French and Riviera News Monday 28th December 2020


Covid - The mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi, is to hold a meeting with health authorities today following a warning from France’s Minister of health Olivier Véran on Sunday in which the minister spoke of a worrying situation in three regions of France including the Alpes Maritimes.

According to Public Health France, the incidence rate in the Alpes Maritimes on December 23rd was 340. This indicates that the situation is now similar to that of the end of October at the beginning of the second lockdown in France.

Latest figures show 15 new admissions to intensive care in Nice with 57 beds occupied. The positivity rate has approached 7% up from 5.5% as of December 21st.

There has also been a significant increase in fines issued for travelling without proof and on December 23rd 19 fines were issued for not wearing a mask in public spaces. The Police of Nice has since announced reinforced controls on respecting barrier gestures.

First vaccination in France – The Health Minister issued the warning while a resident of a retirement home on the outskirts of Paris, became the first French person to be vaccinated against coronavirus on Sunday. 78-year-old Mauricette was among a dozen residents and a doctor to be given the first dose of the vaccine. Over the next two weeks residents of retirement homes in the Paris, Lyon, Lille and Tours regions will be vaccinated. France is one of only four countries in which a majority of citizens say they'll refuse the vaccine.

Snowfall - The Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department has been placed by Météo-France on a yellow weather alert due to the risk of snow and ice today. The warning issued at midnight is in place until 10am with heavy snow fall expected over the Alps.

Storm Bella – Meanwhile more than 18,000 French homes were without power Sunday as Storm Bella crossed into France from the British Isles, uprooting trees and bringing violent winds of 136km/h to the country's north-west. Brittany was the worst affected where electricity was cut to more than 6,600 homes. Although no major damage was reported. 

This morning eight departments have been placed on an orange weather alert for snow and ice, five of which are located in the Auvergne, while the coastal areas of Landes Pyrénées Atlantiques and south Corsica are on alert for high waves and strong winds. 34,000 homes were reported to be without electricity in eastern and central France this morning.

Hunting accident - A 35-year-old man has been seriously injured after being charged by a wild boar while hunting in Rioux in the Var. The incident occurred on Sunday afternoon the victim was taken to the Sainte Musse hospital in Toulon. 

Fire in apartment - Four adults and two children have been evacuated from their home after a fire broke in an apartment in the village of Entraunes in the Alpes Maritimes. The blaze is believed to have started in the chimney of the second-floor apartment on Sunday evening.

Post Brexit-deal - The British government and the European Commission on Saturday published the entire text of a 1,246-page document, which now outlines their trade relations following the post Brexit-deal.

One of the largest agreements ever concluded it covers not only goods but also services, aviation, road transport, social security, health cooperation and the maintenance of order. In particular, making it possible to avoid the introduction of customs duties and quotas in trade between the United Kingdom and the European Union and the closure of British waters for European fishermen. Regarding fishing, a difficult subject until the last hours, the agreement provides for a transition period until June 2026, after which European fishermen will gradually give up 25% of their catches.

A meeting is scheduled for today to launch the signing of the project by the member states. They will also have to decide on a provisional application because the European Parliament will not be able to ratify it until early 2021.

Sophie Marceau and Jean Jacques Goldman - An annual end of year poll carried out by Ifop has shown that French actress Sophie Marceau and singer Jean Jacques Goldman are the favourite celebrities in France. Goldman is a regular in the ranking with 2020 marking his tenth appearance, while for Sophie Marceau this is the second time in a row that she has come top of the ranking.

Tomy - Tomy A fisherman from Saint-Malo has become a Twitter sensation overnight being declared the “scallop ambassador or rather the ambassador for coquille Saint-Jacques”. Tomy generated a wave of reactions after the publication of a report devoted to his fishing technique. The images of the young mustached topless man appeared to attract many fans. With the three-minute report being viewed more than 360,000 times.  


A report published at the weekend says that China will overtake the US to become the world's largest economy by 2028, five years earlier than previously forecast.

The UK-based Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) said China's "skilful" management of Covid-19 would boost its relative growth compared to the US and Europe in coming years. Meanwhile India is tipped to become the third largest economy by 2030.

In the UK cautious shoppers remained at home on Boxing Day, leading to a huge drop in footfall compared to last year across the UK. Latest data from retail experts Springboard reveals overall footfall on Boxing Day in Tier 4 areas, dropped by 75.9% compared to the same day in 2019.

And - Fast food chain KFC is launching a gaming console that warms up chicken. "The chicken chamber will keep its contents hot, ready for consumption during intense gaming sessions”. The company said the console was designed by a global hardware maker and could play top-level games like other gaming machines. Many people thought the gaming console was a spoof marketing campaign when it was revealed in June.

The fast food chain said it currently had no details on the expected price of the gaming console or a release date.


Football - In the premier league on Boxing Day Leicester city drew 2-2 against Manchester United, Aston Villa beat Crystal Palace 3-0, Fulham and Southampton drew 0-0, Arsenal beat Chelsea 3-1, Manchester City beat Newcastle 2-0 and Sheffield lost to Everton 1-0. And Liverpool only managed a 1-1 draw against West Brom.

In this evening’s Premier League action Crystal Palace face Leicester City, Chelsea play Aston Villa and Everton are at home to Manchester City.

Formula One - Lewis Hamilton says the Black Lives Matter movement helped drive him on to his seventh Formula 1 world title. Hamilton, who guest edited BBC Radio 4's Today programme said: "I had this extra drive in me to get to the end of those races."

Hamilton was voted as the 2020 BBC Sports Personality of the Year earlier this month after equalling Michael Schumacher's record of winning seven World Championships and passing the German's total of 91 grand prix victories.

Tennis - Britain's Andy Murray has been awarded a wildcard for February's delayed Australian Open. It comes two years after he played what he feared would be his final match as a professional in Melbourne.


Highs of 11 degrees in the Alpes Maritimes with gusty winds and sunny intervals in Nice, Antibes and Cannes going down to 5 degrees this evening and cloudy. In Saint Tropez and the Var highs of 10 degrees with possible light showers.   

Outlook for Tuesday similar to today clouds clearing by Wednesday with sunshine and highs of 11 degrees.

And Finally 

Monopoly has unveiled its 'Longest Game Ever' edition with 66 properties that’s 33 more than the original version.    

Board game lovers have been given the opportunity to spend even longer playing Monopoly - by introducing only one die. The game, which normally has two dice, will see players choose not from the top hat or the car but pieces shaped like tiny tortoises and hares. The board features 66 properties, which is 38 more than the original version.  Auctions aren't allowed, but there are a couple other updates that help move money, and keep the game going.   

One difference is that in this version of the game, when a player lands on the 'Free Parking' space, they get paid.  The largest change has to do with how the game is won, as it doesn't end when all but one player goes bankrupt. In this version of Monopoly, you can keep playing after you've declared bankruptcy, but you must own every property on the board.   



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