French and Riviera News Friday 4th December 2020


Gatherings limited to six adults at Christmas - French Prime Minister, Jean Castex, has clarified the instructions from the French government for end of year celebrations during a press conference on Thursday. The government recommends a limit of “six adults at the table, not including children”. Some have since criticized the clumsiness of the Prime Minister words pointing out that it would be clearer to say “six people not including children, as of course six adults suggests no children?”.   

Jean Castex also announced the French government's vaccine rollout strategy by saying that "we have not yet come to the end of this virus" and the situation remains "fragile" although the health situation is improving. France will receive enough vaccines to vaccinate 100 million people. The Prime Minister said that there will be three stages of vaccination distribution with the elderly, particularly in nursing homes, be vaccinated first. One million priority people will be able to be vaccinated in January and February.

Phase two in March will involve the 14 million people who have risk factors and certain health professionals. The third and final phase will involve the remainder of the population and will run from the spring. The vaccine will be free of charge to everyone. He said that it is desirable that local GPs be at the heart of the vaccination process and that the roll out process must be subject to "security, transparency and proximity", which is why the strategy will be presented to parliament.

Italy bans travel between regions - Meanwhile Italy on Thursday has announced a ban on travel between its regions from 21st December to 6th January as part of strict coronavirus curbs over the Christmas holidays. A curfew from 10pm to 5am will be introduced with restaurants in some regions able to open until 6pm and only takeaways allowed in other parts of the country. As far as skiing is concerned ski slopes will remain closed until 7th January.

The announcement comes as Italy announced its highest daily Covid death toll since the pandemic started, with 993 fatalities. On top of the regional travel bans, people will not be allowed to leave their hometowns on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day.

Covid-19 cluster identified at hospital in Menton - Several dozen patients, caregivers and doctors have tested positive for Covid-19 at a hospital in Menton. Nearly 80 people have been affected by the outbreak of Covid-19 contamination at La Palmosa hospital in Menton, announced the management of the establishment on Thursday. The establishment calls on patients to maintain their scheduled or emergency care. Visits have been suspended, except in exceptional cases. Management will give families "regular, daily information" as the unit has been closed. A cluster had been detected two weeks ago at La Fontone hospital in Antibes after a series of tests had also been carried out to detect patients positive for Covid-19.

Adriana Karembeu pays tribute to nurses - Former model Adriana Karembeu has paid tribute to the nurses of Monaco, Beausoleil and Menton by donating masks. Deeply touched by the current conditions for caregivers, Adriana said that the gesture is to celebrate the “Year of the Nurse”. 2020 had been declared by the World Health Organisation as the “Year of Nurses”. 2020 also marks the bicentenary of the birth of Florence Nightingale and 200 years after her birth, the work and concerns of Nightingale are as relevant today as they ever were.

Nice Carnival postponed - The 2021 edition of the Nice Carnival has been postponed to 2022 because of the pandemic. The event, which is one of the main winter attractions in the city, was due to be held from 13 to 27 February.

Bathing ban in Antibes - A temporary bathing ban decree has been issued by the Municipality of Antibes Juan-les-Pins because of the planned shutdown of a wastewater facility. The bathing ban affects the Marineland, Fontonne Est, Fontonne Ouest and Fort Carré beaches until midnight on Sunday 6th December.

Black Friday - Black Friday which was officially supposed to start on Friday 27th November begins today following a decision from the French government to postpone the “day of bargains” in support of local businesses hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. A large number of retailers will be organizing Black Friday for the entire weekend, from today through until Sunday.

Investigation into missing consoles for customers in Monaco - Meanwhile an investigation is currently underway concerning customers of the Fnac here in Monaco who have not yet received Sony’s Playstation 5 despite written proof that their consoles were delivered by FedEx to the Fnac Monaco on November 20th.

Horse racing - Horse racing kicks off today at the Côte d&rsq