French and Riviera News Monday 4th January 2021


Body found in the river Sorgue - The body of a 75-year-old woman has been found in the river Sorgue in L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue in the Vaucluse. Emergency services were alerted on Sunday morning shortly after 11am after the victim was reported missing by her family. Police have launched an investigation to determine the cause of death.

Shooting in Bordeaux - A 16-year-old has been shot dead in Bordeaux. Three other teenagers were injured in the incident on Saturday evening, which occurred in the northern district of the city. The shooting took place around 11pm and police arrived on the scene after being alerted by local residents. An investigation has been launched into what is thought to be a settlement of accounts.

Illegal party - Police in Marseille have arrested six people following the organization of a party on January 1st. The event saw 300 people gather despite restrictions currently in place in France due to Covid-19. Meanwhile a 22-year-old has been placed in police custody believed to be responsible for organizing the “rave party” near Rennes which saw 2,500 people gather on New Year’s Eve. The rave continued until Sunday evening with several arrests being made. The investigation continues.

Back to school - France’s Education Minister has said that the reinforced health protocol in schools will allow pupils to return “as normal to their classroom today”. While several European countries such as Germany and the UK have decided to postpone the start of school, Jean-Michel Blanquer confirmed on Sunday that this would not be the case in France. Speaking to French media the minister said that ahead of the school holidays the contamination rate in schools in France was only 0.3%.

Covid-19 figures - The latest figures published on Sunday show that 116 deaths were reported, and there were 657 new hospital admissions due to Covid-19. To date 24,780 people are currently hospitalized of which 2,665 are currently being treated in intensive care.

Monaco – Meanwhile in Monaco, a 92-year-old has died from Covid-19 at the weekend. The fourth victim from Covid in the Principality since the start of the epidemic, the Princely government expressed its “thoughts for the family and relatives”Monaco identified six new cases of Covid on Sunday bringing the total number of residents in the Principality affected by Covid to 907. Twenty-one people are currently hospitalized and 102 people are being following by the Home Monitoring Centre. Last week the first vaccine was administered in Monaco to a resident of the Hector-Otto Foundation.

Monaco stepped up restrictions over New Year mobilizing more than 130 police officers with 600 vehicles being turned away on New Year’s Eve and 87 fines were issued for non-compliance with the curfew and not wearing of mask. From Saturday January 2nd Monaco introduced a new measure limiting access to restaurants to residents or those working in the Principality. The new measure will apply to both lunch and dinner and customers will be asked to provide proof on arrival.

Head of State criticized slow vaccination – Concerning the vaccination programme in France and according to French media, the Head of State has deplored the “slowness” in getting people vaccinated. Emmanuel Macron wants in particular that “all doctors who wish to be vaccinated are vaccinated as quickly as possible to set an example for their patients”. Meanwhile in an interview with the Parisian, government spokesman Gabriel Attal reaffirmed the intention from the President to “accelerate the pace of vaccination in France”.

Minister warns that figures are still too high to consider reopening of bars and restaurants - France’s Minister of Small Businesses in France Alain Griset has said that “Covid-19 figures are still too high to consider reopening bars and restaurants on January 20th”. Closed since October 29th, bars and restaurants are eagerly awaiting January 20th. The date, chosen by the government, for reopening, if the epidemic situation allows. However, the minister announced on Sunday that in “view of current figures, France is far from those planned by the French government”.

Emmanuel Macron had conditioned the reopening of bars and restaurants to a contamination limit of 5,000 cases per day. But, currently, this daily data varies enormously, from 19,348 cases recorded on Friday to 3,466 on Saturday, according to figures from Public Health France.

Unexpected visitors on A8 causes motorway to close - There were some unexpected visitors on the A8 motorway on Sunday as a family of wild boars bought traffic to a standstill forcing the motorway to be closed in both directions near Nice-Nord. Closed between Nice and La Turbie, several motorway exits were also closed at Monaco, Nice Nord, Nice Est, Nice Centre and La Turbie as emergency services intervened shortly after 6pm.