French and Riviera News Monday 1st February 2021

News

Travel restrictions - From today Monday February 1st travel to non-EU countries is subject to new regulations, as France attempts to avoid a third lockdown following Prime Minister Jean Castex's speech on Friday evening. Travel will only be allowed if there is a “compelling reason” along with a negative PCR test (the measures do not apply to border workers). The reasons must be of a personal or family nature, health grounds relating to an emergency, or professional grounds which cannot be postponed.

List of reasons for travel outside of the EU

For compelling personal or family reasons:

• Death of a direct family member or to visit a direct family member whose prognosis is in danger.

Required documents: act or certificate of death, medical certificate establishing the situation of the person whose vital prognosis is engaged.

• Child custody, with parental authority or whose custody right is recognized by a court decision.

Required documents: court decision and supporting document for the place of residence.

• Summons by a judicial or administrative authority.

Required document: summons by the administrative or judicial authority.

• Legal or economic impossibility of remaining in the territory in which the person is located. Execution of an expulsion measure from the territory.

Required documents: Expiring residence permit, act of dismissal.

• Students at the start, resumption or end of a study cycle.

Required document: school certificate issued by the establishment.

For an overriding reason for health:

• Vital medical emergency (for the person as well as an accompanying person if their presence is essential).

Required documents: medical certificate, proof of scheduled hospitalization.

For compelling professional reasons:

• Missions essential to the pursuit of an economic activity, requiring an on-site presence which cannot be postponed and for which the postponement or cancellation would have disproportionate consequences or would be impossible (including transport professionals).

Required documents: employer's certificate, professional card for international freight transport crews, international passenger transport, international maritime transport.

• Health professional contributing to the fight against Covid-19.

Required document: professional card.

• One-off missions linked to the exercise of public authority prerogatives (including diplomatic missions) that cannot be postponed or cancelled.

Required document: professional card, mission order.

• High level professional sportsmen for the participation in meetings validated by the Ministry of Sports.

Required document: professional card, certificate issued by the organizer in conjunction with the Ministry of Sports.

Note - You must download a sworn statement posted on the website of the Ministry of the Interior (PDF document) which you must then complete. This certificate must be presented, at the time of boarding, to the transport company and be accompanied by any appropriate supporting documents.

Travel within the EU - It is still possible to move freely in the countries of the European area, from France. This zone therefore remains open to travelers leaving France. It includes the 27 member countries of the European Union plus Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino and the Vatican, according to the Foreign Ministry.

From France, you can therefore go to Germany, Norway, Spain or Italy, whatever your reason, and without any specific proof. The government, however, indicates on its website that travel between European countries is "totally and strictly not recommended, until further notice". 

Monaco - The borders to Monaco remain open and teleworking is strongly encouraged with travel “not recommended”. Restaurants in the Principality remain accessible to residents and employees of the Principality only. The police will monitor the flow of people at coming in and out of the Principality.

Italy reopens bars and restaurants in 16 regions - Meanwhile across the border in Italy, restrictions will be eased with the country’s Health Minister announcing that bars and restaurants in 16 regions will reopen from today Monday 1st February. In these areas, seated service will be allowed in bars, cafés and restaurants during the day, although from 6:00 PM, they will have to revert to delivery and take-away. Museums will also be allowed to reopen. However, the curfew remains in effect from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night and travel between regions is still banned.

Shopping centers - The new restrictions also include a ban on commercial shopping centers which exceed 20,000 square metres. The measures will mean that in the Alpes Maritimes the following shopping centers will be forced to close: Cap 3000, Nice Lingostière and TNL, the Géant Casino in Mandelieu and Carrefour Antibes.

Respecting the 6pm curfew - As France attempts to avoid a third lockdown, the French government is stepping up checks on respecting the 6pm curfew. The Minister of Interior announced an “increase of more than 30% on checks”. Since Saturday 600,000 checks have been carried out with 60,000 fines issued.  

Traces of Covid in wastewater on the rise in Nice and Marseille - Meanwhile traces of Covid in wastewater may be falling slightly in the Île-de-France region but according to latest data from the authorities are increasing in Marseille, Nice and Toulouse. The data shows that the level in the south of France continues to increase slowly and is very different to that of other areas of the country.

Restaurants plan to open today in a call for “civil disobedience” - Despite the current health situation in France some restaurant owners are planning to open today. Several calls for civil disobedience in the face of the state of health emergency have been launched on social networks, with restaurant owners planning to open their establishments, despite the current ban.

Covid - Covid figures released on Sunday show that France counts nearly 20,000 daily cases with hospitalizations and admissions to intensive care on the rise.

Gesture of gratitude - An Austrian man has left a bequest to a French village as a gesture of gratitude decades after residents took in his family during World War Two. Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, in south-eastern France, protected thousands of Jews and has a long-standing reputation for shielding people from persecution. Eric Schwam, who died last month at 90, arrived there with his family in 1943. The town's mayor says he left the village a "large amount" in his will, without confirming a figure.

Business

Some of Wall Street’s largest hedge funds are still licking their wounds after retail traders sought to drive up the price of stocks that were heavily bet against resulting in large losses for major investors. Melvin Capital, the hedge fund at the centre of the GameStop drama lost 53 percent in January but has received commitments for fresh cash from investors. Melvin ended the month with just over 8 billion dollars in assets after starting the year with around 12.5 billion. There are concerns within Wall Street institutions about the power of the new investor base which seems to have the ability to not only affect the fortunes of an individual stock but also to shape the direction of a large market segment like the Russell 2000. Buying and selling last week was the highest since the financial crisis of 2008 according to analysis by Goldman Sachs, with hedge fund net and gross exposure on a mark-to-market basis close to their highest levels on record. The latest developments have highlighted the growing power that retail traders are gaining over financial markets, which have in the past been dominated by larger institutions.

Silver prices have jumped to a five month high this morning as the Reddit army of small retail traders turned its attention to commodities. Shares in a handful of Australian mining firms have surged as small-time traders started buying the metal en masse. Firms including Argent Minerals, Boab Metals and Investigator Resources have climbed by 15 percent while coin-selling websites are reporting unprecedented demand and have warned of delays in delivery. Silver was trading up 7 percent a little earlier at 28 dollars 99 an ounce, its highest level since mid-August. The moves are the latest example of small time traders buying stocks and other assets that large Wall Street firms have bet against resulting in big losses for major investors. Some users in the Reddit forum Wallstreetbets are convinced that silver is a heavily manipulated market and a surge in its price could hurt large Wall Street players.

Figures from the EU logistics data platform Transporeon show that road freight between Britain and continental Europe is down by more than a third year-on-year. The figures show that the flow of goods moving between the UK and the EU was 38 percent lower in the third week of January compared with the same period in 2020. The data also shows that hauliers are increasingly refusing to ship loads to the UK as increased border controls caused by Brexit as well as coronavirus checks make journeys less profitable. Hauliers are also charging more to take goods from mainland Europe to the UK, with the average charge in the third week of the year 51 percent higher than the average in the third quarter of 2020. Visits by cargo ships in the third week of January were also down by around 20 percent compared with last year.

Sport

Football - There were four games in the English Premier League on Sunday with Chelsea getting their first win under new manager Thomas Tuchel in a 2-0 victory over Burnley. Liverpool were 3-1 winners at West Ham while Leicester lost 3-1 at home to Leeds and Spurs came unstuck, losing 1-0 at lowly Brighton.

Formula 1 - The French driver Pierre Gasly has tested positive for coronavirus, becoming the 6th driver in the sport to contract Covid-19. The Alpha-Tauri driver says that he’s feeling OK and will continue to follow his training programme while isolating at home. The 24-year-old said that he’d informed all of his recent contacts.

Rugby Union - There were two games in the Gallagher Premiership on Sunday. London Irish beat Newcastle 31-22 and Harlequins were 49-17 winners at Wasps.

Golf - Paul Casey has won the Dubai Desert Classic with a four stroke victory. The Englishman finished on 17 under par to secure his 15th European Tour title. Brandon Stone of South Africa ended second on 13 under with Robert MacIntyre in third on 12 under.

Patrick Reed of the United States has won the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. Reed, who benefited from a controversial free drop on Saturday ended on 14 under par, five shots clear of a cluster of players including Xander Schauffle and Tony Finau.

Weather

Partially cloudy with moderate to strong westerly wind across the Var. Top temperature 15 degrees. Overnight lows of 8 degrees with partially cloudy skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday - Partially cloudy with highs of 14-16 degrees.

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