to be carried out by the authorities concerning the implementation of social distancing measures.

Speaking to French media Renaud Muselier said it was unfair that “while many bars were respecting the health measures others were completely ignoring them and should therefore face immediate closure”.

Financial assistance - New financial assistance has been announced for traders in Nice by local officials.  The new measures, amounting to 140,000 euros aim to support new merchants in the launch or recovery of their business, to respond to new consumption patterns and to help merchants towards digitization. The City of Nice has also decided to make on-street parking free for merchants with a contract until the end of the year. It's expected that 549 businesses will benefit from the parking scheme.


Pasteur Institute - The Pasteur Institute in Lille has confirmed the discovery of a “very promising” drug in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic,

As infection rates climb in many European countries, including France, the Pasteur Institute in Lille recently confirmed the discovery in June of a drug molecule that has shown promise as a therapeutic treatment against the virus.

Like hydroxychloroquine, — which was controversially claimed as a possible treatment early on in the pandemic — it is not a new medicine, but one that has been used in the past to treat other conditions. Its name has been kept a closely guarded secret, largely to avoid the same media frenzy that surrounded hydroxychloroquine, before it was largely discredited. 

The unnamed drug has already undergone a number of laboratory studies, which found that it demonstrated “considerable power against the virus”, according to Dr. Benoît Deprez, scientific director of the Pasteur Institute in Lille.

Meanwhile President Emmanuel Macron has said that what he called the "battle against the virus" would be won. Addressing business leaders at forum in Paris on Thursday he called on businesses to "relaunch, relaunch, relaunch" and not to give up.

5G frequencies - The auctioning of the first 5G frequencies in France has generated 2.786 billion euros to the State with telecom operator Orange obtaining the largest share.

Initially scheduled for April, but postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the auction has enabled operators such as Orange, SFR, Bouygues Telecom and Free to acquire 11 "blocks" of frequencies that are currently unused.

Tennis - Clara Burel has become the youngest French woman in 12 years to reach the third round at Roland Garros.

Burel's victory on Thursday lifted the mood in the French camp after Gaston became the only French man to advance from round two.

Burel is the youngest French woman to reach that stage since Alize Cornet, then 18, in 2008.


The US House of Representatives has passed a 2.2 trillion dollar coronavirus aid package but there are no signs of a bipartisan deal.

Objections  from Senate Republicans is likely to doom the Democrat sponsored package before it can get out of the traps.

The Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell says that the price tag is “outlandish” despite the fact that Democrats have reduced the cost of their proposal by more than a trillion dollars since it was first mooted in May.

The White House has also rejected the plan saying that it is not “serious”.

President Trump is now proposing a plan with costs slashed to 1.6 trillion dollars.

The House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been in discussions all week with Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin in an effort to find bipartisan agreement on a new aid package in response to the pandemic that’s so far killed more than 200,000 Americans.


US airlines have started laying off thousands of workers after efforts to agree a fresh coronavirus relief package stalled in Congress.

American Airlines says that it has no choice but to lay off 19,000 employees while United Airlines is cutting 13,000 jobs.

Both carriers say that they are ready to reverse their decisions if more financing is found.

Airlines worldwide have suffered a massive slump in demand as a result of the pandemic.

The layoffs have increased pressure on US lawmakers to agree on a fresh aid package.


And-A law firm specialising in international trade has said that thousands of UK businesses may need to set up a presence in the EU if they want to export goods to European markets after Brexit.

Blick Rothenberg says that both EU and UK law will require firms to have a “door to knock on” if there are any disputes over payment and compliance with customs changes that will treat Britain as if it were any other non-EU country after the first of January.

The only other option will be to pay a customs and freight forwarding agent to handle the risk that new paperwork and payment obligations are honoured.

Industry sources say that few agents will take that risk and those that agree to do so will charge high fees.

EU firms exporting to the UK will face the same problems  and the only solution will be the setting up of offices on both sides of the new customs barrier.


Tennis-Novak Djokovic has cruised through to the third round of the French Open with a straight sets win over Ricardos Berankis of Lithuania.

The world number one continued his dominant form and has lost just 10 games in his opening two matches.

The 5th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and the 11th seed Matteo Berrettini are also through.

In the women’s event the second seed Karolina Pliskova is out. She was beaten by Jelena Ostapenko.

The 11th seed Garbine Muguruza and Petra Kvitova are both through to round 3.

Football-There were three fourth round ties in the League Cup in England last night.

Brentford beat Fulham 3-0.Aston Villa lost 1-0 at home to Stoke and Arsenal beat Liverpool on penalties after the game ended in a 0-0 draw after extra time.

In the English Premier League this weekend.

On Saturday Chelsea play Crystal Palace.Everton face Brighton.Leeds play Manchester City and Newcastle play Burnley.

On Sunday Leicester play West Ham .Southampton host West Brom.Arsenal play Sheffield United.Wolves host Fulham.Manchester United play Spurs and Aston Villa play Liverpool.

Formula 1-More than 13,000 fans will be admitted daily over the weekend of the Emilio Romagna Grand Prix in Italy between the 31st of October and the 1st of November.

The race is taking place at Imola which last hosted a Grand Prix in 2006.

The circuit owners say that the admittance of fans has been secured thanks to a “meticulous anti-Covid health security protocol”.

Tickets for many areas of the circuit have already sold out.

Rugby Union-The England centre Manu Tuilagi has been ruled out for 6 months with a torn Achilles tendon.

The 29 year old was injured 12 minutes into Sale’s Premiership game at Northampton on Tuesday night and will miss England’s remaining 6 Nations game against Italy and possibly the entire 2021 tournament.

The Guinness Pro 14 is back in action tonight with three games to start the season.

Zebre play Cardiff Blues.Leinster play Dragons and Ulster host Benetton.

Racing-The second favourite for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe has been ruled out of the race because of the heavy ground.

Love had been considered to be the main rival to Enable but all the filly’s wins this season have been on good ground and her odds had been drifting.

The latest betting for Europe’s richest race makes Enable the 5-4 favourite with Stradivarius at 5-1 ,Sottsass at eights and In Swoop at 11-1.




Heavy rain and thunderstorms with strong southerly winds.

Top temperature 21 degrees.

Overnight lows of 16 degrees with more rain but improving towards dawn.

The weekend-Partially cloudy with highs of 19 and more rain developing on Sunday afternoon.

And Finally

A new takeaway owner in the UK has combined two great British traditions — with the world’s smallest curry house in a red phone box.

It opened this week in a disused kiosk. The food is delivered twice a day from a local catering company and uses food warmers powered by electricity in the phone booth.

The owner told reporters he wanted to honour the iconic British phone boxes with his new food venture.






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