French and Riviera News Monday 3rd August 2020


Sea rescue operation after individual goes missing - Sea rescue services in Marseille are continuing to search for an individual who went missing at sea on Sunday afternoon.

The incident occurred after six people were ejected from a semi-rigid boat, four of whom were rescued and one seriously injured was taken to hospital, one person is still missing.

Risk of forest fire - Forest areas in the Var have been classified at a maximum “fire risk” today due to the hot weather. All wooded areas of the department will be closed to walkers, cyclist’s mountain bikers and any motorized vehicles.

Meanwhile the Gard and the Ardèche remains on high fire risk alert after more than 100 hectares of vegetation were destroyed by flames.

Inauguration of new bridge in Genoa - Genoa will inaugurate its new bridge today, two years after the deadly collapse of the Morandi Bridge. The inauguration will take place in the presence of the President of the Council, Giuseppe Conte, the architect Renzo Piano and the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella.

In August 2018, 43 people were killed in the Morandi Bridge collapse since, Italy has worked hard to build the new structure designed by Genoa-born architect Renzo Piano.

Masks compulsory in certain areas of Nice - As of today, wearing a mask will be compulsory in certain areas of Nice. The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi confirmed the decision at the weekend as the number of people being admitted to hospital with Covid-19 is increasing in the Alpes Maritimes region, several other coastal areas of France popular with tourists are set to do the same.

The municipal decree published on Sunday shows that from 10 a.m. until one in the morning, you must wear a mask in some of the busiest outdoor areas of Nice. Note that the measure does not apply to children under eleven however failing to comply, will lead to a fine of 35 euros.

Areas of Nice where masks are obligatory

Boulevard Gambetta.

Nice train station and avenue Thiers.

Avenue Jean Médecin.

Place Massena.

Avenue Félix Faure.

Paillon promenade (Coulée Verte).

Avenue Saint-Jean-Baptiste.

Rue du Docteur Ciaudo.

Garibaldi Square.

Rue Cassini.

Place Ile de Beauté. Port.

Quai Rauba Capeu.

Promenade des Anglais

Establishments close due to Covid-19 - Meanwhile two establishments in Saint-Tropez and Ramatuelle have closed due to Covid-19. The management of the Indie Beach House on Pampelonne beach and Pablo, a restaurant on the Place des Lices, decided to close at the weekend "as a preventive measure", after the announcement of four cases of Covid-19 amongst staff members.

Family launch appeal against La Timone in Marseille - A family in Marseille has launched an appeal against the Marseille hospital of La Timone for misdiagnosis. The appeal comes after doctors estimated that their little boy had cystic fibrosis, a genetic and incurable disease, a diagnosis denied by other doctors in Toulouse.

The diagnosis at the time led to the boy’s mother terminating a second pregnancy. The couple then moved to Toulouse where a series of exams showed that their son did not have the genetic disease.

Tourism - The president of the Provence Alpes regional tourism committee Côte d’Azur and mayor of Londe-les-Maures in the Var, François de Canson has said that tourism is recovering in the region.

After losing seven billion euros in turnover due to the health crisis, figures published at the weekend have shown “interesting results” announced de Canson. The hotel industry in July saw more than 60% of activity with peaks of up to 80% while campsites also recorded 70% of activity.  


Testing for some travellers - France has introduced testing for Covid-19 to travellers entering the country from 16 countries where the coronavirus is circulating widely.  

Since Saturday morning, passengers arriving by plane and aged over 11 years from these "at risk" countries must present on arrival "proof of the result of a test carried out less than 72 hours before the flight, which shows that they are not contaminated with Covid-19”.

In case the passenger does not have this document, he or she is invited to be tested in an area set up in the airport. Those who test positive in France as of this weekend must quarantine for 14 days.

France is not permitting general travel to and from the 16 countries, which include the United States and Brazil.

“Collective immunity” to Covid-19? - Professor Caumes, head of infectious diseases at the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris, in an interview with the Parisian newspaper on Sunday has proposed that in an attempt to promote "collective immunity", young people be allowed to contaminate each other with Covid-19 provided that they are not allowed to see parents or grandparents.

The professor added that while the idea is perhaps “not politically correct” there is a real difficulty in enforcing barrier gestures especially amongst young people. He went on to conclude that “it must be done with caution as young people can also have serious forms of coronavirus”. His proposal has caused controversy especially as the thesis of collective immunity has not yet been proven.

Gerard Depardieu – Paris prosecutors have asked for an investigation into rape allegations against France's famed actor Gerard Depardieu to be reopened.

The investigation into the celebrity, who starred in films such as "Jean de Florette," was dropped in 2019 as investigators did not assemble enough proof to proceed with formal charges. Depardieu, 71, denies any wrongdoing.


US tech giant Microsoft has confirmed that it is continuing talks to purchase the US operations of Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok.

Microsoft stressed that it "fully appreciates the importance" of addressing President Trump's concerns. A full security review of the app will be conducted, the company added.

U.S. astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, who flew to the International Space Station in SpaceX’s new Crew Dragon, splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday after a two-month voyage that was NASA’s first crewed mission from home soil in nine years.

The successful splash-down, the first of its kind by NASA in 45 years, was a final test of whether SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk’s spacecraft can transport astronauts to and from orbit — a feat no private company has accomplished before.

At least 40 passengers and crew from a luxury cruise liner have tested positive for COVID-19 and the authorities are still trying to trace a number of passengers from two recent Arctic voyages, public health officials in Norway said on Sunday.

While the crew were quarantined on the ship, the 178 passengers were allowed to disembark before anyone had been diagnosed, triggering a complex operation to locate them in order to contain any potential spread.

So far, four of the combined 387 passengers travelling on the ship on two separate cruises since July 17 have been found to carry the virus.

Meanwhile in the UK the health Minister Matt Hancock has said that millions of COVID-19 tests able to detect the virus within 90 minutes will be rolled out to British hospitals, care homes and laboratories to boost capacity in the coming months. Comprised of 5.8 million test