French and Riviera News Monday 3rd May 2021


Lifting of lockdown - France will today begin to emerge from its “light lockdown” with the lifting of the 10km limit on travel, freedom of movement between regions and the return to class for College and Lycée students with 50% capacity.

The French government has outlined four stages to easing restrictions in place, due to the health crisis, on the condition that the local health situation allows, with the first stage being implemented today Monday 3rd May. The next three stages are planned for May 19th with the curfew moved from 7pm to 9pm, the reopening of shops, terraces and museums as well as sporting activities to resume. For June 9th the curfew will be from 11pm to 6am cafes, restaurants and gyms are set to reopen, cultural and sporting establishments will see their capacity increased to a limit of 5,000 with a health pass. And tourists with a health pass will be able to visit France. Finally, June the 30th will mark the end of the curfew, the end of a limit for the number of people welcomed in public places however, nightclubs will remain closed.

Certain conditions in order to follow the four-stage timetable - There are certain conditions in order to lift restrictions and French authorities will be able to activate 'emergency brakes' in areas where Covid is circulating at too high a rate. 

Those emergency brakes can be applied in any town or department that has recorded a 7-day incidence rate of more than 400 new cases per 100,000 people. A sudden jump in rates and intense pressure on local health services could also slow down the reopening.

At present, eight departments have an incidence rate above 400; Paris, several areas in the Ile-de-France region and the Bouches-du-Rhône which includes France's second-biggest city Marseille.

Warning from health experts - In response to the lifting of lockdown some health experts in France have warned that “it’s an irresponsible gamble that could see a fourth wave”.

Sailors in solitary confinement - Sixteen sailors are currently in solitary confinement in Le Havre after testing positive for Covid-19. Their oil tanker had been in India and French health authorities are carrying out tests to see if they are carriers of the Indian variant which has been identified in five cases in France so far.

Monaco reports no new cases of Covid - Latest figures released in Monaco show that no new cases of Covid were declared on Sunday. To date 2,457 residents have been affected by Covid since the start of the pandemic. Seven people are currently in hospital and 27 are being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.

In other news

Two people injured after balcony gives way - Two people have been seriously injured after a balcony gave way at a house in Rouen. The incident occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning. Four people fell several meters while attending the house party. An investigation has been launched by police to determine the exact cause of the incident.

Illegal party - Meanwhile police in Dijon intervened at the weekend after 300 people attended an illegal party. The alleged organiser has since been arrested. Between 300 and 350 revelers gathered in a disused hangar. 207 fines were issued, and police used tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Since the start of the pandemic in France and the ban on large gatherings, several illegal parties have already taken place across the country.

Strong winds - Strong winds in the region have caused a tree to fall on a parked car in Cagnes Sur Mer on Sunday. The incident occurred at around 4.30pm when a tree fell onto the car parked by the Rive du Loup park smashing the windscreen. Nobody was hurt in the incident.  

Cannes - Police in Cannes have arrested two individuals after they attempted to steal a Louis Vuitton bag from the back seat of a car. The incident happened early evening on Sunday near the port of Cannes after a car stopped at a red light. The two culprits were spotted by police as they tried to smash the window of the vehicle. They were later arrested.

The start of summer 2021 should be hotter and drier than normal - According to Météo France, the months of May, June and July will be warmer than usual in southern Europe. The next three months risk being hotter and drier than average. France can therefore expect high temperatures in the coming months. Not necessarily good news, since France is only just coming out of three very dry months February, March and April of this year correspond to one of the driest quarters since 1957.

The incredible journey of a young grey whale - From Morocco to Naples and Antibes to Bormes-les-Mimosas, the incredible journey of a young grey whale lost in the Mediterranean and spotted thousands of kilometers from its natural habitat in front of the port of Bormes-les-Mimosas in the Var. Nearly 7 meters in length it’s an extremely rare site