French and Riviera News Monday 27th April 2020

Coronavirus - There has been a drop in the number of deaths from coronavirus in France. Figures released on Sunday saw 242 deaths reported in 24 hours compared to 369 the previous day.

22,856 patients have died in France from Covid-19, since the beginning of the epidemic. Of these deaths 14,202 occurred in hospitals and 8,654 in nursing homes.

In the region one death was reported on Sunday bringing the total to 187 deaths in the Alpes Maritimes and 191 in the Var.

There were no new cases of coronavirus reported in the Principality on Sunday.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe will present the government plan for the end of lockdown to the National Assembly on Tuesday.

France has announced that on May 11th after eight weeks of confinement schools will open progressively, people will be able to return to work, transport will be operating and masks and gels, as well as tests, will be made available for the most vulnerable.

Caregivers leave to go and help in the Grand Est - Twenty-eight care workers from Monaco, Nice, Cagnes-sur-Mer, Cannes, Toulon and Marseille are to leave the Côte d’Azur today to go and help healthcare workers in the Grand Est, one of the worst hit regions by the coronavirus in France.

They will join a previous group of care workers which left the region for the Grand Est on April 12th.

Tele-consultation - Providing essential health services during the coronavirus pandemic and limiting human contact as much as possible a Tele-consultation service has been implemented in the Principality.

The Princess Grace Hospital (CHPG) has already acquired a videoconference solution while the Government offers a solution to the other health services and centres.

All the information is available at the website

Marseille clinic allows father to stay confined with expecting mothers - A clinic in Marseille is offering future fathers the possibility to be allowed to remain during the entire maternity stay for expecting mothers. Since the start of the coronavirus epidemic, expecting mothers have wondered if the father will be able to attend the birth. Now, at the Bouchard clinic, fathers can be confined with mothers. The move is to not only avoid the risks of contamination but above all to allow parents to “live together” the birth of their child.

Private testing in Saint Tropez - Meanwhile in Saint Tropez in the Var local officials are investigating reports that wealthy residents of in Les Parcs de Saint Tropez have had access to private coronavirus tests at a time when local hospital staff face a lack of screening. Local media has reported that around 60 of Les Parcs’ residents and their friends has been offered Covid-19 tests at a private unit on the grounds staffed by a doctor.

The reports saw an angry reaction from neighbours nearby with the mayor of Saint-Tropez attempting to defuse the row. He said that  the wealthy residents were willing participants in a clinical blood trial and accused social networks and the press of distorting the facts.

However, the Pasteur Institute in Paris, a national centre for developing and authorising tests, said it knew nothing about those carried out at Les Parcs.

Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris auctions his gloves to raise funds - Niçois and world champion goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has announced that he has auctioned off his gloves worn during the 2019 Champions League final to raise funds for caregivers in the fight against the coronavirus.

Following an initiative from handball goalkeeper and world champion Cyril Dumoulin, several auctions have been orgainised for the benefit of hospitals on the frontline in France.

Amazon France - France has ruled that Amazon France must limit sales during lockdown to only essential items such as IT goods, health products, food and pet food.

Amazon has lost its battle to continue selling nonessential goods in France after failing to convince French authorities that they had taken the necessary measures to protect staff from Covid 19.

According to reports the French court has threatened amazon with 100,000 fine for every order, which fails to meet the courts order.

No confirmation the reinfection is not possible says the WHO - The World Health organisation has warned that there is no evidence to prove that people who have tested positive with coronavirus are immunized and protected against reinfection. The warning made today states that with the current state of research, there is nothing to confirm that a sick person does not risk becoming re-infected. A crucial question, as several countries, including France, are preparing to tackle their deconfinement.

In a statement the WHO said, "As of April 24, 2020, no study has evaluated whether the presence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 confers immunity against future infection by this virus in humans," 

Air France - Air France has released figures showing that that the current activity of the airline represents 2% to 3% of the normal turnover for the month of April. 

In an interview today with French media the director general of Air France-KLM, Benjamin Smith, says "a return to normal activity will take up to two years" but stresses that the loan from the French State will allow "to pass the most difficult period". The French and Dutch states have promised massive aid to save Air France-KLM, with ten billion euros in bank loans.

For Air France, these loans will be broken down into 4 billion bank loans guaranteed 90% by the state and 3 billion direct loan from the state, 

Concerning possible environmental demands related to this aid, he stressed that the company already had "the ambition to reduce its CO2 emissions by 50% by 2030".

In terms of employment, according to Benjamin Smith, "the (French) government has not made any specific request, but it has clearly underlined that this financial effort is made above all to support Air France employees."

Summer holidays - Many employees in France may be wondering if they have the right to take time off over the summer following the confinement in France. As it stands, until the end of the year, the employer may impose dates beyond July and August, along with the duration of holidays and a number of days of CP or RTT to be taken.

An order dated March 25th allows employers to impose vacation dates, and the number of days to take. Employers can also set a vacation period, even if other dates have been confirmed. While two weeks of vacation may be taken it may not necessarily be in July or August, but until the end of October. The period of imposed days cannot exceed December 31, 2020.

The next question is where to go? This remains rather unclear. On several occasions, the French government has been cautious about travel, especially abroad. With long distance travel not recommended. It is expected that an announcement will be made on travel restrictions by the government ahead of the end of lockdown. 

However, if you have already made reservations (train flight or accommodation), there is a guarantee that for any stay planned until September 15, 2020, travel agencies are required to make a credit available and valid for 18 months. If at the end of the 18 months the credit has not been used, it must be reimbursed in full.


A report by Reuters this morning says that investors are pinning their hopes for the reopening of the US economy on the potential for wider availability of testing for the coronavirus and on drug trials for treatment of the deadly disease.

The report says that until there is concrete progress in these areas ,further stock market gains may be limited.

Much of the 27 percent gain on the S&P 500 since its low of March the 23rd has been due to hopes that massive US fiscal and monetary support would dampen the economic blow from the lockdown ordered to contain the pandemic.

However ,recently the index has reacted to reports about drug trials and in particular the experimental treatment led by Gilead Science using the anti-viral drug Rem-desivir which previously failed when used to combat the Ebola virus.

Trials on Covid-19 patients using the drug have so far been unsuccessful leaving investors still waiting for a breakthrough and sentiment very much still on edge.


A White House economic advisor has warned that the shutdown of the economy due to the coronavirus pandemic will likely push the national unemployment rate to 16 percent or higher this month and require more stimulus to ensure a strong economic rebound.

Speaking to ABC Television on Sunday ,Kevin Hassett described the situation as “extremely grave”.

He said that the pandemic had resulted in the biggest negative shock that the economy has ever seen and that an unemployment rate not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930’s will be the most likely outcome.

A record 26.5 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefit since mid-March while retail sales ,homebuilding and consumer confidence have all tanked.


And-Sir Richard Branson has appealed to the UK government about a coronavirus-related bailout for Virgin Atlantic.

On Sunday ,the Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported that Sir Richard is seeking a buyer for the airline  but other reports say that talks with the government are “ongoing”.

Many airlines have been struggling since the start of the pandemic with revenues plunging amid travel bans.

Virgin Atlantic said that it was exploring all available options to obtain additional funding.

In an open letter to staff last week ,Sir Richard said that he was asking the government for a commercial loan believed to be in the region of 500 million pounds.


Football-Players at Serie A sides in Italy will be able to return to individual training on the 4th of May as the government starts to ease coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

There are hopes that matches in the League could resume between the 27th of May and the 2nd of June with an end date for the season towards the early part of August.

So far there are no details of whether games will have to be played behind closed doors but the Italian government is to give further clarification during the week.

Rugby Union-The England prop Joe Marler will not miss a game despite picking up a 10 week ban for grabbing the genitals of the Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones during the 6 Nations game in March.

Marler was banned for 10 weeks on the 12th of March but as every fixture that he was supposed to play in during the ban has been postponed he’ll be able to return to the field on the 7th of June providing there are any games allowed to go ahead.

Cricket-The England and Wales Cricket Board has said that it’s received “multiple offers” from other countries to help compete the domestic season.

On Friday the ECB said that no matches would be played in England and Wales until the 1st of July because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Abu Dhabi has offered to host some matches and there have been offers from as far away as Australia and New Zealand.

Any matches that are held domestically could be played behind closed doors.


Partially cloudy with perhaps the odd rumble of thunder this afternoon and light southerly winds.

Top temperatures 18-22 degrees.

Overnight lows of 15 degrees on the coast and 13 degrees inland with scattered showers.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Rain for most of tomorrow-fine on Wednesday.Highs of 18-20 degrees.





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