French and Riviera News. Friday July 17th 2020

Face Masks - There’s some confusion as to what constitutes a “closed public space” following the government’s decision to enforce the wearing of face masks  across the country from next week.

The measure has been introduced as cases of coronavirus rise in some parts of the country including the Mayenne department as well as in the Paris region and Marseilles.

Latest data shows that an extra 133 patients are receiving hospital treatment for the virus with 17 admitted to intensive care , a worrying increase from last week.

A closed public space is thought to take in shops and supermarkets ,government buildings , gyms and fitness centres ,cinemas and recreational attractions such as bowling alleys.

Fines of up to 135 euros could be dished out for non-compliance  with the government expected to issue further clarification shortly.


New cases - Fresh cases of coronavirus are worrying authorities in some parts of the country although the government has stressed that it has no intention of imposing a generalised lockdown again.

The French Health Minister Olivier Véran has called on “all people in France to remain particularly vigilant and active against the virus “.

The message is to wear a mask where appropriate , wash hands with soapy water regularly and maintain social distancing at all times.

Spikes in the virus have been confirmed in several regions of the country and Mr Véran also said that signs that Covid-19 is spreading again appear to be confirmed by increased calls to SOS Medecins and the SAMU emergency service.

The government is to step up its test and trace programme especially in areas where there have been spikes in new cases.


Holiday blues - The upturn in coronavirus cases comes as many French people are already on or preparing to go on their summer holidays.

Travel to overseas destinations this year is way down on last summer with the majority of people preferring to take a domestic holiday for safety reasons.

482 separate coronavirus clusters have been registered since the 9th of May with 8 new ones in the past 24 hours and 104 still not under control.

The reproduction rate “R” has now risen above 1 nationally for the first time since lockdown was lifted with some regions registering higher infection rates.

There is also concern about growing numbers of cases in the Nouvelle Aquitaine and Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur where new cases have been rising at an unacceptable level.

Reports say that many people are rushing to have tests before they leave on holiday or are seeking to be tested while they’re away.


In other news today.


Toulon brawl- Police in Toulon have arrested a suspect in connection with a brawl that broke out during the private sale of a motor vehicle on Wednesday.

Reports say that two people required hospital treatment as a result of the fighting which involved several individuals some of whom were armed with motorbike chains and other weapons.

The suspect was arrested outside his residence and is being questioned in police custody.


False alerts- Police in Antibes have advised residents on the chemin des Ames du Purgatoire to take normal security precautions despite a series of letters that have been placed in letter boxes warning that “burglaries are on the increase” in the area.

Authorities say that there’s been no noticeable increase in break-ins on the road and crime levels are “about the same” as last year.

Printed paper notes have been placed in letter boxes along the length of the road in recent days and police say that they have no idea who is responsible.

Residents have been advised to call 17 if they can identify who is behind the messages.


Ambush-Police and the fire service say that they’re being lured into ambushes at a council estate in Frejus.

Authorities say that they’ve been called out by local residents to deal with rubbish bins that have been set on fire ,only to be pelted with stones and other missiles on arrival.

Police have been forced to use tear gas to bring the situation under control and no arrests have been made.

The first of the incidents occurred following the seizure of a large quantity of drugs in the area on the 10th of July and there have been several more since.

The local police commissioner says that “there is no such thing as a no-go zone” and authorities will step in to restore order whenever necessary.


Fatal accident- A 60 year old motorcyclist has died after his bike collided with a post office van on the route de Puget-Ville at Pierrefeu