French and Riviera News Thursday 11th March 2021


Weekend lockdown - Following the announcement by the French government on Wednesday that the Alpes Maritimes is to return to lockdown this weekend as an “extension” in the measure put in place two weeks ago in the fight against Covid, the mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has called for the arrival of the Paris-Nice cycling race to be modified.

While government spokesman Gabriel Attal announced that the situation will be reviewed "next week" to "be able to consider lifting the measure" the mayor however who had previously aired his opposition to a third weekend lockdown, has called for outings for physical activity to be extended from one hour to three, an acceleration of the vaccination in the region as well as a modification to the arrival of the Paris Nice cycling race which was due to be take place on the Promenade des Anglais.

Mayor of Antibes disappointed by the decision which he considers to be political - Meanwhile the mayor of Antibes Jean Leonetti, has said he is disappointed by the decision adding that “while he is not surprised he considers that the measure is a "political" one adding that “the government asks us for our opinion and then refused to listen”. For Leonetti, to fight the epidemic it’s necessary "to continue to massively vaccinate and carry out tests” avoiding having to use measure of the Middle ages such as partial or total lockdown”.

Covid figures - The latest figures for Covid in France have shown that the number of patients in intensive care has started to stabilize 3,918 patients are currently in intensive care as reported over the last few days the figure is at its highest since mid-November.

24,969 patients are currently hospitalized across France and there were 266 additional deaths in the last 24 hours that’s according to data from Public Health France on Wednesday 10th March. 4,164,418 French people have received at least one dose of vaccine to date. And 2,032,791 people are completely vaccinated, that is, to say that they have been given both doses. A press conference in the presence of France’s Minister of Health Olivier Véran on the health situation will take place today Thursday 11th March.

Monaco Covid cases – In Monaco, 14 new cases of Covid were identified on Wednesday bringing the total number of residents affected since the start of the pandemic to 2,062. 36 people are currently hospitalized and 73 are being followed by the Home Monitoring Center.

British variant of Covid - According to an English study published on Wednesday in the medical journal BMJ, which confirms initial observations made at the end of January, the British Covid variant is not only more contagious but also 64% more deadly than the classic coronavirus. For 1,000 cases detected, the British variant causes 4.1 deaths, against 2.5 for the classic coronavirus, the authors conclude from the universities of Exeter and Bristol.

Several studies have shown that the vaccines remain effective against the British variant. On the other hand, other variants, such as those first detected in South Africa or Brazil, could pose more problems. In addition, the prospect of the emergence of new vaccine-resistant variants worries scientists.

In other news

Poll assesses the French perception of Marine Le Pen - A new poll "L'opinion en direct", carried out by the Elabe institute and published this morning, which wanted to assess the perception that the French have of Marine Le Pen leader of the National Rally in France has shown that nearly one in two French people believe that a victory in 2022 is possible, and 36% of voters say that they could "probably" vote in favour of it with 17% of French saying it is "quite probable". The odds of a victory for Marine Le Pen in the presidential election are rising among the population. 48% of French people (up 7 points in six months) see it as "probable" and 5% as "certain". The poll reveals that the French give Marine Le Pen the advantage over the current government in three areas: immigration, security, discrimination and violence against women.

Climate change - John Kerry has visited Paris as part of a trip to relaunch the US commitment in the fight against climate change. Kerry said at a news conference in Paris with French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire that "developed countries, which emit the majority of the world's greenhouse gases, have every capacity to meet the challenge posed by climate change”. His visit comes in the wake of US President Joe Biden's decision to rejoin the global effort to curb climate change. Finance minister Le Maire said France was "very happy&qu