French and Riviera News Friday April 30th 2021


Macron - President Macron has unveiled a timetable for the easing of coronavirus restrictions. In an interview with regional journalists, the President said that he hoped that life in France will slowly return to normal over the coming weeks. From May the 3rd, the public will no longer need to fill in a form justifying daytime activities and people will be allowed to travel to different regions of the country. Colleges and high schools will reopen but the night time curfew will be maintained from 7pm and non-essential shops will remain closed. From the 19th of May, the curfew will be pushed back to 9pm and there will be limited reopening of cinemas and museums. Bar and restaurant terraces will also be allowed to reopen and sporting events will be allowed to welcome limited numbers of spectators. A ban on gatherings of more than 10 people will be maintained. From June the 9th, the curfew will be pushed back to 11pm and cafés, restaurants and fitness services will be allowed to reopen. Home working regulations will be relaxed and sporting events will be allowed to welcome up to 5,000 spectators. Foreign tourists will be welcomed to France as long as they can provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19. From the 30th of June, the curfew will be scrapped and outdoor gatherings of more than 1,000 people will be allowed as long as those present are in possession of a health pass. Discotheques will remain closed and social distancing measures are to be maintained. Mr Macron will explain the measures further in an address to the nation later.

Masks - The prefect of the Alpes Maritimes is coming under pressure to lift the requirement forcing people to wear face masks in public places. Several local politicians have contacted the prefect saying the regulation should now be scrapped. The government may announce the easing of the requirement as part of plans to relax coronavirus restrictions but nothing definite has yet been announced.

Current situation - Five more deaths from COVID-19 have been reported in the Alpes Maritimes over the last 24 hours. Despite the sad news, the situation does seem to be improving with hospitals under less strain and vaccinations rising. 1,911 people in the department have died from the virus since the start of the pandemic and hospital occupancy is still running at 70.5%. The incidence rate which for so long was way above 400 people per 100,000 inhabitants has now fallen to 157. The national incidence rate is 289. So far 308,822 people have received at least one shot of a vaccine.

Cap d'Ail - A fresh vaccination programme is taking place in Cap d’Ail today. Anyone aged 60 or over as well as those working in childcare, schools or youth activity centres will be able to receive their first jab of the Pfizer vaccine. Anyone who  already received a first shot on April 2nd can now get the booster jab. To register go to website or call 04 93  78 87 65.

Siege - Police in Le Cannet have arrested a 60-year-old man who had barricaded himself inside an apartment. Reports say the man, who was armed, had caused considerable damage inside the building which he was sharing with a former partner in the Breguieres area of the town. It’s understood that he was upset because the relationship had come to an end. He eventually gave himself up and police have confiscated a revolver. Nobody was injured.

Let the train take the strain – Plans to link Paris and Toulouse with a high speed train service have been accelerated. Currently, the journey between the two cities requires a diversion to Bordeaux, taking the total travel time to 4 1/2 hours. The government is to now sink €4.1 billion into the project for a direct service which has been under discussion for nearly 40 years. The new service is now due to open in 2024, the year France hosts the Olympic Games and will cut the journey time to just three hours.

Monaco concerts – Music fans in Monaco and the surrounding area now have something to look forward to with The Sporting Summer Festival set to go ahead. Organisers SBM plan to announce in the middle of May the lineup for the summer but mystery still surrounds who will actually be appearing. One date is set, the legendary Simple Minds will be playing at the Salle des Etoiles on July the 23rd. The Monaco government has yet to set out the conditions for the holding of live events and how many people will be allowed to attend. An announcement is expected within the next few days as Monaco gears up for the summer while at the same time making every effort to keep the virus in check.

Weather – Heavy rain and thunderstorms have caused localised flooding in some places and more rain, although not as heavy is forecast for Saturday. On Thursday, much of the region experienced extremely heavy rain with scat