French and Riviera News Monday 11th January 2021


6pm curfew extended to other departments - France has extended its early-evening Covid curfew to a further eight departments, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced that the measures were “tough but necessary”. The eight new departments were subject to an earlier curfew as of 6pm on Sunday including the Bouches-du-Rhone, the Vaucluse and the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. Two additional departments, the Drome and the Var, were later added to the list and will start the curfew, from tomorrow Tuesday 12th January. 

British variant detected in Marseille - The news came as a “worrying cluster” was detected in Marseille concerning a patient carrying the British variant of the coronavirus. 45 contact cases were identified with seven cases of the British variant detected. The regional health authority continues the investigation in order to find further possible contact cases. The mayor of Marseille, Benoît Payan, has requested that "the French government steps up checks at airports" while assuring that the city was planning "to operate a major vaccination campaign".

Mask becomes mandatory in Beaulieu, Villefranche and Saint Jean - Meanwhile from today Monday 11th January, the obligation to wear a mask becomes mandatory in Beaulieu, Villefranche-sur-Mer and St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. Until now it had only been an obligation in shops. The measure is in place until further notice.

Monaco - In Monaco the government has announced a series of new measures to curb the spread of the virus including a 7pm curfew from today Monday 11th January and in addition restaurants, theatres and the Casino de Monte-Carlo will be closed in the evening. Take away deliveries will be possible until 9pm.

Moderna vaccine arrives in France today - Meanwhile the second vaccine authorized by the authorities against Covid-19 arrives in France today with more than 50,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine being delivered to the Grand Est, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur regions.

The Prime Minister, Jean Castex is organizing today a videoconference meeting with parliamentary groups from 9am to discuss the consequences of the epidemic, while the Head of State will bring together the main ministers concerned by the health crisis this afternoon to discuss the vaccination campaign against Covid-19.

Education - France’s Education minister Jean Michel Blanquer has announced that partial attendance at high schools in France will be extended beyond January 20th. However, for the time being the idea of postponing the first baccalaureate exams scheduled for March has been rejected.

Femicide - Sixty feminist activists have pasted the names of the 111 women who lost their lives to femicide in France last year on walls in central Paris, calling on supporters to "honour the dead, protect the living". Alongside the names, a statement informs passers-by that 98 women were murdered by their partners or ex-partners in the course of 2020, along with 11 sex workers, and two trans-sexuals. 

The Louvre - The world's biggest museum, the Louvre, has suffered a drop in visitor numbers of over 70 percent last year as Covid restrictions kept art lovers away. The Louvre, which closed for six months during French coronavirus lockdowns, saw visitor numbers plunge to 2.7 million in 2020, from 9.6 million in 2019 and 10.2 million in 2018, which was a record year. The museum managed to limit the damage with its blockbuster Leonardo da Vinci exhibition that attracted 1.1 million visitors and ended before the first French lockdown in the spring.

Flower budget at the Elysee said to be “shameful” - French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte have been branded 'shameful' after it emerged they spent nearly 600,000 euros on flowers for the Elysee Palace despite it being closed during the pandemic. The claim made in the political publication Politis says that their flower budget was nearly five times bigger than that of their predecessors Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy.

Six Nations - Discussions about the Six Nations will be held after the French government recommended at the weekend that rugby clubs postpone upcoming European Cup matches with domestic British teams due to the new Covid-19 variant in the United Kingdom. The decision casts a doubt over the final two rounds of pool matches scheduled to start next weekend. The meeting initiated by the French sport ministry will talk about the annual international tournament which is set to start on February 6th featuring France, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Italy.

Champs-Elysées - The mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo has announced that a €250 million euro makeover of the Champs-Élysées will go ahead, though the ambitious transformation will not happen before the French capital hosts the 2024 Summer Olympics. Hidalgo said the project would turn the Champs into “an extraor