French and Riviera News Friday 31st December 2021


100 new covid cases in Monaco - One hundred new cases of covid have been identified in the Principality on Thursday December 30th, with the number of residents affected since the beginning of the pandemic standing at 5,085. Thirty-two people are currently in hospital and four others have been admitted to intensive care. 369 people are being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.

Omicron variant is now the most dominant strain of covid throughout France - The Omicron covid variant is now the most dominant strain of covid throughout France. Detected for the first time in France at the beginning of December the latest data shows that 62.4% of positive cases are related to the new strain compared to just 15% on December 13th.  Public Health France warns particularly of the increase in the incidence rate in several regions, in both Paris and the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.

Monaco to introduce working from home from Monday - Given the current health situation in the Principality, the princely government has taken a new series of measures. From Monday 3rd January until January 31st employees in both the private and public sectors and where possible, will be forced to work from home. In addition, supermarkets in Monaco will be allowed to sell self-tests for covid until January 23rd.

Unprecedented covid screening campaign at schools in the Principality - As students return to school on Monday Monaco has also launched an unprecedented covid screening campaign for schoolchildren. All students attending school in Monaco as well as staff working in schools in the Principality will be offered a free self-test.  Some 10,000 self-tests for children have been commissioned by the government and will be distributed free of charge in schools, colleges and high schools. However, these self-tests will be carried out only with the agreement of the parents.  In case of refusal of screening, nursery students will not be able to attend class. A precautionary measure since the mask is not mandatory for this age group.  From CP classes on the other hand, the return to school will not be subject to the completion of the back-to-school screening as the mask is mandatory for those over 5 years old. In case of a positive result of the self-test, the child will have to isolate and perform a PCR test as soon as possible. Teaching and non-teaching staff will also be offered free self-tests.

Fireworks in Cannes cancelled - The New Year's Eve fireworks in Cannes have been cancelled. It follows an announcement by the Prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes banning fireworks in the department from today at 4pm until Sunday 2 January at 6am. The town hall in Cannes said it had no choice but to comply with the ban. A similar ban on fireworks is in force in the Var.

Clashes in Calais - There have been clashes between migrants and police in Calais. According to associations on site, a dozen CRS vans accompanied by four gendarmes' vehicles were dispatched to dismantle a migrant camp on Thursday morning. At around 9.30am clashes broke out and three people were wounded.

French donations to charity on the rise - The French have been particularly generous in 2020. Data published this week has shown that they gave 2.85 billion euros in 2020 to charity. That's 7.1% more than in 2019. In 2020 on average, the French gave 570 euros per year, 28% more than in 2015. In terms of location, those in Brittany were among the most generous and women over 50 as well as young people under 30.

Busy on French roads - Vinci Autoroutes are forecasting a busy weekend on French motorways. Traffic is forecast to be heavy around large towns and cities mainly in the direction of departures this Sunday, the 2nd of January.

Record temperatures for this time of year - In recent days, France has reached surprising temperature records of 13 degrees in some regions with experts saying that this week could possibly be the warmest week on record for the period from the 24th to 31st December. The usual average temperature for this period in France is 5.3 degrees.  

Ice rink temporarily closes due to mild temperatures - Meanwhile installed in the city of Fréjus in the Var for the holiday period, the ice rink has been forced to close this week due to the ice melting caused by the milder temperatures for this time of year. The city council says it hopes to reopen ahead of the weekend.


French companies will face substantial fines for noncompliance with teleworking regulations. The government has announced plans to impose sanctions of 1,000 euros per employee up to a limit of 50,000 euros.

France's Ministry of the Interior and the operator Eurotunnel have announced on Thursday 30 December that restrictions for Britons wishing to transit through France to return to their European residence have been eased. "Passengers travelling from the UK, with residency permits for other EU countries under the Withdrawal Agreement, can now transit through France to return to their homes. This is subject to their journey to the UK having been completed before the 28th December 2021. This new rule comes into force immediately".

Santander bank has mistakenly deposited £130m into 75,000 accounts in the UK as tens of thousands of people awoke on Christmas morning to a pleasant surprise. According to the Times "staff at the bank are now rushing to claw back the money, although the job is being made more difficult because much of it was deposited in accounts at rival banks". The error occurred when payments from 2,000 business accounts were made twice.

According to documents filed with the US safety regulator. The electric vehicle firm Tesla has announced that it was recalling 356,309 vehicles because of potential rear-view camera issues affecting 2017-2020 Model 3 Teslas. A further 119,009 Model S vehicles will also be recalled because of potential problems with the front trunk, or boot. According to reports the total recall figure is almost equivalent to the 500,000 cars Tesla delivered last year.


Football – Manchester United scored three first-half goals for the first time in the Premier League since January as they swept Burnley aside at Old Trafford to move back into the top six.

And - Norwich have confirmed their Premier League game at Leicester on Saturday has been postponed.

Locally, Antoine Bonifaci, former star player of OGC Nice and selected 12 times in the French team has died at the age of 90. The name that generations of supporters of OGC know, with the stadium in Villefranche-sur-Mer being named after him finished his career at Stade Français returning to the Côte d'Azur for retirement. OGC Nice has announced that the league match against Nantes on January 14th at the Allianz Riviera, will be dedicated to him.


Sunny intervals with a gentle breeze. Highs of 17 degrees in Monaco, Nice, Cannes and Saint Tropez. This evening going down to 10 degrees with clear skies.

The outlook for New Year's Day – mainly fine with light winds and highs of 15 degrees. Sunday, light cloud and a gentle breeze with highs of 14 degrees.


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